One of the most anticipated musicals of the season begins playing at the Buell Theatre on Tuesday night, the last major tour to visit the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in 2023. “SIX,” the Broadway tour, plays the DCPA from Dec. 5 to 24.
CBS News Colorado’s Dillon Thomas traveled to Austin, Texas for an exclusive advanced preview of the show before it arrived in Denver. There, the cast and band for the show shared how the production brings representation to both the stage and a historic tale.
SIX follows the story of King Henry VIII’s six wives. For centuries their stories have largely been overshadowed by the way the king separated from them. However, oftentimes their personal stories and accomplishments are not told.
SIX changes that, giving the stage to the Tudor Queens and only the queens.
The show is only 80 minutes long and does not include an intermission. There is never an appearance from a King Henry VIII character, giving all the attention to the queens and their ladies in waiting, or the band.
“(The show) is opening doors for female-identifying or nonbinary,” said Valerie Maze, one of the band members.
Everyone on stage identifies as either female or nonbinary. Those CBS News Colorado spoke with said they loved how the show gave a voice to both the queens and the previously underrepresented.
“Knowing the representation you are bringing. It is pretty rare for a musical to have an all-female, nonbinary pit. Much less one that is on stage for everyone to see,” said Kami Lujan, one of the band members.
“This show in particular humanizes these (queens) and brings value to what they went through,” said Jana Larell Glove, one of the cast members who portrays queens.
Those in the band, known as the “Ladies in Waiting,” said they love being part of a team that is made up completely of people just like them.
“This is the first band I have played in where it has been all-female and nonbinary,” Maze said.
Those on stage say this story of centuries ago can still have modern messages for audiences today.
“If you have a dream you can really take it there because we are doing it,” said Rose Laguana, one of the band members.
Those on stage said they enjoy knowing they are bringing representation to the stage, knowing there may be young people at every show seeing someone who looks like them perform. Representation is brought through gender, sexuality and race.
“How exciting it is knowing some kid may be coming to the show and seeing you up on stage,” Lujan, who identifies as nonbinary, said. “Maybe there is some little girl or nonbinary kid coming to the show and we are their queens up on stage.”
“Not seeing someone who looked like me made a difference (growing up seeing shows.) Maybe another young black girl can see me and that will speak volumes. Because, if I know I had seen more of that, I would have more confidence to do what I do now,” said Sterlyn Termine, a band member.
“To be able to be part of a movement that is paving the way, to show the younger generation that if we can do it they can too,” Laguana said.
Be it by hearing the stories of the queens and their accomplishments, or seeing greater representation through the musical, those performing with SIX said they hope everyone walks away emboldened.
“The biggest takeaway from the show is learning to use your voice, being heard and telling your story the way you want it to be told,” Larell Glover said.
If you would like tickets for the Denver stop, click here.
Those hoping to enter the lottery for discounted tickets should click here.
CBS News Colorado is a proud partner of the DCPA.