Actress Emma Yong suffers cancer relapse

Emma Yong (Emma Yong's Facebook Image)
Emma Yong (Emma Yong's Facebook Image)

This year, a familiar face will be missing at Dream Academy's annual year-end extravaganza, Crazy Christmas- A Little Bit of Naughty and A Whole Lot of Nice.

Established theater actress Emma Yong has suffered a relapse of stomach cancer and will not be performing in the musical comedy as one of the popular Dim Sum Dolly trio.

She will be replaced by radio deejay and actress Denise Tan. The other two dollies are actresses Pam Oei and Selena Tan.

Dream Academy announced on Tuesday that Yong will pull out of Crazy Christmas to undergo a new course of treatment due to the recurrence of her illness. She is not well enough to go on with the show.

Earlier this year, Yong, one of the most prominent faces in local musical theater, was diagnosed with stomach cancer but was given the all clear in the middle of the year.

News of her relapse comes after another shocker: the sudden death of another member of the Crazy Christmas cast, Filipino-Australian actor RJ Rosales, who was found dead in his Sydney apartment.

Dream Academy, which produces Dim Sum Dollies, Broadway Beng and the Hossan Leong Show among others, however, stressed that the show will go on.

On being Yong's replacement, Tan said in a press statement," When Selena asked me if I could step in and to play a Dim Sum Dolly, I was quite surprised but Emma's a very good friend and I am very happy to help out.

"So far, it's been exciting and challenging at rehearsals."

Yong expressed her gratitude towards Denise and the Dream Academy for being "so supportive at this challenging time".

Fans are praying for her full recovery.

Said Joleen Koh, 31, who has caught Emma in Dim Sum Dollies and Cabaret, "She is a wonderful singer and has fantastic stage presence. It is a shame given how I thought she has recovered fully. I hope she will rest well and make a smooth and swift recovery."

Crazy Christmas also stars drag queen diva Kumar, Sebastian Tan as Broadway
Beng, George Chan, Robin Goh, John Lee and a cappella group, Vocaluptuous.

The show will open 14 December at the Esplanade Theatres.