Beng for your buck

Published Thu, Oct 17, 2013 · 10:00 PM
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QUESTION: Who adores sequins, feather boas and Andrew Lloyd Webber showtunes - and breaks into Hokkien swearwords ever so often? Sebastian Tan, of course, better known as the Broadway Beng.

The hybrid showman, like the Merlion, seems to enjoy being half and half. Half of the songs he sings in his new revue Benging You Back To Basics are Hokkien classics and the other half are Broadway standards. Half the time he's sweet-tempered and honey-voiced, and the other half he's so crude he makes you blush. He also seems to enjoy - dare I say it - being half-man and half-woman, dragging it up ever so often and belting out diva hits.

Indeed, the dual persona hits a high note in one nostalgic tribute to the 70s musical Grease. Here he plays both John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Dressed as Newton-John on the right side of his body and Travolta on the left, he crooned Hopelessly Devoted To You with his right facing the audience, then Sandy with his left - plus excerpts of every other number from the show. It's an impressive feat on his part, even though condensing a two-hour musical into a 15-minute segment would confuse anyone who's not familiar with the storyline of Grease.

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