Misbehaving men: SIX, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, KING AND I, plus Under the Skin, Coleman ’72, A New Brain, 44, Whittier Boulevard

Olivia Donalson as Anna of Cleves, surrounded by the other queens in “Six,” at the Pantages Theatre. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Before a jury held Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming E. Jean Carroll and awarded her $5 million, Trump claimed in a deposition that male “stars” have grabbed and groped women for “millions of years” — “unfortunately or fortunately.”

Leaving that unfortunate “fortunately” aside, the musicals that currently occupy three of LA County’s larger stages suggest that there is a smidgen of truth in Trump’s observation that his predatory assaults on women unite him with many other heterosexual men through the centuries (if not for “millions of years”).

  • In the LA premiere of “Six” at the Pantages Theatre, we hear sung testimonials from 21st-century apparitions of Henry VIII’s six wives about his “toxic masculinity” in the 16th century, when two of his wives were beheaded.
  • In the Pasadena Playhouse revival of “A Little Night Music,” at Pasadena Playhouse, the arrogant philanderer Count Carl-Magnus Malcom surely would qualify as a Trump role model from around 1900.
  • In “The King and I,” at La Mirada Theatre, the titular monarch of 1860s Siam owns a harem of women — something that Trump would probably consider, if he could pull it off without Melania demanding $5 million in hush money.

Let’s start with “Six,” written by the young Brits Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss. In essence, Henry’s six wives vent about their mostly unhappy dealings with Henry in the first half of the 1500s — using music, dance, fantasy fashions and attitude from the first decades of the 2000s.

“Six” is more of a themed pop revue than a musical drama, complete with encouragement by the cast for audience members to whoop and applaud during songs, thereby obscuring some of the lyrics. Don’t expect “Six” to provide a cogent account of the history. At least it’s compact — 90 minutes, no intermission. Read more…