SIX is a Remarkable Musical that Will Leave you Humming Long After the Curtain Falls

Twenty-four hours ago, I knew I would be going to the National Arts Centre to see a show called SIX, but I purposely didn’t investigate the production. I went in without any knowledge of what I was about to see.

Fast forward to post-show, and I find myself immersed in the soundtrack. With a trip to London, England, days away, I have already checked to see if SIX is playing there. It is, but tickets are sold out.

This review is being written with the songs from SIX echoing off of my office walls.

How did we get here?

Broadway Across Canada, that’s how! Les Misérables, Disney’s The Lion King, and Hamilton are some upcoming shows at the National Arts Centre. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of musical theatre, you have heard of these top-rated shows.

The lineup of shows that Broadway Across Canada brings to the NAC deserves praise, particularly for the exceptional choice of SIX. This is no surprise since Broadway Across Canada has yet to lead us astray, but SIX was a very pleasant surprise for me.

SIX is a huge Broadway hit currently playing in New York, the UK, Australia, and Ottawa, to name a few.

The show, written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, is a modern retelling of the six wives of Henry VIII. There is a competition of sorts as each wife tries to demonstrate who had it worst being married to Henry.

The show was initially performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017 by students from Cambridge University. In 202, it won 23 awards during the 2021/2022 Broadway season, including the Tony Award for Best Original Score, and it continues to sell out venues.

The show is an anthem for female empowerment. An all-female band joins the cast onstage. Nothing about SIX feels preachy or like the audience is being lectured to. It is incredibly uplifting and positive.

The entire cast comprises the six wives, all of whom are exceptionally talented and remarkable singers. They each have an opportunity to shine, and they do shine.

The cast includes Kristina Leopold (Catherine of Aragon), Cassie Silva (Anne Boleyn), Kelly Denice Taylor (Jane Seymour), Danielle Mendoza (Anna of Cleves), Alize Cruz (Katherine Howard), and Adriana Scalice (Catherine Parr).

Each artist has their own song, and several songs are performed as a group. The songs are fun, catchy and also serve as a piece of history with a modern spin.

There isn’t a ‘weak link’ in this performance. Whether performed solo or in unison, each song is powerful and will stay with you.

In the same way that Lin Manuel Miranda prompted audiences to delve into the history of Alexander Hamilton, this production empowers the wives of Henry VIII, allowing them to raise their voices and tell their stories.

The six singers harmonize extremely well together. The choreography is also well done—it’s fun and, at times, fast-paced, and the show is extremely well staged with vibrant colours.

The crowd at the NAC enthusiastically received this show, which is playing through Sunday, May 26.

SIX is an outstanding show. Twenty-four hours ago, my knowledge of it was minimal, and now I can’t wait to see it again—and I definitely will.

Grade: A-

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For information on Broadway Across Canada shows coming soon to Ottawa, visit

Photo: Joan Marcus