SIX The Musical

By Emily and Anna Grimes

Fun, fun, absolute fun, were the only words we could think to describe our experience as the house lights turned on in Ordway Theater after the final bows to illuminate our wide, dopey grins. This dazzling, lively, and heartwarming show draws you in from the first moments as the spotlights hit our six divas, and will keep you engaged for the entirety of its 80 minute run time. It’s a fantastic show for both the die-hard theater “nerds” like ourselves, and for more casual, first time theater-goers. SIX will most likely have you laughing and clapping along, possibly have you tearing up, but will most certainly leave you humming along to its infectious songs.

SIX The Musical is a newer (2017) Tony award-winning musical that quickly grew a large following of fans for its catchy, but often touching, pop tunes (Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss) and the incredible vocal talent and personas of the divas that sing them. The show has its own, very unique style, blending classical theater elements with the modern day pop concert to create a brand new theater experience. Each of our six protagonists draws inspiration from a couple of distinct current female pop sensations, and you may even feel transported to your favorite idol’s concert.

The story told in SIX is of the six ex-wives of King Henry VIII, which are often only remembered for their poor treatment by their ex-husband, and their tragic deaths “divorced, beheaded, died” that became immortalized in nursery rhyme. These six divas decide to pick up their microphones to tell their own stories, or sing them, in a pop concert that will have the audience deciding just which ex-wife had it the worst. While the premise is certainly silly and fun, the backbone of the show is its incredible and heartfelt performances as each diva is finally able to tell her own story and find her own identity, for once not just one of six. This show asks us to reframe our understanding of how history is told and remembered and to listen for the voices that get lost, in this case these six women. Starring an all female cast and orchestra, SIX is a show of women telling women’s stories.

Some highlights of this show (directed by Lucy Moss and Jamie Armitage) for us were the bright and dazzling light design (by Tim Deiling). Lighting effects are integral to every pop concert, and these immediately draw and hold the eyes, and do much of the work to transform the stage into a high-production concert on the more minimally set stage. The way the lights work together with the costuming to bounce off the glittering, bejeweled, and uniquely dazzling costumes (by Gabriella Slade) creates a stunning visual feast. Also deserving of much praise are the on-stage orchestra, acting as the back-up “band” or as they’re referred to in the show, our “ladies in waiting”.

But of course the true stars of the show are the six ex-wives, who all do a fantastic job of supporting each other with back-up vocals and dancing, stealing the spotlight in their solo numbers, and coming together to equally share the stage as a group, seamlessly blending such powerful standout vocalists into one shared voice.

Catherine of Aragon (Gerianne Perez) sets the show off right with her commanding stage presence in the first solo number and her Shakira-inspired “Hips Don’t Lie” dancing. Anne Boleyn (Zan Berube) gives an energized performance with snappy, comedic lines, and her goofy dance moves will draw your eye even as she’s sharing the stage. Jane Seymour (Amina Faye) brings a tonal shift with her soft yet strong ballad, filled with impressive vocal rifts and deep emotions. Anna of Cleaves (Terica Marie) certainly had the audience laughing with her over-the-top sarcasm and her dancing brought the house down when she “Gets Low”. Katherine Howard’s (Aline Mayagoitia) light-hearted and flirtatious mannerisms will leave you stunned when she performs her gut-wrenching solo. And finally, Catherine Parr (Sydney Parra) is able to wrap up the show perfectly with her soulful R&B number.

SIX The Musical will be sure to have you on your feet and grooving by its final performance, so be sure to catch it at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul by Nov 6, before it moves on its tour. Tickets are available at or by calling the box office at (651) 224-4222.


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