SIX cast previews their Ordway performance at Mall of America
November 7, 2019
From being performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by Cambridge University students to professional actors on the West End, and soon to be performed on Broadway, Six the musical has come along way since 2017. Creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, who are now only in their mid-20s, created the musical while simultaneously studying for their final exams at Cambridge University.
The musical reimagines the infamous six wives of King Henry VIII as a modern day girl group. On Oct. 27, the six actresses who recently finished their run in Chicago, and are about to perform in Minnesota from late November to late December before heading to the Broadway stage, performed, answered questions, and signed autographs at the Mall of America. The cast was made up of Adrianna Hicks (Catherine of Aragon), Andrea Macasaet (Anne Boleyn), Abby Mueller (Jane Seymour), Brittney Mack (Anna of Cleves), Samantha Pauly (Katherine Howard), and Anna Uzele (Catherine Parr).
During the Q&A session, it became entirely clear that this musical is unlike any other show to grace a Broadway stage. As cast members answered questions, multiple members of the cast repeated the phrase, “the audience is the 7th Queen.” The audience doesn’t simply observe the performance, they participate. In a way similar to attending a pop concert, the house lights remain on the entire show, explained the cast, and throughout the show, there are multiple instances of audience participation.
The ambiance is entirely modern, and the lyrics are chock-full of pop culture references and double meanings. The opening number is an upbeat pop anthem, but interwoven is the melody of Greensleeves, a song that is widely believed to have been written by Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn. Lyrical details include the cry of “okay ladies let’s get in reformation”, references to other Broadway shows like Little Shop of Horrors in the lyric “suddenly Seymour” and the sampling of the melody and lyrical references to “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child for a split second in the opening number.
When the cast first began rehearsing together, they believed they were signing up for a simple six week run in Chicago. Now, the women are preparing to open on Broadway, some of them anticipating their Broadway debut. “We’re still in shock,” Mack said.
While the show is partially a comedy, it also has much heavier and deeper messages. Pauly explained that the audience comes in thinking they know the stories of the six queens, but the performance allows the cast to tell their characters true stories. Above all, the message the cast wants to communicate is that society should “believe women,” Pauly said.
The show also conveys a deep sense of girl power and unity amongst women. The six cast members are all females, spanning a large variety of races, shapes, and sizes. “We’re all different, and we’re all beautiful,” Mueller said of the cast.
The cast of Six will be performing at the Ordway Music Theater from Nov. 29 to Dec. 22.