The musical “Six” is the mashup you never knew you needed: British history and pop divas. Two great tastes that taste great together.
The six wives of Henry VIII are given center stage and each is allowed to tell her own story with soaring vocals, flashy costumes and upbeat dance moves.
The show, which is now playing at the Fox Theatre through Feb. 5, is a high-energy romp that commands your attention from the moment the curtain rises.
While these women are best remembered for the manner in which their husband burned through them (as the opening number “Ex-Wives” breaks down their fates: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived) “Six” reminds us that each of them were forces to be reckoned with in their own right.
Catherine of Aragon (normally played by Gerianne Perez, but gamely payed by Cecilia Snow on opening night) is the first to step to the forefront. With her song “No Way” she describes the indignity of being cast aside for her inability to produce a male heir.
Anne Boleyn (Zan Berube) is next up and with her perky and punky song “Don’t Lose Ur Head” she shows the rebellious spirit that landed her on the chopping block.
After Anne came Jane Seymour (Amina Faye), a dutiful wife who loved her husband but died while giving birth to a son. Her ballad “Heart of Stone” puts her love and loss on full display.
Anna of Cleves (Terica Marie) suffered the indignity of being chosen by Henry from her portrait alone and then being rejected shortly thereafter Henry met her in person. But as her boastful song “Get Down” reminds us, she got a cushy divorce settlement that left her set up with her own castle and left to her own devices. Her romp onstage is one of the show’s highlights.
Henry’s next wife Katherine Howard (Aline Mayagottia) was an object of desire, but through her steamy song “All You Wanna Do” she tells us how this objectification led to her execution.
Finally, Catherine Parr (Sydney Parra) gets her turn and becomes the voice of empowerment in “I Don’t Need Your Love” where she shows that all of these women are worthy of being remembered as more than just one of Henry’s wives.
“Six” blows in like a breath of fresh air, an energetic kick that reminds us that there’s more than one side to a story and that history has a powerful voice if we are willing to listen.
“Six” is now playing at the Fox Theatre through Feb. 5. For tickets call 314-534-1111 or go to metrotix.com.