VOCA PEOPLE at Marines' Memorial is stunning fun

VOCA PEOPLE: Created by Lior Kalfo and Shai Fishman at Marines’ Memorial Theater, 609 Sutter Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA. (415) 771-6900 or www.marinesmemorialtheatre.com. June 6-17, 2012.

VOCA PEOPLE at Marines' Memorial is stunning fun

The intimate Marines’ Memorial Theater rocked with laughter and clapping on opening night of a must be seen and heard to be believed program by the “Voca” People. They filled the auditorium with music without a single instrument using the a cappella voices of six accompanied by two human boom boxes and a dazzling light show. In this 90-minute musical revue, the eight Voca People dressed all in white, with powdered faces and ruby lips ran through a plethora of musical songs that would fill a couple of catalogs.

The sounds they produced using only their voices, with help from perfect amplification, is astounding. Under the musical direction of Shai Fishman their voices recreate a live band from oomph pa trombones, violins, twangy guitars and even bagpipes. The beat box artists called Scratcher and Beat On provide the rhythm while Alta, Bari-Tone, Mezzo, Tenero, Tubas and Soprana provide the vocals. It is an acrobatic auditory feast.

If you are gullible enough to believe the program they are intrepid space travelers from the planet “Voca” and their space ship has crashed on Earth. They need “musical energy” to refuel and San Francisco is just perfect since our natives are so eclectic to enjoy all forms of music. Not only are we appreciative of music, we also readily join in the action when plucked from the audience taken to stage to be part of the fun. Audience participation is integrated with the musical numbers.

When one of the cast brings up an unsuspecting male to join them onstage for some embarrassing but good-natured fun, the female Voca People get on their knees to sing 1950s classic “Lollipop.” Apparently each night they choose a special lady (I was assured there are no shills) to serenade with love songs.

They open with a 5 minute truncated “History of Music” beginning with the “Banana Boat Song that just keeps going with “Putting on the Ritz”, “Tutti Fruitti” “Can’t Buy Love” etc. ending with “I Like to Move it.” You will have to be quick to identify the multitude of songs. Just sit back and enjoy because the program does list the highlights.

Each segment lasts about 5 minutes and seamlessly moves on with energetic shenanigans by all. From the Movies: James Bond, Pink Panther, Mission Impossible, Eye of the Tiger ending, appropriately with Theme from ET. After all they are putting on the show to refuel their spaceship so they can get back to planet Voca.

The concept has spawned three troupes: One in Paris and New York and one world touring group. The standing ovation response earned at the Marine Memorial Theater is indication they will be around for a long time similar to the Blue Man groups. It is a limited engagement so get thee hence and hope you are selected for audience participation.

Kedar K. Adour, MD

Courtesy of www.theatreworldinternetmagzine.com