Sensational Musical “SIX” Sizzles at Segerstrom Center through June 25

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The cast of “SIX”

Is it a rock concert? A musical? A novel history lesson?

“SIX” is all that, and more.

Much has been written about King Henry VIII and his six wives, but nothing as electrifying as the musical “SIX” that was scheduled to open on Broadway on March 12, 2020—the day all Broadway theaters closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“SIX” finally opened on October 3, 2021, the first new musical to open on Broadway since the start of the pandemic. Two touring productions launched in 2022; one of those is playing at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts through June 25.

“SIX” proved to be not just a revelation but a sensation. Rather than a traditional musical, “SIX” is akin to a rock concert with six singer-dancers portraying the wives and an on-stage band providing the music.

The show’s official description says it all: “From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the microphone to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a Euphoric Celebration of 21st century girl power! This new original musical is the global sensation that everyone is losing their head over!”

The cast of “SIX”

Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, “SIX” won 23 awards in the 2021/2022 Broadway season, including the Tony Award for Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics) and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical.

The “SIX: LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT” Broadway cast album debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard cast album charts and surpassed six million streams in its first month.

The show has a fascinating backstory.

Marlow and Moss devised the original concept and started writing “SIX” when they were students at Cambridge University in early 2017. It was first presented as the Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society’s submission to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe later that year, playing a one-month run and featuring student actors.

“SIX” went on to get picked up by UK Producers and a new production was mounted, with professional actors and a predominantly new creative team, at the Norwich Playhouse and then again at Edinburgh Festival in 2018.

The cast of “SIX”

A limited engagement at the Arts Theatre in London garnered the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Off-West End Production and the show toured the UK in the autumn of 2018 before returning to the Arts Theatre and subsequently the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. “SIX” is currently playing an open-ended run at the Vaudeville Theatre on the Strand. “SIX” earned five 2019 Laurence Olivier Award nominations, including Best New Musical.

“SIX” is a brisk 80 minutes with no intermission, shorter than most rock concerts but just as exciting and rewarding.

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