top of page

Six at The Ordway Center for Performing Arts

I don’t have a clever way to open this except to say GO SEE THIS SHOW. You could just stop reading right now and go buy tickets, and I would be perfectly happy with that. It’s that good.

For those unfamiliar, Six is a new musical written by fellow millennials Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. It was first presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, and then went on to tour the UK and eventually end up on the West End (the Broadway of Europe) in January 2019. By May, it had moved to North America, premiering in Chicago before moving to Cambridge, MA, then Edmonton, AB, and, finally, St. Paul. It was announced in September of this year that the show would move to Broadway following its run here in Minnesota. It’s not often that we get to see new Broadway shows before they even hit the Great White Way, so this is really exciting! To sweeten the pot, the six incredible women you’ll see in the performance at The Ordway will all be in the original Broadway cast. How did we get so lucky??

Marlow and Moss came up with the fascinating premise for Six while studying for their college history finals; it’s a reimagining of Henry VIII’s six wives as pop stars returned to set their stories straight as they compete to be lead singer of the girl group. The winner will be the ex-wife who proves that she put up with the “biggest load of B.S.” from Henry. Being in the audience at Six feels completely different from any other musical I’ve attended. The vibe is much more like a concert, with the ladies breaking the fourth wall by speaking directly to the audience and encouraging folks to holler and cheer.

The show starts with a song that feels like the love of child Chicago’s six merry murderesses and Lady Gaga, in which the queens, Catherine of Aragon (Adrianna Hicks); Anne Boleyn (Andrea Macasaet); Jane Seymour (Mallory Maedke); Anna of Cleves (Nicole Kyung-Mi Lambert); Katherine Howard (Samantha Pauly); and Catherine Parr (Anna Uzele), introduce themselves and reveal their fates: “Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived.” From there, you’re in for 85 minutes of a millennia-meets-Tudor-England ecstasy. The costumes are regal, sparkly, and out of this world fierce. The band, dubbed, “The Ladies in Waiting,” is an all-woman powerhouse dropping beats like it’s nobody’s business. The set is spectacular, the script is hysterical, and the leading ladies’ performances... Well. Let’s just say Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, and Rhianna would be shaking in their boots.

After seeing the show together, my roommates and I tried to decide who our favorite queen

was, and it was literally impossible to choose. Every woman was absolute fire, delivering scathing digs at Henry and the other queens, telling the tragic, heart wrenching stories of their lives and demises, and ultimately turning the stage into an altar for feminism and womanly power. During the production we saw, alternates Maedke and Lambert played Jane Seymour and Anna of Cleves, respectively, and we were blown away by their talent. But Macasaet, in particular, had me laughing the entire night. Anne Boleyn painted as a basic millennial b*tch was brilliant, and I can’t imagine anyone playing it better than Macasaet. Her high, squeaky speaking voice and valley girl manner of speaking were pitch perfect. Anne Boleyn's entire spoiled girl, attention-obsessed persona was so brilliantly written that I don’t even know how to put it into words.

Six , often compared to Hamilton, is just as electric (according to my roommate, who unlike me has actually seen Hamilton), and has just as much potential to change the entire landscape of musical theater the way Hamilton did. At a time when the average theater goer is well above 40, this show is written by millennials, for millennials. And you know what the audience looked like at The Ordway? Well, it looked like well above 40. Great theater is such a gift, and I’m happy when any person of any age takes time out of their busy life to enjoy it. But my heart sinks a little every time I look around the audience of a show and realize I’m at least 15 years younger than the average person in attendance. At Six, that discrepancy hit me even harder. People under 30: you WILL enjoy this show! It’s your humor, your ideologies, your music, your culture. It’s witty, empowering, unique, and ridiculously smart. Every song is a certified bop, and the choreography hits just as hard. You will laugh, cry, and deeply resonate with the queens, whose lives were lined with challenges that people still face today. (You know, minus the beheading…) Supporting groundbreaking shows like this ensures that theater continues to move in the direction of strong, sassy, empowering female leads and socially conscience stories. I was thrilled to see how many Gen X and Boomers were loving the show, and I hope those folks all continue to see it, as well! But millennials, get out to the theater! I promise you will not regret it.

Six is playing at The Ordway through December 22.


bottom of page