“Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived”
With catchy tunes, a cast that rocks the stage, lighting that sears though you, Six the musical is like being live in the audience of The Voice. The only thing missing is the button that swivels your chair around.
Six was the musical I was suppose to see the day after Covid struck, so I was looking forward to seeing this immensely. In quarantine I found the song “All You Wanna Do” sung by the fabulous Samantha Pauly as Katherine Howard. From there I graduated to “Don’t Lose Your Head” sung by the adorable Andrea Macasaet as Anne Boleyn. Then I found the pop anthem “No Way” sung by the exquisite Adrianna Hicks as Catherine of Aragon.
When I got to my seat I was pumped up, then I saw the white slip announcing an understudy for the girl I really wanted to see live … Samantha Pauly, but I tried to stay positive, after all I have seen many an understudy and sometimes they are better ie: Lenora Nemitz for Chita Rivera and then Gwen Verdan.
The first thing you see is the curtain which could use some ironing. Then the show starts with a flourish of lights, by Tim Deiling that are so luminescent and brilliant. His design makes your immediately feel like you are at a rock concert. Emma Bailey’s simplistic, but effective set also adds to the overall feel.
Then the Six arrive to a pulsating opening number called “Ex-Wives”. Carrie-Anne Ingrouille’s choreography ramps up the look and the phenomenal costumes by Gabriella Slade are seriously a delight. Give this girl a Tony now! Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss music and lyrics are popsational.
The premise is out of Henry the 8th’s ex wives, who has the worst story and who gets to reign supreme.
First up is Catherine of Aragon (Adrianna Hicks) and she does not disappoint. Her lyrics in “No Way” are great and so is the Latin beat. The choreo excels, as does Hicks vocals.
So you read a bible verse that I’m cursed
‘Cause I was your brother’s wife
You say it’s a pity ’cause quoting Leviticus
“I’ll end up kidiless all my life”
Well, daddy weren’t you there, when I gave birth to Mary? (Oh, hi baby)
(Daughters are so easy to forget)
Then there is the darling, lovable Andrea Macasaet as Anne Boleyn. Again the lyrics are insanely fabulous.
Ooh, I wanna dance and sing
Politics, not my thing
Ooh, but then I met the King
And soon my daddy said, “You should try and get ahead”
and these gems.
The rules were so outdated
Us two wanted to get x-rated
Everybody chill, its totes God’s will
Jessie Mueller’s sister Abby as Jane Seymour, channels Adele in “Heart Of Stone”. Her rifts speak in heavenly vibes.
The forth queen was new to me and what a ball of fire. Brittney Mack as Anna of Cleves lights up the room. To introduce her is “Haus of Holbein” is a satirical song about women’s beauty standards, based on German electronic house/ haus music. Her song “Get Down” is classic hip hop style and Mack is joy personified.
Now onto understudy, Courtney Mack has an energy level of a two compared to the other queen’s off the chart twelve. She brings down the total energy of the piece. What makes Samantha Pauley so great is her sarcastic acting chops. When she says on video she is “the ten amongst these three’s” it is thrillingly biting. When Ms. Mack says she was his “Ass…..sitant” there is NO punch. Basically Ms. Mack is a bore! However she looks good, can sing and dance and pulls in some emotion into the end of “All You Wanna Do”.
The last wife is the serene and perfect Anna Uzele as Catherine Parr. She is sick of the games. Her idea of winning who has the worse story, is losing. Her song “I Don’t Need Your Love” brings all the queens together and woman power rules.
This is the perfect show for the #metoo movement, with all the women involved. Even the Ladies In Waiting band musical director/keyboard: Julia Schade; drums: Elena Bonomo; guitar: Kimi Hayes and on bass: Michelle Osbourne. All were superb.
All and all this is an enjoyable night of theatre, even if it is more low brow than high brow.