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Experience SIX at the Kravis Center where Girl Power Truly Reigns!

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From the Depths of Tudor History to the Heights of Modern Pop Culture: ‘SIX’ Arrives at the Kravis Center, Unveiling the Untold Stories of Henry VIII’s Six Queens with Passion, Power, and Phenomenal Talent!

March 26th, 2024

The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts presents the electrifying new musical phenomenon SIX for eight performances March 26th-31st. From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the SIX wives of Henry VIII is a celebration of 21st century girl power!

The show starts with the electrifying opening group number “Ex-Wives,” with tight, pop girl group harmonies and choreography akin to The Spice Girls, but with voices that sound like Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Rhianna, Shakira, Britney Spears and Alicia Keys. Here six queens have gathered, because they all share having been married to the same man – Henry VIII. In comparing notes, they propose a kind of sing-off, where each of them gets to share the story of their marriage, with the winner being the wife with the most woeful tale. Before they share their individual musical sagas, it’s all laid out for the audience like an emotional/historical score card in the opening number: “Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived!”

DIVORCED: Catherine of Aragon (Gerianne Perez): She married the King Henry VIII after originally being married to his older brother King Arthur who died within months of their union. Throughout 24 devoted years of marriage to King Henry, she suffered the death of two infant children and three stillborn children before giving birth to one daughter who would later become Queen Mary I. When Henry grew frustrated with her inability to give him a son and beguiled by the beauty of Anne Boleyn, he tried to have his marriage to Catherine annulled by the Catholic church. When both Catherine and the Catholic church refused, Henry separating the Church of England from papal authority, appointed himself Supreme Head of the Church of England and divorced Catherine. Gerianne solidly rocks as the rock solid (pardon the pun) Catherine. Her voice has soul and floridity, and she sets up the style of the storytelling to come.

BEHEADED: Anne Boelyn (Zan Berube): Though bright and young and stylish, Anne alienated many people who had been loyal to Catherine, as well as many people resentful of her role in the separation of the church of England form the Catholic church. Henry was again frustrated with a lack of a male heir, as though they had one daughter, who would go on to become the great Queen Elizabth I, Anne suffered at least two miscarriages. The court loves gossip and shortly after her last miscarriage Anne fell victim to gossip of her supposed infidelity. She was beheaded at the age of 35. Zan provides a quirky, intentionally ditsy portrayal of Anne, and her voice is brighter and more forwardly placed than the other girls. She is responsible for much of the humor in the show, which is far from book heavy, and has great comic timing and delivery.

DIED: Jane Seymour (Amina Faye): Demure and shy, it was said that she was Henry’s one true love. Though Henry attempted to woo her with gifts while still married to Anne, she declined them by saying there was no treasure on earth she treasured as much as her honor. Jane gave Henry the son he so desperately wanted; a boy named Edward. Alas, Jane hemorrhaged to death during the birth of that child. Amina’s voice is a surprise after the previous songs. Sweet, strong, rangy and very emotional. Her “Heart of Stone” is the most tender moment in the show.

DIVORCED: Anna of Cleves (Terica Marie): Henry chose his next bride by the viewing of portraits of prospective women of noble birth. Anna had already been married twice and was both a woman of money and good reputation. Upon her arrival from Germany for the actual marriage, Henry was disappointed, as he did not find her to be quite what he expected physically. Though the marriage took place, it was never consummated, and was annulled six months later. There remained no animosity between Anna and King Henry however, and she remained in King Henry’s good graces, living comfortably until she peacefully passed away years later. Terica is a talented physical comedienne. Sure, she sings and dances great, but it’s all about her knowing how to work the audience for me, and her performance of “Get Down” nearly steals the show.

BEHEADED: Katherine Howard (Aline Mayagoitia): Though Katherine was only 17 when she married Henry, she had been far from a wall flower prior to that marriage. Henry really was too old and too troubled by health problems to have taken on so young a bride. It appears she may have felt the same way as it was soon rumored that she was engaging in clandestine liaison. There was also considerable political jockeying for positions of power surrounding her and her family. After an act was passed in Parliament that it was treason to become a king’s wife with plain declaration before of her unchaste life, she was beheaded at the tender age of 19. Aline shines in ensemble numbers but seemed a little low energy on the night attended during her solo.

SURVIVED: Catherine Parr (Adriana Scalice): Catherine was intelligent, respected and kind – the first woman in England to publish books under her own name. Like Anna of Cleves she had been married twice before. Her seemingly calm and uneventful marriage to Henry was largely comprised of being his mate and caretaker. Henry passed away after 3 ½ years of marriage. Catherine went on to marry once more and sadly dying in childbirth. Adriana has a round, mature sound that matches the maturity with which her character is written. It is Adriana as Catherine that begins to reframe the way in which the SIX have been thinking of their moment in history. Leading them to a celebration of empowerment as women and individual – sisters who have survived history.

This production of SIX is fun, energetic and visually and musically engaging. It has six actresses, one set, one minor costume change, good lighting, a live band, lots of singing and is always in motion. The show whizzes by in 80 minutes (no intermission) and I legitimately smiled through most of it!

College friends Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss devised the original concept for SIX when they were students at Cambridge University in early 2017. After appearing at the Edinburgh Festival in 2018 it went on to tour the UK. It earned five 2019 Laurence Olivier Award nominations, including Best New Musical. In the United Kingdom, SIX is currently playing an open-ended run at the Vaudeville Theatre on the Strand and is on tour, while also playing at the Royal Alexandra. In the United States SIX, which closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic on what was supposed to be opening night, is now playing at the Lena Horne Theatre on Broadway in New York City, while being on tour as well. SIX won 23 awards in the 2021/2022 Broadway season, including the Tony Award® for Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics) and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. For more information about the show, visit SixonBroadway.com

Tickets for SIX start at $55 and may be purchased online at kravis.org.

 

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