Review Roundup: SIX Launches National Tour; What Are the Critics Saying?

Read all of the critics' reviews for Six on tour!

By: Jul. 20, 2022
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Review Roundup: SIX Launches National Tour; What Are the Critics Saying?

The North American tour of Six, the musical by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, launched a return engagement of the show in Chicago and is currently playing at The National Theatre in Washington, DC.

The North American tour cast features Khaila Wilcoxon as Catherine of Aragon, Storm Lever as Anne Boleyn, Jasmine Forsberg as Jane Seymour, Olivia Donalson as Anna of Cleves, Didi Romero as Katherine Howard, and Gabriela Carrillo as Catherine Parr. The cast also includes Erin Ramirez, Cassie Silva, Kelsee Sweigard and Kelly Denice Taylor.

Check out what the critics are saying below!


National Theatre - Washington, D.C.

David Friscic, BroadwayWorld: The genius of Six is that you can enjoy it at any level of audience engagement. Not as mindless as the musical Mamma, Mia or as demanding to absorb as Hamilton, Six finds its own comfortable niche in the evolution of musical theatre. This musical is extremely rewarding at a pop concert level, but those yearning for more contextual theatricality can easily find it if they heed the historical context to the needed degree. Have a little fun with "HER-story" and catch the superlative production of SIX now playing at The National Theatre!

Celia Wren, The Washington Post: Working such impudent alchemy on long-ago established facts, with diverse casting that enhances its up-to-the-moment vibe, "Six" feels desperately necessary at a time when a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court - not two miles from The National Theatre - has put many women's autonomy in doubt. Hal's wives didn't get a lot of self-determination either, of course. But since you couldn't have staged this musical at his royal court, "Six" is tuneful, sassy proof that culture changes. And over the long arc of history, this show imagines, it's impossible to keep formidable women down.

Helen Ganley, MD Theatre Guide: The queens' astounding performances are matched by their visual elements. Emma Bailey's set design creates a concert-like feel, encircling the queens with risers and lights. Tim Deiling's lighting designs blend a concert atmosphere with traditional musical theater spotlights, creating a signature look for the show. Gabriella Slade modernized period costume designs to match modern influences, bedazzling and spangling each queen with signature ensembles that all worked as one.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts - Orlando, FL

Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel

Seth Kubersky, Orlando Weekly: Moreover, it's a terrific showcase for the powerhouse vocal talents of the show's six co-starring queens, who are backed by a blistering all-female band. It's difficult to pick a favorite performer among this superb sextet, which included dance captain Cassie Silva as Katherine Howard on opening night (understudying for Didi Romero), along with Gabriela Carrillo as Catherine Parr and Storm Lever as an Avril Lavigne-inspired Anne Boleyn.

Broward Center For The Performing Arts - Fort Lauderdale, FL

SunSentinel

Bill Hirschman, Florida Theater on Stage: Six is the epitome of a tight ensemble with each actress working together as a solid group while also shining in their individual songs. During the ensemble numbers, the audience doesn't know which actress to focus on as each shows their individual personalities while not overshadowing the group.

Straz Center [Carol Morsani Hall] - Tampa, FL

Drew Eberhard, BroadwayWorld: With Direction by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage, SIX is the ticket of the season and the talk of the town. Do yourself a favor, and find time to visit SIX and the stories of the lives these "Ex-Wives" led. Bring your best friend, your girlfriend, or the Love of your life, and head to the Straz Center now through November 6th.

Emerson Colonial Theatre - Boston, MA

R. Scott Reedy, Patriot Ledger: These Tudor queens have been given a modern update and reimagined as a band of high-energy pop princesses - complete with fierce concert attire by Tony winner Gabriela Slade - competing with each other for lead singer by proving to be the wife who fared the worst.

Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts - Hartford, CT

Ariana Straznicky-Packer, BroadwayWorld: Throw away all thought of the traditional TV shows set in dark castles with actors speaking with Elizabethan patois. These ladies arrive in style in 2023. They share the stage with live rock band accompaniment, wild light shows, and they are adorned in edgy costumes with glistening rhinestones and only a nod to their Tudor roots. The Six queens are reclaiming their stories and presenting them via exciting and powerful songs to their adoring fans. It's the audience's job to choose their favorite leading lady.

Nancy Sasso Janis, Patch: The opening number "Ex-Wives" that was performed at the Tony Awards is even more exciting live. Catherine of Aragon tells her "herstory" with Henry in a Beyonce-inspired "No Way." Anne Boleyn explains her life and death in "Don't Lose Ur Head" channeling Avril Lavigne. Jane Seymour's strong ballad "Heart of Stone" was inspired by Adele and Sia. Anna of Cleves is featured in the comic "Haus of Holbein" and then solos on "Get Down," with a touch of Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, "I'm the queen of the castle." Katherine Howard exposes her abuse with "All You Wanna Do," influenced by Ariana Grande and Britney Spears. Henry's final queen Catherine Parr (with an homage to Alicia Keys) wraps up the concert with "I Don't Need Your Love," before the final "Six" by all of the queens.

Bonnie Goldberg, The Middletown Press: Ex-wives often have a plethora of gossip to say about their former spouses, but none more so than the six unhappy wives of good old Henry. There are no secrets here or indiscretions that can't be revealed. After all, this sextet of sexy females were not simply divorced, they were beheaded if they displeased him.

Ohio Theatre - Columbus, OH

Paul Batterson, BroadwayWorld: Although the show is only one act that comes in at just over 90 minutes and features just nine songs, each one of the tunes packs a punch. Many times one can walk away from a show and not be able to hum a single tune the next day. Good shows may have one or two memorable songs.

Richard Sanford, Columbus Underground: Six turns the sadly normalized trend of forcing women to compare their trauma and "earn" sympathy on its head in a light, funny way. The character's rejection of that narrative creates a fist-pumping, triumphant ending for lives that didn't have one, and the songs where the characters sing together shift and gain communal power, from the statement of intent "Ex-Wives," through the hilarious pop-techno riff "Haus of Holbein" into the earned catharsis and reclamation of the title song.

Orpheum Theatre - San Francisco, CA

Steve Murray, BroadwayWorld: The fates of these women is mentioned frequently: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, and survived. History hasn't been kind to many of them, rocked by scandal, infidelity or disinterest from Henry. When the queens decide not to compete and instead unite against their common foe, SIX morphs into an empowering sister story where each reclaims their story. It's all great fun.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts - Costa Mesa, CA

Christopher Smith, Orange County Register: Though in a touring vehicle, the performances by the six wives feel top notch. On Tuesday’s opening night one-third of the cast was subbed out with alternates, but there was no noticeable let up of arena-ready voices singing well or of vibrant dance moves being missed.

Civic Theatre - San Diego, CA

ErinMarie Reiter, BroadwayWorld: The musical opens with the women competing to tell the story of their time with the egomaniacal monarch, and she who suffers the most wins the designation of "best” queen. Once this one act starts the energy and the emotions only build as the girl group sings with tight pop harmonies while always moving in the dynamic choreography.  They are supported by the onstage band Valerie Maze, Janetta Goines, Rose Laguana, and Paige Durr.

Pam Kragen, San Diego Union Tribune: I’ve seen the Broadway production twice and the rock concert-like teen fan enthusiasm in the 1,000-seat theater is infectious. But I wondered how the show would fare on the road. At Wednesday night’s performance, the sextet started out playing to a mixed house in the 3,000-seat Civic Theatre. When familiar lines and songs began, the screams and cheers were coming only from the cheaper seats in the upper balcony. But by the end, everybody from the front row orchestra seats back was on their feet clapping along to the “her”-story remix, where the queens take turns singing the happy endings they never had in life.

Paramount Theatre - Seattle, WA

Jay Irwin, BroadwayWorld: With its rock concert setting complete with dazzling light shows and smoke machines, and a kick ass all female band dubbed “The Ladies in Waiting”, this show is simply a big ball of fun.  But what keeps it from simply being a listicle of “The Wives of Henry VIII” belting their faces off, is the brilliance in the writing from Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss.  Yes, each Queen gives her account but it’s all under the guise of a competition, who had the worst time with Henry.  And rather than getting the narrative from the man who caused their grief, we get the actual history from the point of view of the ladies who demand we see them more than just six footnotes in his history.  And we do get the history as each of the songs are cleverly loaded with all the facts, making this not only a blast but a learning experience.  And with a tight 80-minute run time, you’ll be in and out and blown away in no time.

Julie Hanson, Seattle's Child: The diversity of the cast and the unabashed “girl power” vibe gave me even more to love. The cast members were all amazing singers and dancers, and the costumes were stunning. So many rhinestones. Such rich colors.

Keller Auditorium - Portland, OR

Krista Garver, BroadwayWorld:  Khaila Wilcoxon is magnetic and extremely funny as Catherine of Aragon (inspired by Beyoncé and Shakira). Storm Lever plays Anne Boleyn (inspired by Lily Allen and Avril Lavigne) as a sassy Millennial valley girl. A highlight of this tour is Natalie Paris as Jane Seymour (inspired by Adele and Sia) – Paris was one of the OG West End cast members, and it’s just not that often we in PDX get to see a role performed by the person from the cast album. Her solo gave me chills. I’m personally partial to Anna of Cleves (inspired by Nicki Minaj and Rihanna), a role that Olivia Donalson totally slays. Courtney Mack hits the perfect emotional intensity for Katherine Howard (inspired by Ariana Grande and Britney Spears), while Gabriela Carrillo’s Catherine Parr (inspired by Alicia Keys and Emeli Sandé) is a grounding den mother of sorts to the rest of them.


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