It seems that there is nothing the Queens of Six can't do, as they currently hold court in Cambridge at the American Repertory Theater. The American production of the hit West End musical made its debut in Chicago earlier this year where it was met with a great deal of praise. And now, their brief tour around North America is a pre-Broadway engagement as they will make their way to New York in the new year.
When I saw the show in London, I sung its praises as a new British musical that is clever, funny, unlike anything I had ever seen before. The same holds true for the American production, as it finds little ways to appeal to its audience on this side of the pond, even down to little things like referencing PBS instead of GCSEs.
As the queens, Catherine of Aragon (Adrianna Hicks), Anne Boleyn (Andrea Macasaet), Jane Seymour (Abby Mueller), Anna of Cleves (Brittany Mack), Katherine Howard (Courtney Mack), and Catherine Parr (Anna Uzele); take back control of their story in this historemix, it's important to note the timeliness and female empowerment of Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss' musical. While each of the queens may have been married to Henry VIII, he is nowhere to be found in the show. It takes a clever look at history from the female perspective and leans on the female focus throughout every aspect, even down to the all female band called the Ladies-in-Waiting. With few female centric plays or musicals on their way Broadway, it's a joy to see one that so proudly embraces the coming together of women and the ability to forge one's own path. It's a reminder of embracing ones individual voice combined with ladies who possess both stunning vocals and marvelous stage presence.
It seems only right to conclude this review with a section from the review I shared after seeing the show in London:
"What Marlow and Moss have created alongside the incredible creative team and spot-on cast [on both sides of the pond] is something that everyone involved can be incredibly proud of. And while it may be met with comparison to other historical musicals, it is unique in both the way it tells its story and its reason for doing so. At its core it is a homegrown British musical that has captured the hearts and minds of many through its uniqueness and unbelievably impressive storytelling. Give a listen to this historemix, and I can promise you won't regret it."