A Valentine’s Day Love Letter to the Ladies of ‘SIX’
Photo Credit: Andrea Klohn
It seems only fair that for the day after the Broadway preview opening for SIX that a love letter is penned. The musical focused on the six wives of King Henry VIII who are on a mission to overthrow history and tell their own stories has taken the musical theater world by storm. SIX dropped into the world during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2017, hit London stages not long after and premiered in the U.S. at Chicago Shakes last May to garner a worldwide Queens fan club.
On top of all of that, we were blessed with a studio cast recording from the West End production so anyone going to see the show on Broadway can already have all of those bops memorized.
But here’s the thing about SIX that makes it worth a Valentine’s Day love letter nearly a year after I got to see it in Chicago: it’s unbelievably inspiring.
When it’s -10 degrees outside, the weather is gloomy and I’m feeling less than empowered I crank up this cast recording and I’m suddenly on top of the moon. The high energy luminosity of the Queens is enough to turn any moment into a female empowerment moment. It’s impossible not to feel like jamming out in public when you hear “Get Down” come through your headphones. Or subconsciously start lipsyncing to “No Way.”
I’d personally love to see a Hamilton “Mixtape” sort of rendition of these songs. Can someone tell Beyoncé and Dessa?
Obviously Chicago isn’t the launchpad for this musical, but we did get a chance to see the marvelous now BROADWAY cast before anyone else which makes their queenly debut feel even closer to home. To say this cast (Adrianna Hicks as Catherine of Aragon, Abby Mueller as Jane Seymour, Andrea Macasaet as Anne Boleyn, Brittney Mack as Anna of Cleves, Samantha Pauly as Katherine Howard, and Anna Uzele as Catherine Parr) is an absolute delight wouldn’t be giving them enough praise.
They are historical.
Like Hamilton, SIX gives us a crucial lesson in storytelling and its relationship with history. We don’t get to control who tells our story. Just because we know more about Henry than the women he married (unless you’re a huge nerd like me who ended up an Anne Boleyn fangirl at age 16) doesn’t mean his side of history is more important. We’re at a crucial juncture in world history when the domineering stories of white men are rightfully being taken with more than just a grain of salt.
In respect to the Queens’ significance in history, I’ll dedicate this Lupercalia (the original holiday that St. Valentine outlawed) to them. Thank you for giving voice to these powerful women, for giving us more empowering power ballads and for showing the world that we can find camaraderie in the most unlikely of places.