Friday, November 30, 2012

Interview with Hossan Leong and Kumar (Crazy Christmas)


So like Dream Academy's Crazy Christmas opens this week in two versions: a family friendly one featuring Hossan Leong, followed by a naughty version featuring Kumar. The Mad Scene speaks to both artistes about what's different in each show. But first, a blurb from their press release:

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Crazy Christmas® is an annual MUST-SEE! Catch this year's star studded cast with a great big band and a bevy of dancing gals we like to call the Merry Miss-el’toes. Crazy Christmas® gets bigger, better and brighter every year as Singapore's finest entertainers together with the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and good ole’ Charlie Chaplin bring you song, dance, laughter and love. This year, we celebrate movie magic as the Silver Screen meets Silver Bells!
Apart from our favourite entertainers like Hossan Leong, Selena Tan and Kumar, Crazy Christmas® 2012 introduces NEWBIES like Judee Tan, Adrian Pang and a chorus of eight dancing girls – our very own Merry Missel’toes. This year, we are pushing the humour meter!

Catch the family friendly version with Hossan Leong from 28 Nov – 2 December, or the naughty R18 version with Kumar from 4 December – 9 December!

The Mad Scene: Hi Hossan and Kumar. In your own words, tell us what Crazy Christmas is about. What can audiences expect when curtains are raised?

Hossan Leong: Crazy Christmas is always about friends, family and having a great time. It’s like a holiday onstage. We celebrate, laugh, and bring festive cheer to you.

Kumar: I have only been to rehearsals once (Ed: during the time of interview). What I see are siao char boh running around, and a lot of singing. Just imagine that lah, but bigger stage and you pay money to see us.

The Mad Scene: What differences are there between the ‘family friendly’ version and the ‘naughty’ version?

Hossan Leong: Well, the ‘family friendly’ version has me, and the ‘naughty’ version has Kumar. What are the differences? I’m sure you can figure that out for yourselves…

Kumar: The family friendly version is for you to bring your wife and kids. The naughty version is for you to bring your mistress.

The Mad Scene: How big a part do you play in the actual show?

Kumar: Hello, stop focusing on the size of my parts.

Hossan Leong: You get to see me as Charlie Chaplin hamming it up for audiences…very Christmassy right? Hamming, Christmas, yah, ham?

The Mad Scene: Hossan, now that your responsibilities for Company is over, how do you feel about that entire experience?

Hossan Leong: It has been a wonderful experience! From the start, I told the cast that I would like the word “Love” to be the centre of this production. It is very heartwarming to see how everyone bonded together as a family. I am very thankful to Selena for letting me do it, my talented cast and indestructible production team. They made this experience amazing for me.

The Mad Scene: Did rehearsals for Company and Crazy Christmas overlap? How did you manage schedules between these two shows and your other work commitments?

Hossan Leong: Yes they did, but not by much. It’s like a crazy, frantic game. Like Nike, just do it.

The Mad Scene: Peter Ong mentioned how seriously you took your job as director; given your success as a comedian do you feel it is necessary for you to go behind-the-scenes in order to explore your serious side?

Hossan Leong: Of course, being a director is serious business, and so is being an actor or a comedian. I don’t think it is about exploring my serious side but rather, gaining new experiences and exposure. It’s about taking on challenges and creating a beautiful product.

The Mad Scene: Kumar, you have become Singapore’s most famous drag queen after becoming nationally famous as host of the Ra-Ra show on TV and performing in the Boom-Boom Room, but your popularity has endured for so long even after both shows are long gone. What do you attribute your longevity to?

Kumar: Cucumber facial mask. After you’re done with the mask, can still continue using the cucumber also.

The Mad Scene: Is there room for another star drag queen in Singapore? Or would you rather that you are the only one?

Kumar: Drag is an art form, not a catfight or a competition. And you shouldn’t say star this star that. There is no star for putting on a dress and make-up and high heels. I am a good comedian who also looks fabulous in a dress.

The Mad Scene: I’ve seen your stand-up performance at Pink Dot this year. How involved are you in Singapore’s Gay Rights movement?

Kumar: Why are you asking me this? What if I go to jail for saying yes?

The Mad Scene: Do you think that gays in Singapore will earn our equal rights within your lifetime?

Kumar: I hope so, but I tell jokes, I don’t tell the future.

The Mad Scene: Lastly, tell us why we should all come and attend Crazy Christmas?

Kumar: So that I can continue to live in my 1 room HDB flat that costs $1 million.

Hossan Leong: You will be serenaded, entertained, tickled and brought to tears (of joy) by our cast, dancers, musicians (and me)!

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Crazy Christmas 2012 runs till 9 December 2012. The 'naughty version' starts on 4 December. Check out the Events Page for tickets

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