Review of SIX the Musical

Sydney Lewis

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Review of SIX the Musical

Sydney Lewis, Print Editor-in-Chief

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I have seen the Musical “SIX” three times, twice at the Shakespeare Theatre in Chicago and on opening night at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul. 

Going into the St. Paul show, my expectations were high. The shows in Chicago blew me away and left my mom and me listening to “SIX” on repeat for the six-hour drive back to the Twin Cities.

 It was well known that Abby Mueller who plays Jane Seymour was out of the Ordway opening due to an injury and was being replaced by Mallory Maedke. We didn’t know that Brittney Mack (a personal favorite of mine) was also not performing that night in her role of Anna of Cleeves. Mack’s understudy, Nicole Kyoung-Mi Lambert, took her place. 

With the cast performing at two-thirds of its full strength, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Understudies have no less talent than the primary actresses, but have had less experience and time to play with a certain character since they have to be able to cover multiple roles.

Lambert’s performance proved my point. Both understudies were well prepared and hit all their marks, but it was clear to me that they don’t perform in those roles every night. My family, who had never seen the show before, were equally impressed with the understudies as they were with the main actresses.

In my couple times seeing the show, there have been a few technical mishaps and slight imperfections, but I would say that those details are what makes “SIX” unique. The show is perfectly imperfect. Any mistakes that are made are covered by the pure energy and excitement of the cast. From the first time the curtain parts all the way to the end of the MegaSix, all six queens are in it, focused, and giving it their all. 

Apart from the performances themselves, the show wouldn’t be complete without addressing the technical crew. Though the drop that is hung at the beginning of the show is simple and plain, it creates an effect when the show first starts that gives me chills every time. It peels back slightly to reveal the queens and a few seconds into the first song, it drops, revealing the Ladies in Waiting, the band that accompanies the queens, playing behind them.

The lighting design is elaborate and precise. From rotating lights shooting into the house before the show starts to different colored spotlights for different queens to LED lights surrounding the set and stage to intelligent lights strobing and changing to match every beat of a song, attention to detail is not lost. 

The sound design is mixed live every night, requiring the sound board operator to pay close attention to every line. Like the lighting design, the sound has an immense attention to detail. In the house prior to the show starting, acoustic versions of songs performed by the pop stars the queens are based on are playing, getting the audience in the mood for the “concert” they are about to watch. 

The show transitions seamlessly from songs to dialogue, never leaving a dead spot for the audience’s mind to wander off. Each queen’s song shattered expectations and was met with a torrent of applause. An immediate standing ovation from the St. Paul crowd occurred as soon as the show ended. 

One part of the show that not many people know about (unless they are avid “SIX” followers) is the MegaSix. The MegaSix is an encore of sorts that combines each of the queens songs and recognizes the Ladies in Waiting one more time. This part of the performance is allowed to be filmed and encourages audience participation and engagement. 

“SIX” is a well-developed, contemporary version of an esoteric and old story. “SIX” is unlike any other show on Broadway and spreads a message of support and encouragement for women. “SIX” is blowing away audiences daily and is definitely a must-see.

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