Subscribe for 33¢ / day

Beatbox champion Ball-Zee stars in "Gobsmacked!."

Fans of a cappella and beatboxing won't want to miss the latest innovative show to hit Chicago.

"Gobsmacked!," which features a group of entertainers who put a cappella renditions of popular tunes and beatbox sounds in the spotlight, continues through Sunday at Chicago's Broadway Playhouse.

The touring cast of the UK-produced show stars seven performers whose vocals blend well in this concertlike production. Tunes performed throughout the show range from contemporarysongs to hits from the past several decades.

Entertainer Ball-Zee stars as the beatbox performer in "Gobsmacked!." His talents are spotlighted throughout the show as well as in a separate section where he is the lone man on stage creating all the sounds. At the beginning of the show, audience members are told "only voices" make all the sounds in the production. No musical instruments are in use in any show segment.

Ball-Zee holds the distinction of being the reigning world champion of beatboxing, or the art of making percussivelike sounds with one's voice.

Other cast members are vocalists Marcus Collins, Joanne Evans, Ed Scott, Nicholas Hayes, Emilie Louise Israel and Monica Sik Holm.

Songs by artists as diverse as The Black Eyed Peas and Prince to Adele, Barry Manilow and The Beatles are covered in "Gobsmacked!."

Among standout numbers are performances of "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," Prince's "Kiss," "Mercy," "Pump It," and a ballad-rendition of the Fab Four's "She Loves You." The cast closes the revue with a harmonious cover of The Beatles' "Hey Jude," which draws audience members to sing along.

'Gobsmacked!" moves along at a rapid pace and easily keeps a music fan's attention.

FYI: "Gobsmacked!" continues through Sunday at Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, 175 E. Chestnut, Chicago. Call 800-775-2000 or visit


Entertainment Editor/Features Reporter

Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.