SIX at the Academy of Music
SIX wives. Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.
The six, count em’ SIX wives of Henry VIII tell their version of herstory in a show at the Academy of Music. It’s part of the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ Broadway Philadelphia 2023 season.
Musical Theater Concert Style
I saw the show last night, and it’s more like a pop concert than any musical I’ve ever seen. An all female cast, with an all female band on stage. Each wife has an equal roll in the show and their characters seem to be modeled after real life pop stars as well as the historical wives. There’s an Ariana Grande, an Avril Lavigne/Gwen Stefani type, a Nicki Minaj character, ect… It’s sort of like how some of the characters in Hamilton were inspired by real hip hop artists. There’s one slower ballad in the soundtrack, but for the most part the songs are all upbeat and totally dance-able. I dare you to just try and not to tap your toe in your seat.
According to the Kimmel Center’s website, The New York Times says SIX “TOTALLY RULES!” (Critic’s Pick) and The Washington Post hails SIX as “Exactly the kind of energizing, inspirational illumination this town aches for! The Broadway season got supercharged!”
A Musical for the Person Who Doesn’t Typically Like Musicals
I am a musical theater traditionalist for the most part (Sound of Music, Oklahoma, Hello Dolly!, The Music Man). This musical was not that, and may be even more suited to non-musical theater people. It’s a concert in every way, just telling a story as it goes along. Plus, even better for the casual or non traditional musical theater fan, it’s short. The show lasted less than an hour and a half, and was fast moving, with no intermission.
Like lots of modern musicals, the audience was invited to stand and clap along at the end of the show. Last night, even with everyone in the audience on their feet, many of us couldn’t help but notice a figure up in the balcony dancing and singing and having SO. MUCH. FUN. Based on how they were dressed, I even wondered for a moment if they were a part of the show. I ran into them outside in the lobby and they were nice enough to talk with me and pose for the photo below.
Fern smiled wide and posed and let me know that they made their dress from scratch as a Halloween costume this year. Fern’s Mom helped too. They nailed it. They looked fantastic, and it was obvious how much they loved the show.
Check out SIX now through April 9th at the Academy of Music. Tickets are available HERE.