Gerianne Pérez who plays Catherine of Aragon in SIX The Musical, holds Catherine of Aragon’s striking glitzy gold costume in front of the mirror, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Houston. The silhouette was inspired by historical portraiture, but also culture figures like Beyoncé. Photo: Marie D. De Jesús/Staff photographer
Pop divas bring the sparkle to “Six,” a musical retelling of the wives of Henry VIII. The show recasts the historical women as pop star prototypes, drawing from Adele, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande.
‘OUR CULTURE HAS FAILED YOU’: Maxine Waters, other influential Black women stand up for Megan Thee Stallion over Drake lyric
Among the brightest, of course, is Beyoncé. The Houston superstar was a model for Catherine of Aragon and Anne of Cleves. Creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, in fact, watched Beyoncé’s “Live at Roseland: Elements of 4” concert film for inspiration during their first “Six” writing session.
The touring cast, including Gerianne Pérez as Catherine of Aragon, watched the “Roseland” concert together before rehearsals. “Six” plays through Nov. 20 as part of Broadway at the Hobby Center.
Pérez also drew inspiration from fellow Boricua Jennifer Lopez. Her personal watch list included Beyoncé’s “Homecoming” and Lopez’s “Halftime” documentaries on Netflix.
When: Through Nov. 20
Where: Broadway at the Hobby Center, 800 Bagby
Tickets: $35 and up; thehobbycenter.org
“JLo and Beyoncé are just power, gravitas, badass-ness, just all of it rolled into one. I really try and bring that into my portrayal of Aragon,” Pérez says, backstage at Hobby Center the day after opening.
Pérez brings the proper authority and confidence to the role, from her hand gestures to her walk. Even when she’s not singing, your eyes are drawn to her onstage.
“She’s full force and bombastic from the top. She’s always got the loudest voice. She’s always gonna be coming forward with something to say,” Pérez says of her character.
Gerianne Pérez who plays Catherine of Aragon in SIX The Musical, holds Catherine of Aragon’s striking glitzy gold costume as she speaks about the costume details, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, in Houston. The costume design was inspired by historical portraiture, but also culture figures like Beyoncé. Photo: Marie D. De Jesús/Staff photographer
Catherine of Aragon was Henry VIII’s first wife and the youngest daughter of Spanish rulers Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. She had six children, all of whom died, except for one daughter, Mary. Catherine later commissioned “The Education of a Christian Woman” for Mary, a book that urged all women to be educated. She died in 1536 at 50 years old.
During rehearsals, choreographer Carrie-Anne Ingrouille had each actress walk the stage twice: one as their historical figure and again as their pop inspiration. They thought about poise and posture and blended it all into one character.
Costuming is the final touch. Pop stars wear their…