Last night I saw a performance by Voca People, a group that was making its last San Francisco appearance. When I went to the show, I knew only that it was a capella singing, which I enjoy. That was certainly a correct description as far as it went, but it was also about as accurate as saying that a rose is a type of flower. Voca People isn’t just singing; it’s comprehensive entertainment.
The group’s premise is that they are travelers from the Planet Voca and that their ship is powered by music. They arrive on earth with their power supply depleted, and need to learn earth music to fuel up. Clad all in white, with white paint on their faces (leaving only very red lips), they chatter in alien-sounding gibberish, and slowly learn earth language, songs, and attitudes by placing their white-gloved hands on people’s heads. The group’s shtick is very amusing, their audience interactions delighted people and engaged them with the show, and the singing and choreography was spectacular. The performers never missed a note or a beat.
The music ranges from classical to the most modern pop, all sung without any instrumentation, with perfect harmony, and with tight, tight choreography. Here’s a small sample of what they do (although the repertoire has changed a bit from this 2009 video):
As soon as the show started, I realized that the performers weren’t American. Considering that they were speaking gibberish, I can’t say why I knew, I just did. What delighted me — perhaps foolishly — was to discover when we left, and I had sufficiently good light to read the program, was that they’re an Israeli group.
Because I can never resist getting political, let me add something here, a thought that first occurred to me when the kids and I heard a song from Fiddler on the Roof playing on the radio: Jews contribute to the world, not just with the justice and morality of their Bible, but with humor. The Dhimmi countries that trade their Judeo-Christian tradition for the Muslim yoke had better be ready to give up laughter.
I don’t know where Voca People will go next but, if they land in your town, you should go check them out. (You might want to bring ear plugs if you go. My only complaint about the show was that the music was too loud at times.)