Twins playing a single role? That’s what’s happening in “CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab”, a theatrical comedy musical coming to Singapore this June.
The musical features Hayley and Jayley Woo taking turns to play Cutie Chef in different months. Other stars include Ko Eun Hee (Sexy Chef), Woo Young Wook (Green Chef), and Lee Sung Min (Iron Chef).
Adapted from the Korean production “CHEF”, the performance sees two groups of chefs racing against each other to create a dish — chilli crab and bibimbap. The show will include dance elements, beatboxing, and other musical showcases. But you won’t need to understand Korean to watch the show.
Two for the price of one?
One of the Woo twins, both 25, will play Cutie Chef in June, while the other will play the character in July due to scheduling reasons.
“But then we’ll mix it up a little bit,” said Hayley.
“So they (the audience) don’t know which exact show we will appear in,” said Jayley. “It’ll be kind of a surprise.”
Audiences are in for a treat though, as they’ll have a chance to guess who is performing as Cutie Chef in the show they’re watching.
It’s part of the interactive element of the musical, where the cast will also invite audience members to participate in the other aspects of the performance.
A dream come true for the Woo twins
“This will be the closest I’ve ever been to being a K-pop star,” said Jayley, who shared that her childhood ambition was to be a figure ice skater, then a K-pop star.
For twin sister Hayley, the thrill of a live performance is what appeals to her, and both the twins are excited to be part of the same production.
“The satisfaction of doing this all at one go will be awesome,” said Jayley. “It’s a dream come true for the both of us to work together again.”
The pair had previous teamed up in “Girl In Pinafore”, a local comedy musical film that also starred former Project Superstar winner Daren Tan.
Stage vs screen
‘CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab’ is also the first time the twins have performed on stage together. Their previous performances were mostly in television and film.
“Acting [on screen] is like, you can cut any time. But [stage] is all at one go,” said Hayley. “So this, to me, is very different.”
“When we first started rehearsals, to me it’s just, wow. Everything literally goes on without a pause. And if we do have a mistake, we have to go through everything from the top. That’s the greatest difference,” said Jayley.
“Whereas for acting it’s more like, ‘cut’, okay let’s reset the entire performance.”
Challenges of working with a twin
When tested, director Choi Chul-ki needed some prompting and deliberation before he could identify the twins accurately.
But their physical similarity hasn’t been an issue for the twins. Instead, their challenges come from their own standards for each other.
“It’s more of us, because we tend to pick on each other’s mistakes. Sometimes if I come across as offensive, we might start to quarrel,” shared Jayley.
“But that is another bonding area for us to come together.”
Chilli crab vs bibimbap: which would they choose?
“Without a doubt, I would choose chilli crab. And the mantou [fried buns],” stated Hayley.
“For me, it’s more of a Singaporean culture, because I’m born here, and I’m proud to be a Singaporean,” explained Jayley.
Sorry bibimbap, looks like it’s 2-0 in favour of chilli crab.
“CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab” runs from 10 June 2017 to 22 July 2017 at Resorts World Theatre. A Chilli Crab Tart and a can of Coke is included in weekend VIP category tickets and Category One tickets.
Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter, having written for Police & Thief, Incredible Tales, Crimewatch, and Point of Entry. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find him on social media as Optimarcus and on his site. The views expressed are his own.
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