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Webinar with SIX

Chanelle Cotton, Marketing Communications Manager from Broadway Inbound, sits down for a discussion with Benita de Wit, the resident director of SIX on Broadway. They talk about the success of the show, the historical events that inspired the storyline, and how the story speaks to today's audiences and celebrates powerful women.

SIX is a fun and exciting musical about the six wives of Henry VIII. The show is full of humor and catchy songs that will keep everyone entertained, and it is perfect for companies of all ages. Whether you’re planning a night out with your friends or coworkers, Broadway Inbound offers group tickets for this and many other shows, making it easy and affordable to see these hits.


Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

Hi, everyone. Thank you for joining us again today for this incredible history lesson session. Hey, Benita, so I just have to tell you. I recently took my mom to see SIX. And I knew The Mega Six was coming, and I turned to look at her, and she's crying. And I said, “Are you crying?” And she goes, “Yes.” I said, “Why are you crying?” And she said, “I'm just so happy that they turned it all around and celebrated themselves instead.”

Benita de Wit (Resident director, SIX)

I know. Without that ending, the show is just a concert. 

Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

So actually, it's funny because I'm a huge Tudors fan. And my mom was asking me why some wives were just divorced over why some ended up dying. And so, how is it decided which parts of their history would go into the show?

Like, we definitely need to tell this one. This one's - meh, not so much. What was that process? 

Benita de Wit (Resident director, SIX)

Well, the construct of the show is - it's this competition.

It's a girl group made up of the six wives. It's like a Beyonce concert with this group, but they are also competing for who had the worst time with Henry. So we start with that lens. Each of them is telling their story - in order to try and win - of what they went through. Because these women went through it. And so those are the pieces of the story that the writers went to first. And also finding things that would translate nicely into a musical, into pop songs. 

Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

And it's a runtime of about a tight 80 minutes. And I know there can be some people who are daunted by theater. If it has a long runtime. Are you hoping that this will expose people perhaps to theater that they wouldn't have considered before? Was that intentional to keep it that runtime? 

Benita de Wit (Resident director, SIX)

Yeah, we get so many people coming in who have never seen a musical before. And I feel like it's the perfect gateway musical because it's a hot concert pop musical. So if you've never seen anything - firstly, it's short, which is great. It's so much fun. You'll definitely laugh; you’ll definitely bop. And for people who are die-hard music theater fans, it's something really different - the format is really different to your standard book musical. You know, from the moment we start the curtain parts, and the queens come out through the mist, and the base is hitting you, and it's a really exciting concert experience. 

Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

And it's also all-female on stage. It's an all-female band as well. So it's just like girl power to the max degree. 

Benita de Wit (Resident director, SIX)

Female and non-binary. Yeah. 

Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

Yes. Sorry. 

Benita de Wit (Resident director, SIX)

Yes, so we’ve got our band of four on stage, who we call the ladies in waiting. One of my favorite little historical things is that they're all in the script named after real-life ladies in waiting who were ladies waiting for the queens. Yeah. So we've got Bessie on the base, who is named after Bessie Blount, who was not only a lady waiting but one of Henry's mistresses he had an illegitimate son with. It gets messy. But I love all those little details.

Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

Can people find that information in the playbill? Is it maybe on the website for super historical buffs who want to do a deeper dive? 

Benita de Wit (Resident director, SIX)

Yeah, there’s quite a lot of info in the program about each of the Queens. There's a little historical breakdown. There is also a SIX wiki that you can look up that has a lot of info. And then there are some references in there that you wouldn't understand unless you were just a die-hard history nerd, which I kind of like. There's a bit of everything. There are some things that the first time you hear, you get. And there are some things you don't understand until you catch it the third time. You go, “Oh my goodness. I never knew that.”

Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

Is there a historical reference or rumor that you didn't know before that kind of surprised you to learn? 

Benita de Wit (Resident director, SIX)

Oh, there is so much. Probably, two of my favorites. One, so there is this line in the show that Catherine Parr sings, who's the final wife. And she sings, “Remember that I was a writer. I wrote books and psalms and meditation.” Not only was she a writer, she was actually the first woman published in England with a book with her name on it. So not only was she a writer, she was like the trail-blazing female writer. 

Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

Wow. Gold star Kathy Parr. 

Benita de Wit (Resident director, SIX)

I know. I know. So I love that. And then, the whole Cleves story is one of my favorites. The more I read about Cleves… So the story goes - Henry was looking for his fourth wife at that time. And ran out of women to marry. Got his painter friend Hans Holbein, the preeminent painter at the time, sent him out to paint some portraits of women because we didn't have dating apps. So he brings his portraits, and one of them is of Anne of Cleves. And Henry is like, “Great, I'll marry her.”

She arrives and, the story goes that she was not as attractive in person as she was in her portrait. And so Henry was like, “This isn't gonna work. We're gonna get divorced.” So there’s this idea that she's this spurned woman. She's been put down. She's been ridiculed. But the more you dig into historical accounts, it just doesn't match up with her experience. She's been described as the happiest woman in the Tudor court. She ended up with a castle and half of his wealth. And there's this great story of this banquet that Henry - he was grumpy and sick and tired, and he went to bed because his leg ulcers were hurting, and Cleves was up all night partying with his new wife, Catherine Howard, dancing the night away. That's not a rejected, spurned woman. She was turning up to court being like, hey, I'm going, Henry. Right. It's one of my favorites. 

Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

And I also love - as someone who is a Tudor fan - I could appreciate some of the specific references, but I also appreciated learning new things. I didn't really know about The House of Holbein before. I knew a little bit about how he picked her because of the painting and then rejected her when she got there. But that was another aspect I didn't know. And so even my mom who - she knows the rhyme that basically everybody knows - but it's even exciting for her to then learn things. And she is like, “Is that true?” And I'm like, “Yeah, that is true.” And so even people who aren't familiar with the six wives, they're still gonna have a good time at the show, right? 

Benita de Wit (Resident director, SIX)

Oh, absolutely. I have friends come in they'll ask this question. Should I do research, am I going to get it? And you can come in knowing nothing, and you'll get a lot of the jokes. You'll have a really good time. I think it's just, you know, if you have read Wolf Hall or watched the Tudors or something, there might be a couple of extra - like a little Thomas Cromwell references. You don't need to know anything. The show gives you all the info you need. Even if you know nothing about history, even if you've never heard of Henry, which seems unlikely, but still, you get that story through the show. 

Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

And why do you think that this was such a good time for this story to be told on Broadway?

Benita de Wit (Resident director, SIX)

For a few reasons. I think, historically, we know about Henry as this powerful man who took whatever he wanted, including these women who didn't have control over their lives and bodies. Maybe even in that sense, it's a great show to be happening right now. But I think, what's so exciting about re-examining this story is that these women, all six of them, were really remarkable and actually were total trail-blazers. The things that they did…. For instance, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn between the two of them, changed the course of history. If Catherine of Aragon had agreed to the divorce as Henry wanted, he wouldn't have been forced to break with the Catholic church and begin the Church of England. If Anne Boleyn hadn't been so persuasive, none of that would have happened. So we can look at it as Henry making those changes, but it's actually how badass these women were. How strong-headed these women were.

And how much they changed British history is incredible to think about.

Chanelle Cotton (Broadway Inbound)

I love it. Well, thank you so much, Benita. And as you go out, we are gonna play a video. So everybody sit tight and thank you again.

Jimmy Fallon (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon)

We are so excited about this. The cast of SIX

Toby Marlow (Writer)

Seeing so many people on this journey of SIX. It's so lovely, and we feel so supported coming back this time around. It really symbolizes all the happiness that we’re feeling about being back. It's just so nice. 

Spectator 1

The music is really special, and it's extraordinary. 

Spectator 2

It was so empowering and awesome. 

Spectator 3

We've been waiting to see this since it came out from London. I just really enjoyed coming here tonight, and I hope I can see it again. 

Spectator 4

I literally cannot tell you how many times I have listened to this album. 

Spectator 5

Oh my gosh. The energy. 

Spectator 6, 7, 8

My favorite part was all of the show. All of it. Concur. 

Spectator 9

Everything about the show has been amazing and really empowering. 

Spectator 10

It was phenomenal. 

Spectator 11

I love it. It's so happy, and it carries such an amazing message. 

Spectator 12

It was just such a great experience. 

Spectator 13

It was my first Broadway show. It was amazing. 

Spectator 14

We love SIX

Spectator 15

Yeah, every single moment was either hilarious, heartbreaking, or just the most fun I’ve had in a theater in a long time. 

Spectator 16

When the queens came out for the first time, the crowd just went wild. The energy in that room is insane. And it's unlike anything else I've ever seen. It's not like a musical. I know it's brilliant. 

Anna Uzele (Catherine Parr, SIX)

I think you should come in to SIX ready to sing and dance, 

Andrea Macasaet (Anne Boleyn, SIX)

Even if you don't know the words. 

Brittney Mack (Anna of Cleves, SIX)

Yeah, all of live theater is imperative to the entire country in the world because we need to tell these stories and these stories need to be told.

Carrie-Anne Ingrouille (Choreographer, SIX)

I think it's a message of really standing in the shoes of who you are. 

Just have a really fun night out celebrating incredible powerful women on stage, and hopefully come away feeling super uplifted and joyful. 


We're SIX.