Show Review: The Voca People

After landing on Earth, the only way they can power up their spaceship and return home is via music.

The Voca People. (photo credit: Courtesy)
The Voca People.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
For a summer largely devoid of culture, with international acts and local events canceled due to the threat of rockets, Jerusalem’s Zappa Club was full Saturday night for the “out of this world” performance of The Voca People. An eight-member a capella group, the aliens, as the Israel-based members refer to themselves, came all the way from outers pace to entertain the 200-plus crowd with covers of pop classics in a number of genres.
Created by Lior Kalfa, an award-winning comedian and actor, and Shai Fishman, a composer and musical director, Voca People have been performing around the world since 2009. Using only their vocals, backed up by an incredible sound and light design, the group entertains audiences with their skill and their selection of crowd-pleasing pop anthems.
The story begins with the group traveling from “somewhere behind the sun” to land in Jerusalem. They are a blinding vision of white – a suit, skullcap, and porcelain face paint, punctuated only by deep, red lipstick – and they introduce themselves by their talent. Beat On is the captain of the Voca People, who mostly speak to the crowd in Israeli-accented English, and his second in command is Scratcher, so named for his DJ-style beat-boxing technique. Only communicating through melodies, Tubas is the booming bass, complimented by Soprana, piercing the air with some high octaves. They are rounded out by “Alta,” “Mezzo,” “Tenoro” and “Bari-Tone.”
After landing on Earth, the only way they can power up their spaceship and return home is via music. A giant, illuminated prism measures their strength, and becomes more powerful with crowd participation.
From opening the show with a “music through the ages” compilation, a dedication to great movie themes such as James Bond, Mission Impossible, and Titanic’s “My heart will go on,” the audience members in the first few rows were not safe from either gracing the stage as a curious object to be admired, or used as a prop in place of an instrument (one man was used as a violin, another as a drum kit).
The crowd proved to be good sports, and those that were brought on stage were equally entertaining and uncomfortable to watch. Entertaining, because you were still caught by surprise by each crazy whim of the aliens.
Uncomfortable, because the person brought up had no idea what was going to happen, or what to do with themselves, awkwardly shuffling around in the hopes that if they kept on moving perhaps they would blend in and go unnoticed.
The show was certainly interesting, to say the least. It was a performance full of laughs and some truly amazing vocal work.
Overall, I would strongly recommend seeing this group at least once. The Voca People absolutely have a novelty that cannot be satisfied by any other a capella group.
With each member’s impeccable range and raw talent, it is not a performance you are soon to forget.
The group has four more dates in Israel – performing in Herzliya, Tel Aviv and Lehavot Haviva – before continuing their world tour in Slovakia, the UK and finishing in the US.
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