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Six opens on Broadway: review round-up

What did the US critics make of Six?

The Broadway cast of Six
© Joan Marcus

It seems fitting that Six had a Broadway opening for the history books – having its 2020 premiere cancelled mere hours before curtain up due to the pandemic's arrival in the city.

But the global sensation, based on the wives of Henry VIII, has finally opened on the Great White Way at the Brooks Atkinson theatre after many, many months of waiting. But one question remains – what did the critics think?

Well, very many positive things, we're excited to say. Putting cards on the table – we're particularly invested in the show as the website that first premiered the professional version of the piece with opening number "Ex Wives", back in 2017.

It's exciting that the Broadway critics think the same! Our sister site in the US, TheaterMania, gave the show a positive write-up (remember, stars are not the done-thing in the US) saying: "Even if the ladies' rivalry turns out to be a sham, it is quite a musical feat — for composers Marlow and Moss, as well as the performers delivering their material — to keep it such a nail-biting race with no clear front-runner...Six gets to return to Broadway practicing exactly what it preaches: Embrace power, not superlatives.

The New York Times was similarly enthusiastic: "Somehow Six by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, isn't a philosophically incoherent jumble; it's a rollicking, reverberant blast from the past. I don't just mean that it's loud, though it is; you may clutch your ears even before the audience, primed by streaming audio and TikTok, starts singing along to the nine inexhaustibly catchy songs.

"I also mean that though gleefully anachronistic, mixing 16th-century marital politics with 21st-century selfies and shade, it suggests a surprising, disturbing and ultimately hopeful commonality. Which shouldn't work, but does."

Variety came in with a similar tune, proclaiming: "Long live these Broadway Queens...There's the spirit-lifting energy of an arena concert, the humor and sass of a special sisterhood, and a ton of biographical exposition easily received in rap and snap."

The Washington Post also stated: "the pulse-quickening pleasure trove that Broadway has been waiting for...an exhilarating jolt of musical theatre wit and joyful affirmation. At times, the vibe becomes so contagious that it may float you out of your very seat."

Deadline praised the creative involvement, saying: "Played out on Emma Bailey's dazzling set that can shift from Vegas glitz to stained glass cathedral in the flash of Tim Deiling's clever lighting design, Six never seems to take itself seriously until it does, letting its sly insights creep to the fore."

It was a joyful night for the creative team, with co-director and writer Lucy Moss said: "It feels so wonderful to be FINALLY opening on Broadway! The last 18 months have obviously been heartbreaking, knowing our Queens, our band, and our amazing team could not do what they love.

"So it feels extra special to be opening tonight and we feel so unbelievably grateful they're all back where they belong!"

You can book for Six on Broadway here, and in the West End at the Vaudeville below.

Next stop Tonys?