A new Broadway diva has arrived. Her name is Nasia Thomas, and she plays one of Henry VII’s wives — Anna of Cleves—who survived his insanity. All hail to the Queen. And before I step into sharing what makes “Six” — the musical —such a hit, please take a moment and check out this YouTube video of Nasia Thomas tearing up her solo song “Get Down,” after viewing this clip, you tell me if I am wrong: a new diva has arrived.
Written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, “Six” takes a contemporary look at the wives of Henry VII. Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. From a safe distance, this is entertaining, but one can imagine the fear and horror all six of those women must have felt being at the whim of a madman. But reimagined by Marlow and Moss, these six women, are given agency, and their spirits are set free. From Tudor Queens to Pop Icons, the SIX wives of Henry VIII take the microphone to remix five hundred years of historical heartbreak into a Euphoric Celebration of 21st-century girl power! This new original musical is the global sensation everyone is losing their head over!
This is one of the best musicals I’ve seen in a long time. The critics agree because SIX won 23 awards in the 2021/2022 Broadway season, including the Tony Award® for Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics) and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. Check out The SIX: LIVE ON OPENING NIGHT Broadway album debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard cast album charts and surpassed 6 Million streams in its first month.
Thomas’ Broadway credits include: Caroline, or Change (Revival), Ain’t Too Proud, and Beautiful. Off-Broadway (Out of the Box): The Last Five Years. Regional: Beauty and the Beast (TUTS), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (MUNY), The Color Purple (MUNY), Hairspray (MUNY). TV: “The 4400” (Kenya), “That Damn Michael Che” (Kim). BFA MT Elon ’15, The Governor’s School for the Arts ’11.
Here is what Ms. Nasia Thomas, who plays Anna of Cleves (1515 – July 16, 1557) had to share about appearing in the hit musical “Six” and living in gratitude.
NJURBANNEWS: Your performance as Anna of Cleves (1515 – July 16, 1557) was a pleasant surprise.
NASIA THOMAS: I appreciate you! Thank you for coming and for your support!
NJUN: Growing up, did you have any interest in King Henry VIII and the fate of his six wives?
NT: I only knew who Henry VIII or his wives were on the first day of rehearsal! LOL Oop! I learned a lot about this man and the fierce women who put up with him.
NJUN: What has surprised you (if anything) about the audience’s reaction to the show? Where did you train? Theater and dance?
NT: ( I trained at the Governors School for the Arts in Norfolk, Va, and then I went
to undergrad at Elon University, where I received a BFA in Music Theater – in 2015). So in our show, we like to treat the audience like they are the 7th Queen, one of our besties, and even sometimes, for me, my “boo.” So we talk to them like they are right with us the entire time cause they are! And they eat it up. And that makes a show like Six so successful- how the audience is allowed and encouraged to join our party, celebrate EMPOWERMENT, and change the narrative! It is such electricity in the air when they are vocal, scream and cheer, and even talk to us from the audience. During my number, I’ve even had people try to climb on the stage and dance with me. It truly feels like a party, and everyone is invited! Before joining the cast, I heard that the audience loved the show, but I wasn’t prepared for how much they would.
NJUN: Do you have any Broadway rituals? Over the years, I’ve heard a few colorful rituals that made me smile, and some made me giggle. Care to share?
NT: I currently have a ritual I like to do before my show outside of warming up the voice and body; of course, I can’t do anything until I warm up physically. But my mental and spiritual warm-up is my favorite part, and honestly makes a difference in my performance. I recite the “Artist’s Prayer.” There is no competition on this spiritual plane. All things I seek are now seeking me. The DIVINE PLAN OF MY LIFE CANNOT BE TAMPERED WITH. It only awaits my recognition. I cannot lose anything that belongs to me by divine right- especially for my life’s plan. In the past, I had found that when I did not receive what my heart desired, I came to gain equally valuable things, if not more. My part is to have faith and go forth fearlessly, knowing this is already written out for me. Let me be at peace. I am joyful and excited about the future, knowing that it holds lessons and adventures that I will look back on with affection and gratefulness.
NJUN: What do you know now about performing so many times a week that surprised you?
NT: TO LISTEN TO MY BODY now more than ever. This is my fourth Broadway show, so I know a thing or two about performing eight times a week, with ONE day off, but this is the first show that was so physically demanding. I am learning to sit down when I need to not push through because I want to be “the strong one.” Nope, I sit down when my body tells me so, figuratively speaking. If I need rest, I REST. How will I sustain myself if I don’t do that?
NJUN: (singing) I’m the Queen of the castle. Sorry. I am singing. Hold on. Let me finish:
I’m the Queen of the castle Get down, you dirty rascal
Get down, you dirty rascal
Cause I’m the Queen of the castle
SIX is currently playing on Broadway. To learn more, their website https://sixonbroadway.com/
To connect with Ms. Thomas — here is her IG: @nasiathomas