Six reasons why you should see “Six”
Musical about the wives of Henry VIII on stage at A.R.T. in Cambridge before heading to Broadway
September 3, 2019
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Here are six reasons to see “Six” — the musical about the wives of Henry VIII — at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge before it closes Sept. 29, 2019, and moves to Broadway.
- Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived — The wives fates is what makes up the short rhyme. Henry VIII was married six times. He divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn was beheaded, Jane Seymour died during childbirth, he divorced Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard was beheaded, and Henry’s last wife, Catherine Parr, was the only wife who didn’t die while married to the king or divorce.
- The cast is a diverse, all-female cast — There are eight amazing women playing the wives. Adrianna Hicks as Catherine of Aragon, Andrea Macasaet as Anne Boleyn, Abby Mueller as Jane Seymour, Brittney Mack as Anna of Cleves, Courtney Mack as Katherine Howard, Anna Uzele as Catherine Parr, and two alternates, Nicole Kyoung-Mi Lambert and Mallory Maedke. The cast comes from different ethnic backgrounds and provides different music styles.
- The musical preaches empowerment — Throughout the musical, the queens are fighting for the title of “who had it worst” about their lives with the king, but soon realize that they shouldn’t let their relationships with the king define who they are. Instead, they celebrate their individuality in the last song, “Six!”
- Each wife tells their story with a song unique to them — This isn’t a boring history lesson, and it’s more like a concert. The performers tell their characters’ stories through their own songs. Catherine of Aragon sings, “No Way” about her refusal to divorce Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn sings about her affair with the king and her downfall in “Don’t Lose Ur Head”. “Heart of Stone,” sung by Jane Seymour, tells the story of how she loved and had a different experience with the king, and the longing to be with her child after dying during childbirth. “Get Down” by Anna of Cleves details her life of wealth and power after Henry VIII divorced her. Katherine Howard sings about how she was always wanted for her body and used by men throughout her life in “All You Wanna Do”. Catherine Parr sings to her love Thomas Seymour in “I Don’t Need Your Love,” explaining how they can’t be together because the king wants her, however, Catherine also says she wants to be remembered for what she did — not for who she was married to.
- The audience is engaged — Much like a concert, the performers interact with the audience. There were many times when the cast members would crack a joke, talk directly to the audience, and try to get us up and out of our seat to dance along with them during their last big song! I was lucky enough to meet the cast members after the show when they came out. They autographed the program, took photos, and engaged in conversation with everyone — making it a nice personal experience.
- There’s onstage magic — One thing that makes a musical great is the chemistry and relationship between the performers. While onstage, the performers’ chemistry was amazing. The jokes between songs, the conversations about celebrating individuality, and coming together to do just that made the experience very exciting and captivating.
(“Six” is at American Repertory Theater through Sept. 29. For information and tickets, go to https://americanrepertorytheater.org/.)
–Sept. 3, 2019–
Zainab Attar is a member of the Raider Times staff.