Wives of Henry VIII sing different tune in vibrant “Six”

Anna+of+Cleves+%28Brittney+Mack%29+performs+%E2%80%9CGet+Down%E2%80%9D+in+%22Six%2C%22+which+is+at+the+American+Repertory+Theater+through+Sept.+29%2C+2019.+
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Wives of Henry VIII sing different tune in vibrant “Six”

Anna of Cleves (Brittney Mack) performs “Get Down” in

Anna of Cleves (Brittney Mack) performs “Get Down” in "Six," which is at the American Repertory Theater through Sept. 29, 2019.

Raider Times photo / Courtesy Liz Lauren

Anna of Cleves (Brittney Mack) performs “Get Down” in "Six," which is at the American Repertory Theater through Sept. 29, 2019.

Raider Times photo / Courtesy Liz Lauren

Raider Times photo / Courtesy Liz Lauren

Anna of Cleves (Brittney Mack) performs “Get Down” in "Six," which is at the American Repertory Theater through Sept. 29, 2019.

Sarah Vail and Duncan Lepera

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The new hit musical “Six,” which has settled in its most recent iteration at the American Repertory Theater, puts a modern twist on a hugely famous historical moment. 

The all-female ensemble features a variety of strong and vibrant personalities with costumes to match. The show’s tone offers a sharp contrast to its constrictive and oppressive setting and offers a fresh perspective on the lives of Renaissance women.

Setting aside the template of the typical theatrical narrative, “Six” strays toward the abstract, as each of Henry VIII’s six wives has the opportunity to share through song the story of her life outside her notorious husband. The actresses engage the audience by presenting a series of autobiographical numbers as a competition among the wives to determine who was the most noteworthy.

My personal favorite element of the production was the pop concert aesthetic created by bright lights, handheld microphones, a live band, and fantastic period-inspired costumes. My only complaint would be that I wish it was longer! It was 75 minutes without an intermission that flew by in what felt like 20 minutes. 

Every actress broke the fourth wall, which made it feel far closer to a reality show or concert rather than a stage musical, however every second was enthralling and enticing. The style of music resembled that of pop songs today, and all had a tone of female empowerment. 

The show did a very good job of flipping the narrative that we hear in our history classes, as it mentioned that although we hear about Henry VIII’s wives because they married a king, he would not be as famously remembered without them. 

Anyone who finds themselves relating to any of the following titles would have an extraordinary time viewing this show: history nerd, musical theater enthusiast, or general lover of pop music. 

(“Six” is at American Repertory Theater through Sept. 29. For information and tickets, go to https://americanrepertorytheater.org/.)

–Sept. 4, 2019–

 

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