By Naomi Serviss / New York City
Six is the stuff of which Broadway musical dreams are made.
Which nearly didn’t come true.
This spectacular, sensory-overloaded Brit show
meandered a circuitous route to The Great White Way.
It opened last week, about four years after conception.
This smash hit deserves all the feels.
With a caveat to older ears.
Six has a terrific back story.
It’s the brainchild of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss,
two creative geniuses who met at Cambridge University.
They’re in their 20s.
The original show was entered in the 2017 Edinburgh Festival.
It may not have won major awards, but got positive buzz.
Productions of Six have since toured the U.K. and remains
a coveted ticket in London’s West End.
Audiences swooned in Australia and
A North American tour followed.
Six even wowed
lucky Norwegian Cruise passengers on board ship.
This musical not only has legs, it has fins!
The feminist-forward fable follows
the famed half-dozen ill-fated wives of King Henry VII
bemoaning their tragic lives.
The Tudor Queens compete for winner’s bragging rights
of the most wronged Queen.
Beheaded, divorced, banished, died in childbirth, you get the gist.
Reminded me of another queen-oriented, 1956 American sob-sister television show
Queen for a Day,
wherein middle-aged women tearfully delivered woebegone tales.
They’d vie for the (not always so) grand prize.
Usually a washing machine or whatnot.
Live studio audiences would select the most pathetic.
It was a different time.
Or was it?
Each of the Six Queens also delivers impassioned “poor me” tales
that illuminate the tragic (or not) fate each met.
Audiences raucously applaud
each Tudor Queen of their hearts.
The ending (SPOILER ALERT) has the Queens
working together in mutual support and solidarity.
At least that’s what I surmised.
The amplification of each miked Queen was so
I could barely follow the lyrics.
TikTok Generation-skewed audiences apparently
know all the words.
Some felt compelled to sing along!
Should be verboten in a Broadway show!
Theater lovers don’t shell out big bucks
to hear enthusiastic seatmates warble.
It’s hopefully not a continuing trend.
I loved this show for many reasons:
The strong woman empowerment message,
the all-female band onstage in kick-ass studded boots
that threw shades of yellow, green, purple and gold across the stage.
The Queens realize their strength is in solidarity rather than fierce competition.
They are crowned and bejeweled up the wazoo,
festooned in transcendently
vivid costume-coordinated dazzle wear.
Each sexy, high kick was aimed at Henry’s heart.
How those women dance flawlessly in those heels,
and belt their hearts out while corseted,
is a mystery.
Six was scheduled to open March 12, 2020.
The day the proverbial earth stood still.
With its catchy, bombastic score and electrifying dancing
in flashy footwear, Six is bound to appeal
more to Millennials
than, uh, more mature audiences.
Speaking for myself, of course.
The Six album has been available over the past 19 months,
streamed more than 100 million times through Spotify and Apple.
Deafening music aside, this giddy show is the perfect antidote
to 18 months quaking in our (non-flashy) boots
over an invisible killer.
Exuberant eye candy to a fault,
Six will undoubtedly
reign for years.
Word to the wise: bring vaccination proof, mask
and ear plugs,
just in case.
Naomi Serviss is a New York-based award-winning journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Highroads (AAA magazine), in-flight publications, spa and travel magazines and websites, including BroadwayWorld.com