Review: SIX Scores a Perfect Ten at Broadway Sacramento

Come See This Royal Flush Through February 11th

By: Feb. 01, 2024
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Review: SIX Scores a Perfect Ten at Broadway Sacramento

Some powerful Tudor women have taken Sacramento by storm; Six of them, to be exact. The former wives of Henry VIII have come back from the dead to tell their side of the story in this powerful musical by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. Marlow and Moss first took the show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017, while they were still students at Cambridge University. It ended up generating interest and, after a successful West End run, officially opened on Broadway in 2021. Not surprisingly, it won two Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Costume Design. It successfully elevates the helpless and tragic queens to enlightened feminists who are taking back their power and giving Henry a very 21st century kick to the curb.

Styled with the inspiration of pop mavens (think Beyoncé, Avril Lavigne, Ariana Grande), Six is told concert-style, with each ex-wife belting out why her woes trump the others’. They enlist the audience’s help in selecting the winner of the worst-life-contest, and the grand prize is being named lead singer of their girl group. What follows is pure hilarity and unmatched energy wrapped in a glittery sextuplet of divas.

Catherine of Aragon (Gerianne Pérez), the original Queen Consort, is first up to describe the horrors of being saddled with Henry for twenty-four years. Threatened with being banished to a nunnery, she is eventually thrown aside for a younger woman. Do we feel sympathy for her? Nah. She got to keep her head and get away from him. She also gets a pretty catchy song (“No Way”). Pérez’s voice is front woman material, but her sob story just isn’t sad enough.

Henry’s second wife is the only one I learned about in school, and that story burned her name in my memory forever. This Anne Boleyn is played by Zan Berube, a thrilling Margot Robbie-as-Harley Quinn-lookalike in face, manner, and costume. Anne is a consummate joker, throwing around modern vernacular (LOL, sorry not sorry) in her self-deprecating number, “Don’t Lose Ur Head.”
Jane Seymour (Amina Faye) rounds out the first trio, insisting that she is Henry’s only true love and that her fate is the worst. Her song takes a more tender turn and ends up a soaring proclamation of devotion; or, as some might call it, Stockholm Syndrome. Either way, her story is sad and definitely in the running to catapult her to the lead spot.

Wife number four, Anna of Cleves (Terica Marie) comes in at just the right time, following the blood-pumping “Haus of Holbein.” Marie continues the energy with flawless vocals and mischievous antics, sending the audience into screaming fits of delight when they learn she is the original catfishing queen. “Get Down” is a testament to the satisfaction a queen can get with a solid prenup and a good head on her shoulders. That she has one immediately puts her out of the running for lead singer.

I’m losing count, but fifth wife Katherine Howard (Aline Mayagoitia) shows that losing your head makes you pretty funny. Her song, “All You Wanna Do,” evokes a combination of sympathy and judgment. Is she in the running? Maybe. The premise of being used for her body fell a little flat, but I’ll give her points for getting laughs while not having a head.

Finally, we get to Henry’s last wife, who really lucked out because he died before he could kill her. Catherine Parr (Adriana Scalice) doesn’t want to participate, but she ends up having the most poignant story of all. “I Don’t Need Your Love” is about lost love and wanting to be recognized for her own achievements. She’s the glue that holds the Six together, as they move into the rousing finale, “Six.”

Never has eighty minutes gone so fast. Perfectly cast queens and a rocking all-female band kept the party going and solidified the sisterhood. Underneath the music and laughter is an uplifting energy buzzing with feminine power and a slap to the extreme patriarchal attitudes that would deign to muffle it. Oh, who won the contest? You’ll have to go see to find out.

Six the Musical plays at Broadway Sacramento through February 11th. Tickets may be purchased online at BroadwaySacramento.com, by phone at (916) 557-1999, or at the Box Office at 1419 H Street in Sacramento.

Photo credit: Joan Marcus

 




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