I'm more than just Broadway Beng

I'm more than just Broadway Beng

Back from a three-year hiatus, home-grown thespian Sebastian Tan is raring to reprise his role as Broadway Beng onstage.

The 40-year-old will be belting out show tunes from Broadway to getai in the fifth and latest edition of his show, Benging You Back To Basics.

My Paper spoke to the funnyman about why the show is, at heart, all about being Singaporean.

What can audiences expect from the show?

As with all previous Broadway Beng shows, it's my life story. This time, we're focusing on how it all began - with stories from my childhood.

It's going to be about how I (began using) this ah beng persona, complete with ah beng fashion and ah beng dance moves, and the way I talk, which...is really quite representative of how Singaporeans talk.

We're also incorporating more moves from my five very powerful and sexy chio bu (Hokkien for pretty woman) - from the young to the lao bu (Hokkien for mother or old woman), regardless of race, shape, size and age.

How has Broadway Beng (which began in 2006) managed to stick around for such a long time?

It's so Singaporean. Broadway Beng deals with the mix of East and West, which Singaporeans can relate to. We are always in conflict where our identity is concerned. At the end of the day, it's about who we really are.

People often conflate you with Broadway Beng. Any thoughts on such typecasting?

Unlike Broadway Beng, the everyday Sebastian is not always dramatic or so loud. He doesn't make an issue out of everything.

In fact, I'm quite quiet, reserved and shy and, being a Cancerian, I prefer to hide in my own shell. I have this very gentle side that nobody wants to believe. I'm more than just Broadway Beng, lah.

Any plans after this instalment?

I'm going to take a holiday, before returning to do Crazy Christmas Ting Tong Belles in December.

No plans for the big screen as of now but, someday, I would like to act as a handsome hero who saves the world - no longer the underdog, but the 'upper dog'.

Broadway Beng! Benging You Back To Basics opens at the Drama Centre Theatre on Thursday. Priced from $60, tickets are available at Sistic. Visit www.sistic.com.sg

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