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Drenched in pop extravagance, dark side of ‘Six’ lingers after traumas are told

By Marielle Treese | Arts Angle Vantage Reporter

Assumption High School, Class of 2027

King Henry VIII never treated any of his wives well. Divorced. Beheaded. Died. Divorced. Beheaded. Survived. Those were the fates of his six wives. Henry certainly gave each of his wife’s trauma when he was married to them, and it definitely shouldn’t be made into a competition. But what if it was?

“Six” the musical, by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss and directed by Moss and Jamie Armitage, explores the concept of things that shouldn’t be a contest. Trauma is one of these things.

“Six” opened at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts on April 9 and ran through April 14.

The North American Tour of “Six” (Boleyn Company). Photo by Joan Marcus. Courtesy PNC Broadway in Louisville.

The show follows the six wives of King Henry VIII: Catherine of Aragon (Gerianne Pérez), Anne Boleyn (Zan Berube), Jane Seymour (Amina Faye), Anna of Cleves (Terica Marie), Katherine Howard (Aryn Bohannon), and Catherine Parr (Adriana Scalice). What starts as a simple competition to decide which queen should lead the band soon devolves into a contest of which queen had the worst trauma.

The competition was doomed from the beginning because the queens said the deciding factor should be whoever had “the biggest, the firmest, the fullest…load of B.S. from the man who put a ring on it.”

After the song “All You Wanna Do,” the queens get into a heated argument about their experiences as Henry’s wives. There’s yelling, screaming, insults, and mention of amounts of miscarriages. There are tales of manipulation, abuse, and tragedy. All this chaos stems from the first five queens’ attempts to one-up each other.

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Catherine Parr (Scalice) interrupts this mess of an argument and calls them out for their ridiculous behavior. Scalice brings the character of Parr to life through her passion during her performance of “I Don’t Need Your Love.” Her facial expressions as well as her tone while singing all portray Parr’s experience of being limited to the wife that survived Henry.

Parr makes the queens realize they are twisting their trauma into a competition.

This realization causes the queens to find more positive similarities and develop bonds of friendship. This “historemix” ends with the queens claiming their crowning glory, realizing they are much more than one of Henry’s six wives.

The message of “Six” is relevant to today’s society because none of us are perfect. We all have our own traumas and our own glories, and we shouldn’t judge others because of that.

Marielle Treese (she/her), a freshman at Assumption High School, has participated in Assumption’s Rose Theatre Company’s costume construction crew and earned her brown belt in taekwondo with a black stripe (the latter indicates rank achievement). She likes to try new things and expand her areas of expertise. Some interests include K-Pop girl groups, writing, mathematics, and reading books.


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