Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, revived.
Thirteen months after being shut down hours before its official opening, Six has a new date set for its Broadway premiere. The musical, which gives each of Henry VIII’s six wives a pop anthem to belt out, is now slated to resume performances September 17 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The official opening night is scheduled for October 3.
A presale, beginning May 6 at 10 AM ET, will be made available to those who've registered via the production's website. The general on-sale is scheduled to launch May 10.
The announcement arrives the day after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that he expects certain productions to open at 100 percent capacity as soon as September 14 (so far, no shows have announced they'll welcome audiences on that date—Six is for now in the earliest reopening slot).
The U.K.-born musical, written by Toby Marlow and director Lucy Moss, began previews February 13, 2020, and was expected to open March 12—the same day Cuomo announced that Broadway would halt performances as coronavirus case numbers grew in the U.S. While the shutdown was only announced for a few weeks initially, Broadway productions have since remained dark.
The prolonged hiatus has put a remarkable strain on new and long-running alike. Some shows that, like Six, had begun previews but had not yet opened, announced they wouldn’t return upon Broadway’s reopening. Frozen and Mean Girls, which had both been open for over a year before the shutdown, posted closing notices during the pandemic. And while Cuomo, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio, the Broadway League, and President Biden’s Chief Medical Officer Anthony Fauci have all cited this fall as a target reopening, many shows are expected to take longer to raise their curtain due to cost, not to mention complicated safety and contractual logistics with large companies.
Six, in its structure, is perhaps well suited to weather these complications. The title doesn’t lie: the cast only features a half dozen performers, with a small, on-stage orchestra. A unit set minimizes operating costs. Its 75-minute runtime can ensure audiences file in and exit safely with little-to-no mingling or intermission snacking.
Safety measures are still being sorted out, and all Broadway reopenings are contingent on final approval from the New York State Department of Health. In short, though, audiences can expect to take in performances while masked, and will likely need to provide verification of a negative COVID test or of full vaccination.
Across the pond, Six has become a poster child for the “if knocked down, get back up again”-style resiliency of U.K. theatre. After planning a drive-in style tour that was eventually scrapped, the musical reopened in London’s West End December 5, but played less than 10 days before the country entered another lockdown. It is now expected to resume May 21, playing to 50 percent capacity for at least the first month of its run.
The Broadway company, at the time of the shutdown, featured Adrianna Hicks as Catherine of Aragon, Andrea Macasaet as Anne Boleyn, Brittney Mack as Anna of Cleves, Abby Mueller as Jane Seymour, Samantha Pauly as Katherine Howard, and Anna Uzele as Catherine Parr; casting for its return will be confirmed later.
Producers for the Broadway run include Kenny Wax, Wendy and Andy Barnes, George Stiles, and Kevin McCollum.