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REVIEW: SIX The Musical It’s An 11!

SIX On Stage

REVIEW: SIX The Musical It's An 11!

By Michael J. Herman, Interim Editor In Chief and Entertainment Reporter

©2023Michael J. Herman All Rights Reserved

From its very first guitar strum and ITS first drum beat, the explosive excitement SIX now at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood delivers cannot be under reported. To do so would be a sin of the written word. SIX is a fist-pumping, gyration-inducing, sensory extravaganza, visual spectacle the likes of which have rarely hit Hollywood.

The musical interpretation of the stories of the six wives of Henry the Eighth posthumously told in song and dance is perhaps the most inventive narrative that has come to Musical Theater since Jersey Boys.

Without exception, every performer, every cast member, and everyone in the musical company that creates the experience are Broadway In Hollywood's-Best. Some who follow my byline may be compelled to comment that my ovations can become hyperbolic if so many of my recent reviews laud and praise these productions as

Absolute Must-Sees.


 Instead, I argue that Broadway In Hollywood has continued to significantly raised      the bar.

Let me state at the outset that it is difficult to avoid seeming hyperbolic when discussing SIX as it ranks so highly on the plane of Musical Theater.

In keeping with the theme of SIX, there are 6 specific critiques worth discussing:

  1. Lighting:

Lighting rarely gets acknowledged in Broadway reviews, but the mastery of the use of lighting design in SIX is as much a part of its DNA as are the orchestrations or the venue itself. To spare a phrase, the lighting dazzles and delights. The way in which the use of light and atmosphere instantaneously create the world of this production is nothing short of outstanding!

  1. Costuming and Wardrobe:

The Look and sartorial expression can often identify a show. Consider the white mask from Phantom, the jacket from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, or the hats in A Chorus Line.

They're all iconic. While it's doubtful Halloween store will stock costumes from SIX, the designs which combine the styles of 16th Century Europe with today's current trends is transformational. It creates a world never imagined.

The color palates, nuevo lines, and inventive fashions help to create the world into which you plunge from the first stomp. That the mind never considers such attire at that time would have been heresy is easily disregarded.

  1.  Casting:

Foregoing any political or social biases, it cannot be denied that Broadway In Hollywood, (and for that matter, Musical Theater in general) have finally come to terms with their own gender and racial revolutions. The normalization of sexuality and multiculturalism on stage has arrived. And thank goodness, too.

The inclusion of a spectrum of "voices" changing the accepted norms allows for more new talent to be discovered. This is evident in SIX The Musical.

Packed with a diverse and extraordinary cast, SIX delivers on every song with unforgettable notes. Like a merry-go-round that becomes a rollercoaster and then a ride in a Ferrari, only to resume in a horse drawn carriage, SIX

never relents.

Every musical number is a masterpiece in itself. Featuring key-changing Sopranos-to-Altos of every kind, the delivery of SIX is a magnum opus.

Harmonies melt into each other while choruses bathe the inner ear in dopamine saturating bliss. Even if the songs are unfamiliar the hypnotic cadences and enthralling vocals find your lips quivering to sing along. You may even belt it out after a few bars. Every member of the cast claims their rightful place on stage and brings to life the embodiments of their Queenness.

  1. Choreography

It's hard to put into words precisely how utterly stunned I was, and continue to be by the imagination of Choreographer Carrie-Anne Ingrouille. While it is every choreographer's job to create worlds of flight and fancy, the dazzling and sometimes stunning gyrations baffle the mind as though the conscious mind literally doubts what the eyes are telling it. One has to wonder, "How'd they

do that?"


Moreover, the fact that all 6 cast members are in perfect synchronization of the mind blowing movements from start to finish further elevates the caliber of choreography. It becomes a phantasm that simply doesn't stop and never

gives way.

I'm always critical when potential is missed and it's substituted with mediocrity, but I'm also just as likely to expound on the ingenuity required to deliver invention and mastery when less could have been provided. SIX delivers in a visual dynamo that creates a theatrical experience never before seen.


  1. The Music

The Music is enthralling. While there was a single musical number that to me seemed out of place with the other orchestrations in the show, there was hardly a single minute when your ears were not being flooded in musical arrangements of masterful symphonic creations. I couldn't stop thinking to myself throughout the entire 80 minute performance, "Who thinks, Henry the VIII, Tudor music, and Rock 'N Roll?"

Who? Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, that's who. I'm calling it here and now that these two 26-year old phenoms are the next Andrew Lloyd Webber. That they began composing this groundbreaking Rock Opera while still Undergrads in college, and that they have successfully launched a transcontinental success as one of their first outings can only signify that more outstanding theatrical extravaganzas are on their way.

  1. I will conclude with the single negative criticism I have about SIX The Musical.  While I stated that every musical number in the  show is outstanding, the fact is that there was no number that I left the theater singing. There were no earworms that kept playing in my head. Tunes and perhaps melodies yes, but musical numbers? No.

While there was a short musical finale at the end of the production in the form of an encore entitled The Mega Six, it was too brief. For me, Six did not continue to play when the music stopped.

I wanted to dance out the theater doors with every great song still spinning in my head. However, my colleague did feel the finale was just right. I just wanted more. And that right there is the sign of a truly great musical and the genius behind it!

I do believe that perhaps there were one or two numbers early in the orchestrations, but by the time the final curtain fell they were a mere memory. I wish the finale had wrapped up all the great music of the production in a climactic crescendo of musical revelry. In this way, the audience would have left with their favorite musical moments still on their lips.

I highly encourage you to check out SIX. It's an 11!

SIX, at the Pantages Theater through June 10 is an absolute must see. Tickets start @ $30 and performances start at 8:00 PM.

Michael J. Herman is Critic At Large and can be found on Substack.com.

Please let me know if and how I can be of value.
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