Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Phoenix

Six: Teen Edition
Limelight Performing Arts
Review by Gil Benbrook

Six, the energetic and infectious musical that cleverly reimagines the stories of King Henry VIII's six wives through a pop concert format, has proven to be a big hit in London, on Broadway, on tour, and across the world. The musical, conceived and written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, won the Tony Award for its fun and upbeat pop score and has found a huge fan base within young theatre lovers, many of whom have memorized all of the show's catchy lyrics.

Due to its popularity with those young performers, and even though the show is still running on Broadway, in London, on tour, and in several other cities around the world, it seems fitting that Marlow and Moss have quickly come up with a slightly edited version that's available to be produced exclusively by youth theatre companies and schools. Featuring all of the songs from the original West End and Broadway productions, with only a few small edits or changes to the lyrics to make them more PG-13 friendly, it's a great showcase for talented teenagers to sing their faces off while still focusing on the independent views of the characters and the need for women to support each other instead of tearing each other down. Limelight Performing Arts is presenting what I believe is the first production of Six: Teen Edition in the Phoenix area, and it's excellent.

The show uses a collection of catchy pop-style tunes to highlight the struggles and hardships faced by each wife, framing their experiences as a competition to see who suffered the most. While the book may have a few flaws and leans into female stereotypes at times, it ultimately portrays all six wives as strong, independent, and unapologetic women who come together to celebrate their shared experiences.

Emma England's direction effectively delineates each wife, and her costumes, while similar to Gabriella Slade's distinct and colorful Tony winning costumes, add visual flair and give each wife her own unique style. There are four different sets of cast members playing the six wives across the two-week Limelight run and at the performance I attended, Abbi Spector, Satara Nutley, Jovie Pond, Addison Roundy, Paige Erdmann, and Maeli Kemp were on fire as the wives. All six young women deliver sublime performances with exceptional singing voices that showcase their vocal prowess, including some exceptional high notes, expert phrasing, and some gorgeous harmonies under England's crisp musical direction.

While musical tracks are used, they are excellent. England and Kayla King's stylized and constantly changing choreography is exceptional and danced well by the entire cast. England's set is minimal but works well and her lighting design creates a dynamic backdrop with ever changing colors and moods.

Despite its minimal plot, Six is a fun and empowering concert style musical that offers a fresh take on history, allowing these women to reclaim their stories and support each other in the process. The teen edition of the show proves to be a wonderful showcase for talented young performers. With a strong cast and sharp direction, Limelight Performing Arts' production is exceptional.

Six: Teen Edition runs through May 19, 2024, at Limelight Performing Arts, 511 W Guadalupe Rd Suite 12, Gilbert AZ. For tickets and information, please visit or call 480-545-1492.

Direction/Music Direction/Set/Lighting/Sound Design: Emma England
Choreography: Emma England & Kayla King

Catherine of Aragon: Abbi Spector
Anne Boleyn: Satara Nutley
Jane Seymour: Jovie Pond
Anna of Cleves: Addison Roundy
Katherine Howard: Paige Erdmann
Catherine Parr: Maeli Kemp