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FHS's VOX opens for ‘Gobsmacked’ Feb. 22 on Sondheim stage

Feb 15, 2018

Direct from sellout seasons in London, Hong Kong and Edinburgh, “Gobsmacked!,” a heart-stopping singing and jaw-dropping beatboxing show featuring the reigning world-champion beatboxer Ball-Zee and an international cast of world-class vocalists, hits the Sondheim stage at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 on their inaugural national U.S. tour.

Fairfield High School’s elite a cappella choir, VOX will open the show.

Director Zach Reiter. said VOX is excited to open for another national touring a cappella group.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for our students, something that wouldn’t be offered to them without the Sondheim center,” he said. “First it was ‘Street Corner Symphony,’ then it was ‘Voca People and now ‘Gobsmacked!’; getting an opportunity to see behind the scenes of what it is all about to be a touring musician is an amazing experience.”

Weaving stories through all forms of a cappella from traditional street corner harmonies to cutting-edge, multitrack live looping, “Gobsmacked!” uses popular music to tell a theatrical story. The cast of seven international stars with television and movie credits, uses no instruments, only their voices for a mind-blowing vocal show of human manufactured sounds, supported with energetic choreography and crowd interaction.

The momentum of Americans’ love of a cappella, think television’s “Glee,” the “Pitch Perfect” movies and the phenomenal success of Pentatonix, inspired the show’s creators to bring this production, which took the United Kingdom by storm last year, to the U.S.

“In the world of a cappella, America has the biggest groups and biggest market, said Nic Dobson, the show’s creator. “We say it’s like bringing coal to New Castle, bringing something already known to America, but the reaction has been absolutely fantastic.”

“Gobsmacked!” is an informal British slang word meaning “utterly astonished; astounded.” “Gob” is also slang for “mouth” and “smacked” prompts thought of lips smashing together, fitting, according to Dobson, as the music created by these performers is only from their moving mouths and smacking lips.

The six a cappella singers are backed by the accompaniment of three-time, undefeated British beatboxer Ball-Zee. Beatboxers use their mouths and voices to create the sounds and rhythms of percussion instruments, and Ball-Zee is known for his musical style and creative sound effects, including all kinds of drum beats, cymbals, scratches, zippers, claps, and what sounds like chirping.

“Gobsmacked!” energetically cover songs from Ed Sheerin, James Brown, The Beatles, Queen, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, The Killers, Prince and Lady Gaga, including a mashup of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” with Cee-Lo’s “Crazy”.

Tickets for “Gobsmacked!” with FHS’s VOX are $40 for Zone 1, $35 for Zone 2, and $25 for Zone 3 and $15 for Zone 4 and $10 for youth. Tickets are available at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center ticket office, 472-2787 and www.FairfieldACC.com.

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