This piece has the potential to be a fun-house mirror held up to humanity’s (in)ability to cope with tragedy and misfortune. We can stay on board for this. That is until we encounter, among other things, living toys, sequined galaxy-hopping country music stars and a city council made up of ex-Soviet dogs.
The musical theatre reviews featured here are written by reviewers, not critics. These impressions and opinions are from individuals passionate about musical theatre and represent, in most cases, one observation of one performance. The primary purpose in publishing reviews is to help patrons decide whether a production is a good use of their time and entertainment budget. Our reviewers are also encouraged to creatively shine a light on particularly good work done onstage and backstage, understanding that successful productions happen because of the work of many. Finally, ChicagolandMusicalTheatre's reviewers are asked to walk into a show expecting enjoyable entertainment—because that's the mindset of patrons who buy tickets to professional theatre.
But nobody quite lives up to Gene Weygandt as Pops. A classic Chicago patriarch, Pops is the nasal-voweled, wisecracking, meat-loving old-timer that every Chicagoan knows, if not grew up with.
Because what may have been surprising in 1981 is commonplace in 2019. Scandal then, run-of-the-mill now. Yesterday’s illegal is today’s recreational. And all of that speaks to our increasing tolerance, even as there are multiple hills yet to be climbed.
All of that needs to run like a hilariously well-oiled and demented machine, and does here, thanks to the collaboration of Rawitz’s expert pacing, Kailey Rockwell’s spot-on musical direction and Bryan J. Wlas choreography, which alternates between vaudevillian soft shoe and a little bump-and-grind.
“SIX” is a funny, sexy, tuneful, oh-so-relevant re-imagination of paternalistic history from empowering women’s points of view. And in this reviewer’s humble opinion, it’s the most significant new piece of musical theatre since “Hamilton.” Following its Chicago opening and planned stops in Toronto and Boston, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see a long Broadway run and a host of Tony Awards, come 2020.