Six, the Musical
Through July 23, 2023
Get tickets and more information here.
It’s a rare thing to make history interesting to a younger audience. It is a notable event when someone can bring the distant history of the English monarchy and make it not only a thing of interest, but something that captivates the attention of the younger generation from around the world. SIX is that something. Part pop concert, part history lesson, and very much sending the message of Girl Power, this musical is something not-to-be-missed!
The story is simple. The Six wives of Henry the VIII meet in the afterlife and form a girl band. In order to decide who the leader will be, they hold a concert and let the audience decide – whomever had the worst time with the King of England, will win. The contestants compete through song. Catherine of Aragon – deeply religious and devoted, tells her story of Henry’s philandering while she remained loyal and gave birth to a daughter ignored by her father for not being male. Anne Boleyn is a hedonistic socialite who, after giving birth to another girl, is beheaded. Jane Seymour married idealistically for love, gave birth to a son and heir, and died before her relationship with the King could sour. Anna of Cleaves was rejected for not being as attractive as in her portrait. Katheryn Howard was a Siren trapped in a neophyte’s body and was taken advantage of until her past abuse and relationships came to light, to the displeasure of the Monarch. She was then executed. Lastly, Catherine Parr. A woman in love with another, who felt she had no choice and was compelled to marry the King. In the end, all six Queens decide to reclaim their own stories and not be beholden to Henry’s legacy any longer.
Khaila Wilcoxon plays Catherine of Aragon. She plays this role with the regality demanded and adds another dimension of fun to it. The side glances and quick expressions she shares with her castmates (and the audience) are perfect, fun, and definitely eye catching. AND…she can sing. Her song of rejecting Henry’s demand for a divorce, “No Way” is reminiscent of Beyoncé, and her dancing equals in every way. Storm Lever plays wife # 2, Anne Boleyn. Her role is definitely written for laughs, and Ms. Lever plays it like a salacious Kewpie doll, double entendre and all. Her song “Don’t Lose UR Head” is perky, clever and very much the crowd pleaser.
Natalie Paris plays Jane Seymour. Ms. Paris debuted the role originally in London, and received the Olivier Award (London’s equivalent to the Tony Award) for the incredible talent she shows. She repeats the role on tour with the same power as from across “The Pond”. While not a large dance number, she belts out the ballad “Heart of Stone” with such control, the song rolled throughout the theatre with ease, immediately capturing the audience within its strong emotions and feelings. Anna of Cleves is brought to life by Olivia Donalson. Ms. Donalson adds the electric funk to her number, “Get Down”. She shows her enjoyment at being unmarried, rich, and having her own castle. She celebrates not only what she is singing, but how she presents it to the audience. Her voice plays with the lyrics easily, and she sweeps us up in her pleasure.
Courtney Mack plays the doomed nymphette, Katherine Howard. Her song, “All You Wanna Do” is definitely reminiscent of Ariana Grande or Brittney Spears in the vivacious music. But it is the lyrics, and those implied and not sung, that strike the biggest chords. Ms. Mack delivers the song like she is going on an optimistic journey that poorly ends. Her voice is strong and she shows the emotions with every word she sings. Gabriela Carrillo plays the surviving wife, Catherine Parr. She sings “I Don’t Need Your Love”, and heartbreakingly expresses the struggle with loving another man, while being compelled to marry the King. Her voice is smooth and handles the tender ballad in a velvety, smooth manner.
While the contest is between the Queens on stage, there is no contest as to who the winner is for the audience. It is a Six-way tie! There is not a single woman on stage that tries to detract from anyone else, or fails to present 100% of their talents. They work together in a perfect manner, alternating the lead to sing and deliver their own stories. While there are several innuendos and implications of a sexual nature, the show’s message is as strong as any woman on that stage (and that includes the fantastic band!), “your own story can succeed without someone else writing it”. All this is told through the styles of different modern pop-divas in one helluva educational concert.
SIX was scheduled to open on Broadway March 20, 2020 – the day all Broadway shows were ordered to close due to the Covid Pandemic. It reopened on September 17, 2021. In 2022 it was nominated for eight Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and won two musicals, including Best Original Score Written For the Theatre to the show’s creators, composer/lyricist – Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. SIX is still currently running on Broadway in New York.