Las Vegas headlining queens of today offer up inspiration for the spectacled show now at The Venetian
“It is really a perfect show to be in Vegas.” That is what Gabriela Carrillo has to say about Six The Musical. That is most certainly saying something considering that Six is about the six wives of Henry VIII. Admittedly, the history of a monarch who changed wives more than some casinos change their name doesn’t exactly scream ‘lively night in Las Vegas.’
But, it most definitely does.
More appropriately, it sings it into the skies over the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World.
Six The Musical
WHAT: Six The Musical
WHEN: Now through May 7
SHOW TIMES: Tuesday through Friday at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday at 6:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Sunday at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: The Palazzo Theater inside The Venetian Resort
TICKETS: Starting at $69.99
MORE INFORMATION: VenetianLasVegas.com
True, Vegas certainly sees its share of men who have multiple matrimonies. But, it is not exactly associated with the reigning monarchy of the early 1500’s.
On the other hand, this is Las Vegas.
“They are just ready to party,” say Didi Romero, who plays Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII. “Vegas is always ready to party. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday, or Tuesday.”
No arguments about that from us.
Six The Musical, a remix of five centuries of her-storical heartbreak into a female-forward, woman power and sexual empowerment jammed into an hour and a half of song and spirit. There is a reason that Six has two Tonys, a UK tour and two North American tours – one of which is taking up residence at the Palazzo Theater. It’s that talked about.
“I think that entertainment can often tell stories of women through the eyes of men, or for the male gaze,” says Gabriela Carillo, who is Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth wife. She,and five women (plus 4 alternates) play the spouses of King Henry VIII. “To celebrate sexuality, to celebrate empowerment and love of self on stage without a man on stage and through the eyes of women, that is very unique.”
That sentiment is echoed by Didi Romero. “We are so used to a certain box when it comes to performing as a woman,” says Didi who plays Katherine Howard, the fifth wife of King Henry. The In The Heights alum is more than happy to sever any on-stage stereotypes. “This is just us breaking that box. We just tore it apart, and now we can do whatever we want.” She continues, “we can be goofy, we can be sexy, we can be unapologetic.”
It is that out-of-the-box behavior and performance that is being revered both on and off stage.
“As women we should be celebrating each other and our differences. It should be a celebration, not a comparison,” says Jasmine Forsberg who performs as Jane Seymour. “I have an amazing time every single night because we are all women of color. And to be able to step into our power and own it – wow! That is an experience that I have never seen on stage before let alone be a part of it.”
Though the Queens of Six are changing the perspective on the past a bit, it is the queens of today that inspired the roles for each queen in Six The Musical. Not surprisingly a lot of those royal roots stem from Las Vegas headliners.
“It’s really cool because to the public, all of the Queens are sort of based on famous pop divas: Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Adele,” says Kelsee Kimmel. “But, we get to pick different ones for all of the queens that we play.” For the alternate on three different roles Kelsee says there is one queen who weighs heaviest in her heart. “The one that is threaded for me across all three of mine is Celine Dion. I mean it’s just Celine.”
“My queen-spirations are Adele and Sia. But I like to sprinkle in some Kelly Clarkson (who starts her residency in July at Bakkat Theater) in there too,” says Jasmine. “I love to have some fun and give sultry ballad power tones and huge belting songs.”
“Katherine Howard’s queen-spirations are Britney Spears and Ariana Grande,” says Didi. “It’s really cool to portray Katherine Howard with a little bit of Britney because of the whole thing that happened.” Though Katherine was beheaded by King Henry VII, she says the struggles of the 16th century are just as relevant in 2023 . “These queens have gone through so much and these are problems that are still happening today.” Save for the public beheadings of course.
The musical muses for Six aren’t just confined to the Strip either. Nope, in fact, other fierce females give off major influencing vibes. As expected, a few of the Six queens are inspired by Queen B herself.
“I play Catherine of Aragon and my queen-spiration is Beyoncé,” says Khaila Wilcoxon before facetiously adding, “you know, the Casual Queen. But, I also bring a little bit of Cardi B into mine because she is a Spanish Queen and she’s got a little rap and flair. She can go from zero to 100 in a second.”
For Olivia Donalson who belts out tunes as Anna of Cleves she too is born from a recent rap royal, “The writers based my character, Anna of Cleves, off of Nicki Manaj and a little bit of Rhianna,” says Olivia. “My personal ‘Queen-spiration’ is Lizzo.”
“One of my friends texted me and said, ‘your Seymour is giving off Whitney Houston meets Brandy.’” said a smiling Kelly Denice Taylor, an alternate who plays Seymour, Anna of Cleves and Catherine of Aragon.
Six The Musical sings about the similar struggles that the female sex still endures today. It also adds an espresso-sized java jolt of evolution for women. That is true both on stage and behind the scenes.
Read More: Get To Know The Four Women Leading Resorts World Las Vegas
“It is so much about female empowerment,” says Storm Lever who plays Anne Boleyn. “When we walked into that room for the [first] day to see the team, it was the first time that I had entered a space where so many women were leading the room and it was amazing. We are taking back the narrative, we are taking control. That is in the direction, in the storytelling of the artists, the way we portray these characters. We are really getting to own our femininity.”
“It is a perfect show to be in Vegas,” Gabriella doubles down on her earlier description. “I keep saying it but [Six] is the show to see even if you are skeptical about theater. You are going to laugh, you’re going to dance and it is so visually stimulating.
Now that sounds like a Vegas show to us.
To see Six and claim your crown, you mustn’t dilly dally. It is on a limited seven week run with eight performances inside the Palazzo Theater at The Venetian Resort.
Added note: To see what six things the Queens of SIX would need to have a successful Las Vegas trip see this exclusive video on social media.