Review: ‘Vocalosity’ at Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA

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Resounding applause met the awe inspiring, all a capella group, Vocalosity at the newly renovated Bucks County Playhouse opening night for their North American Tour Launch. Ten ultra-talented young performers, directed by Artistic Director, Music Director and Arranger, Deke Sharon, and Director and Choreographer, Sean Curran, demonstrate, with verve and vocality, the amazing sounds the human body can make. They are the very instruments themselves. No other musical instruments are necessary for any of the concert numbers. The energy, enthusiasm, and all-out stunning presentation of their novel musical numbers presents a night of total entertainment.

The vocalists, James C. Jones (bass), Hannah Juliano (alto and Associate Music Director), Kelli Koloszar (soprano), Cheeyang Ng (tenor), Nattalyee Randall (alto), Tracy L.J. Robertson (vocal percussion), Bryant Vance (bass), Nicole Weiss (mezzo), Amy Whitcomb (soprano), and RJ Woessner (tenor), rework a variety of music genres to fabulous affect.

The cast of 'Vocalosity.' Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

The cast of ‘Vocalosity.’ Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

A medley of musical excerpts from the Beatles is turned into a collage of Gregorian chant, doo-wop, hymn sing, swing, and rap.  Telling the story of true love is a Motown medley featuring “All Night Long,” “Isn’t She Lovely,” “I’m Coming Out,” “You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Tracks of My Tears,” and “Signed, Sealed and Delivered,” again, all rhythms and instrumentals represented vocally.

Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” heats things up with dance, and Club Vocalosity serenades in a wedding reception setting Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” while couples slow dance. Tracy L.J. Robertson conducts the audience to act as a mass percussive machine by having them mimic certain sounds at certain times.

Voices are indeed lifted in the lovely, spiritual version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” performed by a four-part female ‘choir.’To top off first portion of the concert, for “Sing, Sing, Sing” vocalization is used affect all of the sounds of big band instruments!

But there’s more. In the second part of the show a Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” rocked the house, complete with light show, the best distortion air guitars ever, drums and cow-bells, all produced by voice.  The theater absolutely thrummed with reverb, and more applause.

A hilarious parody of  The Sound of Music was also acted out as a skit featuring funny substitutions such as “Bad Advice” instead of “Edelweiss” and replacing “Climb Every Mountain” with “Milk Every Moment” and so forth. Towards the end of the show, a few of the ensemble members bravely relate touching personal stories of how they became inspired to rejoice in using their voices, and offer encouragement for people to create their own a cappella groups.

After a standing ovation, an encore treat, “Fix You” was performed in harmony, sans microphones, in sheer, splendid a cappella. The above mentioned are just a few peak examples of many incredible Vocalosity offerings to see and hear and feel.

Lively movement, and an awesome array of dance, choreographed by Sean Curran of the original STOMP, flowed throughout the musical numbers, kicking up the excitement in each one. A powerful team of tech wizards featuring Ryan J. O’Gara’s dazzling lighting design; Amy Clark’s complementary costuming; Technical Director, Sound Designer and Live Engineer, Tony Huerta’s beautiful sound balancing act; Scenic Consultant, Mike East’s versatile set, along with Creative Consultants Robert Sternin and Prudence Fraser who provide the behind-the-scenes engine that propels the onstage furor forward in apparently perfect syncopation.

Vocalosity resonates as excellent, invigorating entertainment, and is a ‘must see’ to experience.

Running Time: 2 hours, with one 15-minute intermission.

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Vocalosity plays through October 2, 2016 at Bucks County Playhouse – 70 South Main Street, in New Hope, PA. For tickets, purchase them at the door, or online.

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One Response to Review: ‘Vocalosity’ at Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, PA

  1. G Huerta September 25, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    Tony’s Dad!