“SIX”: A Revolutionary Musical


The traveling cast of the hit Broadway musical SIX came to our very own RBTL Auditorium Theatre for a five day stay, from Tuesday May 16th to Sunday May 21st, 2023. I was lucky enough to be in attendance in an incredible box seat for the 7:30 P.M. performance on Thursday, May 18th, for this fun, energetic, and revolutionary musical.


SIX was completely different than any musical I’d seen before. In most musicals, the audience is expected to remain seated and quiet for the duration of the show, but during SIX, the audience is encouraged to stand up, clap, and dance at points during the show.


SIX isn’t formatted like an ordinary musical. For starters, it’s only 80 minutes long, while the average musical lasts between two and three hours. Because of the short runtime, SIX also runs nonstop, with no intermission to break up the show.


When I walked into the theatre to see SIX, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew a few of the songs ahead of time, but I hadn’t known anything about the actual show, or about the format of it, and I was very surprised with what I saw.


The musical is actually formatted like a concert, where each of the six wives of King Henry VIII battle it out (in song) to see who had it the worst during their time married to the King. They each sing one song about their lives relating to the King, and there are also a few group songs.


The songs include a lot of topics that show the difficulty of living as a woman, especially during that time period. These topics include women being much more harshly judged for cheating than their male counterparts, postpartum mortality, the objectification of women, the stigma that comes with being an unmarried woman, and even sexual harassment.


At the end of the show, Catherine Parr, the wife who outlived King Henry, sang about how their story relating to the King isn’t their whole story. She says that just because that’s what people know them for, that doesn’t mean it’s their whole story. This touches on how a woman’s importance and self worth shouldn’t have to be dependent on a man.


SIX is one of the only musicals with an all female cast. There are only six characters in total, but the actresses were incredible, and were able to keep the audience engaged the entire time.


I talked to Jill Doyle, who also went to the Thursday performance of SIX, about how she liked the show. Her favorite character was Anne Boelyn, King Henry’s second wife. When asked why, she said, “Her acting was incredible – she even created a character voice and kept it even when she was singing…the actress did an amazing job”. She also really enjoyed how the actresses talked directly to the audience at some points.


She wasn’t the only outstanding actress though, all of them did a great job. I heard from several people that even though they didn’t like a character, the actresses made them enjoy those characters and their songs a lot more than they expected.


This show was overall really well performed, and has a great message. As Jill Doyle said, “It supports feminism and standing up to share your own story…it also shares friendship and the power of coming together”.