By Ava Aschettino
Step aside Hamilton, there’s a new “mega musical” on the Great White Way. Six has taken the world, and now Broadway, by storm, quickly rising to become the second highest streamed Broadway cast recording of all time, trailing behind the 2015 Hamilton recording.
Six recounts the stories of King Henry the 8th’s… six wives. His wives, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Catherine Parr reunite in the twenty-first century to form a “rockband,” but then argue over who the leader of the band should be. So, each of the queens performs a song about how tragic her life was because of the King. Each queen also describes Henry’s behavior, her affection towards him, how she separated from the king, or, simply, how she died.
Originating in London, Six has opened numerous smash-hit productions of the musical across three continents. After a successful premiere in Chicago, the North American production toured the U.S. and Canada before arriving on Broadway. The show began previews at the Brooks Atkinson theater on February 13th, and I had the pleasure of seeing this new show on February 23rd.
Six is an eighty-minute spectacle coursing with energy and empowerment. I was lucky enough to sit in the third row of the sold out matinee performance, and WOW. While the show had no intermission, the queens spent the entirety of their time on stage in sparkly costumes and bedazzled boots, belting out extraordinary riffs.
When reading through the playbill, I discovered that each queen’s personality was inspired by a modern pop icon. For example, Catherine Parr was inspired by Alicia Keys, while another Catherine, Catherine of Aragon, was inspired by Beyoncé. Each queen’s costume also reflected her personality as well. Anne Boleyn was immature and outspoken, so her costume was childish and bright. She and Katherine Howard were also beheaded, so only these two queens wore chokers around their necks.
The costumes and characters are certainly not the only elements attracting massive crowds across the globe. The music is catchy and sounds similar to songs by each queen’s “queenspiration.” Jane Seymour’s ballad “Heart of Stone,” (the only ballad of the entire show) reflects the style Adele follows, while Anna of Cleves’ song, “Get Down, '' mocks Rihanna’s anthems. Additionally, the show includes their band, “The Ladies on Waiting,” on stage. And to accompany the flashy, all-female cast, was a Tudor-style set, decked out with thousands of LED lights.
Six on Broadway was one of the most inspiring, fun shows I have ever seen. However, if you’re looking to see a traditional show, Six may not be the production for you. Six is more of a live concert, which it says in the lyrics of the opening song, “Ex-Wives.” This “pop concert” exceeded any expectations I had. I laughed, I cried, I had a marvelous time. Don’t walk to witness Six on Broadway, run. SPRINT! This show and the entirety of the “Queendom,” will rewrite “Her-Story” through the magic and lightheartedness of Six!