And now, “live in consort,” the six wives of Henry VIII: “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.”
Like Hamilton, (well, maybe nothing is quite “like Hamilton”), Six takes history and makes it speak a truth to power. The show is short, loud and strobie and fun. Stopping for a few days at the Academy of Music, this eclectic musical features an adorable, energetic cast of women with a variety of shapes and colors and sizes. They can sing, they can rap, they can shimmy and shake; they wear metallic tutus to match their crowns.
The plot begins with a reunion of the wives to form a band, and the audience is supposed to declare a winner by the end of the evening to choose the lead singer. They will brag about their suffering at Henry’s hands, and try to outdo each other—who had more miscarriages?, but it is hard to beat beheading. But,our times being what they # are, they rethink their contest and decide that instead of competing they will cooperate. The Queens end the show as a united front, refusing to be defined only by their relationship with one man.
The lyrics—the wit is often lost in the miked decibel level—are sometimes naughty sometimes funny, but this “historemix” is a crowd-pleaser. The actors are, in historical order:
Gerianne Perez as Catherine of Aragon
Zan Berube as Anne Boleyn
Amina Faye as Jane Seymour
Terica Marie as Anna of Cleves
Aline Mayagoitia as Katherine Howard
Sydney Parra as Catherine Parr
[National Tour at the Academy of Music on the Kimmel Cultural Campus, 240 S. Broad St.] March 21-April 9, 2023; kimmelculturalcampus.org