An hour and a half has never gone by faster than when I saw SIX at Century II Tuesday night. It’s a show I had known about, yet I knew very little going in. It’s a retelling about King Henry VIII’s six wives; Catherine of Aragon (Gerianne Pérez), Anne Boleyn (Zan Berube), Jane Seymour (Amina Faye), Anna of Cleves (Terica Marie), Katherine Howard (Aline Mayagoitia), and Catherine Parr (Sydney Parra).
These six queens perform in what resembles a concert as a pop-group, constantly trying to one-up each other and sing about who had the worst marriage with King Henry VIII. Not only did the set perfectly resemble a concert stadium with flashy lights and bright colors, but the energy of the audience resembled a concert experience. Everyone was cheering and screaming as loud as possible, especially whenever any of the queens had moments to themselves after an incredible musical number or after delivering comedy. The audience’s energy was infectious and by the end of the show, my throat was sore.
SIX is a show that could only work live on stage. You could watch a filmed version of the play or listen to the soundtrack and still enjoy it, but it isn’t the same as experiencing the pure joy along with hundreds of people who are all cheering for the insanely talented queens singing the phenomenal songs. The songs play a huge part of the show, telling the stories for each of the queens and their marriages with Henry VIII.
The actresses are absolutely incredible with their vocal performances. The “Ladies in Waiting” are also impeccable, perfectly playing their instruments and helping bring life to the songs (Jane Cardona on keyboard, Sterlyn Termine on bass, Rose Laguana on guitars, and Kami Lujan on drums). If there is anything one needs to experience at the very least, it’s the easily accessible soundtrack.
What makes SIX so enjoyable is not just the incredible soundtrack, but it’s touching and empowering themes of feminism, individualism, and being yourself. Despite being driven mostly by songs, there is a great story to unpack and multiple emotions to feel when watching SIX. Jane Seymour has an incredibly beautiful song called Heart of Stone. My mother saw the show with me and my friends, and she was tearing up by the end of this song. Amina Faye and her powerful vocals bring a lot of emotion to the table.
It’s wonderful to watch this show in the same year that Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s Barbie is released, both amazing stories that show women becoming strong and overcoming their lives restricted by men. All around, SIX is just pure joy. We need shows like this in our lives so that we can experience such an empowering story and to watch artists’ hard work on stage.
Aidan Oswald-Harris is a freshman at Friends University, Theatre Major and Jester Award Winner
SIX is at Century II thru Sunday, September 24.