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Up With Voca People

The creators of the unique a cappella musical talk about their Off-Broadway engagement. logo
The cast of Voca People
(© David Gordon)
Eight milky-white, ruby-lipped aliens from the planet VOCA have landed in New York and have now brought their internationally successful a cappella musical, Voca People to Off-Broadway's Westside Theatre, where it's now in previews.

That's the story, anyway, being told by the show's creators, Lior Kalfo and Shai Fishman -- a story which starts on the pair's farm, where they were tossing around ideas for a new a cappella musical comedy. "Suddenly, a spaceship crashed, and out came eight white aliens, so sweet, and naïve, and very friendly," says Kalfo. "Their ship had run out of juice."

Kalfo and Fishman add that they quickly learned of the ship's unorthodox source of energy: music. "They needed to refill it in order to get back home, and they asked for our help to create something to go all over the world and refill their energies," says Kalfo.

The transition from spaceship to international stardom began with a clip of the Vocas in performance on YouTube, which then led to successful runs in Israel, Spain, Italy, and Germany. Audiences, the pair says, were taken by the group's uncanny ability to recreate sounds. "If you play a string, if you play a violin, they can recreate it," says Fishman. "There are no sound effects - just vocals. What you see and what you hear is exactly what they do."

For the New York engagement, the Vocas are performing approximately 70 songs during their concert, and song selection presented a challenge for Fishman. "You're going to do The Beatles, you're going to do The Doors, you're doing songs that everybody heard 7,000 times, so you need to find way to make it interesting," says Fishman.

"Plus, New York is a melting pot for people all over the world," he adds. "You have to make sure that a grandpa from Japan and a kid from Greece are going to know the songs the same way."

Kalfo notes that New York is different than the other cities in which the Vocas have played. "The energy here in New York is amazing," he says. We hope to have a bit of the New York love in return for an hour and a half of hits and crazy music."

Of course, some audience members may be frightened of the group, especially if they're one of the people chosen to go on stage. "There's nothing to be afraid of," Fishman notes. "They're the friendliest aliens you've ever seen."

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