A long time ago – okay, maybe not so long ago – in a galaxy far, far away, there lies the planet Voca where music is life and life is music. The inhabitants there are in tune with the universe and live in perfect harmony, communicating only through music. One day eight Voca natives decided to take a trip, so they charged up their spaceship with the only known energy source on the planet Voca – music – and off they went. They got as far as the planet Earth when they ran out of music and crash-landed in, of all places, the studio of musical director and composer/arranger Shai Fishman. Fishman and his friend, co-creator-director Lior Kalfo, were looking to create a new show - and the Voca aliens presented the perfect opportunity for collaboration.
Shai Fishman was kind enough to talk with BroadwayWorld’s Linda Hodges to tell our readers more about the VOCA PEOPLE and their upcoming show here in San Francisco. VOCA PEOPLE is performed by eight snow-white, ruby-lipped aliens with perfect harmony--there are no musical instruments, no sound effects, only vocals! Performed with humor and the help of the audience, VOCA PEOPLE features a cappella and beat box versions of over 70 well known songs, including hits from Madonna, Queen and even Mozart. They've done sold-out tours throughout Europe, South America, the Middle East, Mars and, most recently, a highly successful engagement at West Side Theatre Upstairs and New World Stages in New York City. VOCA PEOPLE will be at the Marine’s Memorial Theatre June 6 through June 17.
And now on to the interview!
Hi, Shai – thank you for doing this interview with BroadwayWorld San Francisco and welcome to the city by the Bay! It’s a thrill for us to have the VOCA PEOPLE here before they get their spaceship “tuned up” with enough musical fuel to head back to their home planet! Have the VOCA PEOPLE been enjoying earth?
Very much so, Linda. They keep learning about new music they just don’t have back at home.
What has been the VOCA PEOPLE’s favorite thing about earth so far?
They seem to love the NYC subway. Sometimes they get lost, but they love the ride none-the-less.
Well, while they’re here, they’ll have to ride one of our cable cars. I think they’d love it. What has been their favorite earth food so far?
Hands down - Falafel. They call it fa-fara-falafel. They don't really eat earthly food. They just enjoy the sound of it.
Make sure they try some Fisherman’s Wharf clam chowder. Now that’s something to sing about! Do they wear white for any special reason?
Actually they are white, because their planet is all white. They love skin color clothes. What can I say?
How long have you worked with creator and director Lior Kalfo?
Lior and I have known about each other’s work for years before we actually started collaborating. I must mention that I’ve been a huge fan of Lior’s work, on and off the stage, even from the mid 90’s, when I was a teen-ager, starting out.
I’m sure you never imagined that you’d be working with visiting space aliens! Would you ever consider making a trip to the planet Voca? If so, how do you think you’d be received?
What do you mean consider?! I’d be jumping up and down! I get to go this planet and experience music in its purest way… definitely a no-brainer. Plus, with the volume of work and level of closeness I’ve achieved with the VOCA PEOPLE, I think I’m the natural choice for Earth’s ambassador on planet Voca.