Six is the global smash-hit pop musical that took Broadway by storm this year. The show has been seen by over half a million people around the world, and the cast recording has been streamed over 100 million times. Six tells the story of the six wives of King Henry VIII – Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anna of Cleves, Katherine Howard, and Catherine Parr – having each of them in the spotlight and flipping the one-sided patriarchal narrative we learned in our history textbooks. Let’s break down some black Broadway queens who would be stellar as these Tudor queens.
Catherine of Aragon – MJ Rodriguez
If you know both Six and MJ well, you should know that this one needs no explanation. First off, Catherine of Aragon’s character in the show is inspired by Beyoncé, something MJ would definitely be able to convey well. Secondly, MJ’s voice demands your attention (if you’ve never seen the iconic video of her singing “Satisfied”, it is required viewing) and that’s a quality needed for all women who play Aragon, as she needs to start off the show strong. Also, there’s several parallels between Aragon and Bianca, MJ’s character on Pose, so she has this in the bag.
Honorable mentions: Jai’Len Josey, Saycon Sengbloh, Christiani Pitts
Anne Boleyn – Brynn Williams
I’ve been a fan of Brynn’s since she played Cassie in Jason Robert Brown’s 13, so I know how this woman can sing her head off (pun 100% intended). Brynn would be able to deliver Anne Boleyn’s one-liners with ease, and just thinking about her high notes at the end of “Don’t Lose Ur Head” gives me goosebumps. This casting choice would be nothing short of iconic.
Honorable mentions: Storm Lever, Hailey Kilgore, Samantha Williams
Jane Seymour – Amber Riley
If you’ve never heard Amber Riley sing, I would like to express my deepest condolences. The Glee and Dreamgirls alum would be absolutely stunning as Jane Seymour, and would definitely add her own Effie White flare to Seymour’s slower ballad “Heart of Stone” which was inspired by both Adele and Sia. Just take a second to imagine the riffs she would give us and the vocal power she’d exude. She’d probably do it effortlessly too.
Honorable mentions: Charity Angel Dawson, Joaquina Kalukango, Ayana George
Anna of Cleves – Loren Lott
Anna of Cleves’ comedic lines and hilarious song, entitled “Get Down”, make this role a perfect fit for Loren. Not to mention her naturally bubbly personality and spirited energy – all of these factors make her a fantastic choice, and she would definitely bring aspects of her own self into the role.
Honorable mentions: Bre Jackson, Rachel John, Ariana DeBose
Katherine Howard – Ashley De La Rosa
Because Ashley made her Broadway debut as the standby for Regina George in Mean Girls, it would be fitting for her to play yet another character who dons pink and can belt for her life. Katherine Howard relays her history of gross mistreatment at the hands of men in her Britney Spears-esque song that goes through it all, so Ashley’s stellar vocal and acting chops would shine in this role for sure.
Honorable mentions: Kristolyn Lloyd, Adrienne Warren, Joanna A. Jones
Catherine Parr – Alysha Deslorieux
Catherine Parr’s character is inspired by both Alicia Keys and Emeli Sandé, and Alysha’s silky voice has qualities of both. On top of that, Catherine Parr was originated on Broadway by Anna Uzele, who replaced Alysha as Andrea in the Broadway revival of Once on this Island in July 2018. Alysha has a knack for playing reserved but complex characters like Parr, as she played Eliza in Hamilton’s Chicago production. Her rendition of “I Don’t Need Your Love” would definitely make for an unforgettable theatrical experience.
Honorable mentions: Jasmine Cephas-Jones, Jordin Sparks, Taylor Iman Jones
Let us know YOUR Six dreamcasts!