by Elizabeth Ann Foster
There is something inherently wrong with a plot that features two women arguing over who has it worse off – one with three miscarriages or the other with five. Loosely based on the historical six wives of England’s King Henry VIII, the plot is a contest among the Tudor women to see who has suffered the most. Each wife panders to the audience, expressing their woes to be selected as the biggest loser. Midway they realize the absurdity of their arguing, and that the only thing that unifies them is a man. They decide to stop bickering, end the contest, and focus on a final musical number denoting their reconciliation.
The patron next to me said, “that made no sense, and I cannot believe the amount of money I spent on this.”
We have an entirely female cast- the Six wives of Henry VIII; Catherine of Aragon (Adrianna Hicks), Anne Boleyn (Andrea Macasaet), Jane Seymour (Abby Mueller), Anna of Cleves (Brittany Mack), Katherine Howard (Samantha Pauley) and Catherine Parr (Anna Uzelle) and a female band The Ladies in Waiting with conductor and keyboards by Julia Schade, Bass by Michelle Osbourne, Guitars by Kimi Hayes and drums by Elena Bonomo.
This show felt like an off-off-broadway production, but the ticket price befitted a Great White Way seat. The opening number “Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” is a catchy morbid tune with embedded literal gallows humor. Each Queen’s futuristic costume was a unique Valentino-Esque studded ensemble featuring varied ways to wear a crown. Gabriella Slade, the costume designer, used her sense of humor when creating them.
A pandemic new addition is the virtual stage door. Gone are the days of waiting for your favorite cast member to exit the theater in hopes of getting a moment to speak and an autographed playbill. Now you scan the code in the program, and a virtually signed playbill appears in your inbox.
The suffering continues for only one hour and twenty minutes. The last five minutes features an anxious countdown to curtain and the awaited, blessed ending of misery for all. Where is Frank Rich when you need him?!
SIX by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss
With Catherine of Aragon (Adrianna Hicks), Anne Boleyn (Andrea Macasaet), Jane Seymour (Abby Mueller), Anna of Cleves (Brittany Mack), Katherine Howard (Samantha Pauley), and Catherine Parr (Anna Uzelle) and a female band, The Ladies in Waiting with conductor and keyboards by Julia Schade, Bass by Michelle Osbourne, Guitars by Kimi Hayes and drums by Elena Bonomo.
Scenic design by Emma Barley; Costume design Gabriella Slade; lighting design by Tim Deling; sound design Pale Gatehouse; Orchestrations Tom Cibran; Choreography Carrie-Anne Ingrouille; Directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage; Dance Captain Mallory Maedke; Associate Music director Elizabeth Doran; Percussion Mariana Ramirez; Music technology by Phil Adams; Synthesizer technician Randy Cohen Keyboards; Music Coordinator Kristy Norter.
Brooks Atkinson Theatre
Address: 256 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 719-4099
Find event tickets here.
Run time 80 minutes no intermission. At this time, no drinks or snack services are offered.