by Tyler Lewis
On Sunday, October 3, 2021, the musical ‘Six’ finally had its opening night curtain at the Brooks Atkinson Theater on Broadway. And what a triumphant night it was! The occasion coincided with Broadway’s official reopening after it had been shut down for more than 18 months due to the pandemic. It also marked the day the show came full circle, picking up where it had left off, for it was originally scheduled to open on March 12, 2020, the very day Broadway shut down.
But, as they say, the show must go on, and so it does. Ever since it was first presented in 2017 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it has been receiving rave reviews and it has also been the recipient of numerous awards. But the question in everybody’s minds remained: Would Broadway receive the production with as much enthusiasm and glee as previous audiences did? Well, if the opening night performance is anything to go by, this rather unconventional show, so unlike most Broadway musicals, might just be what the doctor ordered.
What to Expect
‘Six’ was created by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, who were studying for their finals at Cambridge University at the time. It is a clever, witty retelling of the lives of the six wives of Henry VIII, who compete in a singing competition reminiscent of American Idol. It is presented as a bit of a pop concert, where the six wives take turns singing and telling their stories with the intention of establishing who suffered the most at Henry’s hands. The winner, i.e. the queen who was proved to have had the worst deal, would become be the leader of the band.
The opening song, “Ex-Wives” starts with the rhyme often taught to schoolchildren to help them remember the fate of each wife: “Divorced, Beheaded, Died. Divorced, Beheaded, Survived.” In this order, starting with the first wife, Catherine of Aragon (played by Adrianna Hicks), each wife in turn sings and tells her story. After Catherine, it is the turn of Anne Boleyn (played by Andrea Macasaet), followed by Jane Seymour (played by Abby Mueller), Anna of Cleves (played by Brittney Mack), Katherine Howard (played by Samantha Pauly), and Catherine Parr (played by Anna Uzele).
Sharing the stage with the six queens is the four-piece backup band, known as “The Ladies in Waiting.” The members of this band are Julia Schade (conductor/keyboard), Michelle Osbourne (bass), Kimi Hayes (guitars), and Elena Bonomo (drums).
What Sets ‘Six’ Apart from Other Broadway Shows?
‘Six’ is more of a concert than a musical. Each queen performs her individual story as a song and frequently breaks the fourth wall to interact with the audience. And unlike many Broadway productions that seem to be based on well-known stories, ‘Six’ is an original that has never been told before. Yes, there have been documentaries about Henry VIII, and of course, he features in history books, but nothing like this.
The music deserves a special mention. The songs were influenced by well-known artists, such as Avril Lavigne, Lilly Allen, Beyoncé, Adele, Shakira, to name but a few. Each queen has her own song, which tells her story, and she is enthusiastically applauded for it. The songs, together with real history and the women’s experiences, are combined in an ingeniously playful and hilarious manner. For anyone needing a pick-me-up, ‘Six’ is exactly the right medicine. Get ready to laugh and have buckets full of fun!
About David Milberg
David Milberg is an experienced financial analyst and entrepreneur from New York City. Milberg is a proud father of three kids. Milberg graduated from Princeton University with a BA in History and graduated from Columbia University with an MBA. David currently serves as a Senior Vice President at Milberg Factors, Inc.
Over his tenure at Milberg Factors, David has also been involved in numerous not-for-profit activities. In light of David’s charitable work, he was honored in the year 2000 by the accountants and bankers division of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York and by the Metropolitan Jewish Geriatric Foundation. David Milberg has also been active in the Lincoln Center Business Council.
David Milberg has invested in such major broadway productions as Mel Brook’s The Producers, The Weir, and the hit revival of Pippin directed by Diane Paulus and starring Tony Award Winner Patina Miller at the Leading Player. David sits on the Board of Trustees for The Prospect Theater Company and is a fervent supporter of the Lincoln Center Theater. David Milberg presently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Princeton Triangle Club, where he was Vice-Chairman.
David Milberg has a rich, varied background is musical theater and live stage performance.