Gabriela Carrillo as Catherine Parr (center) in The North American SIX Aragon Tour. Photo by Joan Marcus.
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The Queens of SIX are taking over South Florida this October! The Broward Center in Ft. Lauderdale and the Arsht Center in Miami are proud to kick off South Florida’s new Broadway season with the electrifying new musical phenomenon SIX by Tony Award-winners Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss this fall. Fans will have two opportunities to catch the Tony Award-winning musical beginning at the Broward Center from October 11-23, and at the Arsht Center from October 25-30.

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 that everyone is losing their head over!

Featuring an all-woman cast and all-woman band, SIX has 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.

The New York Times says SIX “TOTALLY RULES!” (Critic’s Pick) and The Washington Post hails SIX as “Exactly the kind of energizing, inspirational illumination this town aches for!”

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.

The cast features Khaila Wilcoxon as Catherine of Aragon, Storm Lever as Anne Boleyn, Jasmine Forsberg as Jane Seymour, Olivia Donalson as Anna of Cleves, Didi Romero as Katherine Howard, and Gabriela Carrillo as Catherine Parr. The cast also includes Kelsee Kimmel, Erin Ramirez, Cassie Silva and Kelly Denice Taylor. 

It was a pleasure to sit down with Gabriela Carrillo who plays Catherine Parr for this exclusive Hotspots Interview:

At what age did you begin performing?

I think my first “performance” was probably a Suzuki method violin recital when I was 3 years old, but the real spark for performing was ignited, I’d say, in 3rd or 4th grade when I auditioned and performed in my elementary school musical, a show about Lewis & Clark. After that, I went on to play “Annie” in a community production, and shortly after, made my professional theatre debut as a cast member at the American Girl Theater in downtown Chicago! I caught the performing bug and everything just went from there! 

What was your first paid gig (any amount of money)?

I got paid $100 in middle school to sing at my teacher’s daughter’s wedding as she walked down the aisle. That was pretty cool for me as a 13-year-old; three digits to sing some Celine Dion.  

When did you know performing would be your career?

I think as someone who has always had a LOT of interests and whose parents’ encouraged exploration of them all, it’s difficult to say when it really “clicked” for me that I wouldn’t be an ancient civilization archaeologist, a manga illustrator or a fantasy novelist but rather a professional performer… but performing as a career became a real goal for me in high school when I began songwriting. I would perform around Chicago on weekends accompanying myself on piano and guitar and released music regularly. At the time, I continued to do theater for fun but was extremely focused on a career as an artist and songwriter, which lead me to spend most of my summers at the program for high schoolers at Berklee College of Music.  

Other than this one, what has been your favorite role so far?

I’m not sure I can rank my roles in any way without giving a ton of explanation, because I’ve had such a special career so far in terms of playing roles I adore and connect with, but I really enjoyed the other Queen role I played back in California. I played Elsa at “Frozen: Live at the Hyperion” at Disneyland. It was the first time I had done any kind of theater where children are the majority of the audience, and I was blown away by how much responsibility I felt being up on that stage. A different kind of pressure than I had ever felt; one that didn’t frighten me but empowered me. I was constantly reminded of my childhood watching Disney shows and the magic they brought to my early years, and I felt like I had the opportunity to do the same every time I walked on stage. I felt like I never wanted to let them down. Making eye contact with these children who were truly witnessing what they feel is the most incredible real-life magic they’ve ever seen. I had to try not to cry from my heart melting at the end of every show! I only got to play the role for a few weeks because then COVID-19 shut Disney down and the show closed, but I will cherish those memories forever and ever.  

The North American SIX Aragon Tour. Photo by Joan Marcus.

What’s your fantasy role (a role you haven’t played but want to)?

I’d love to originate a role, for sure, but a bucket list role for me is Grizabella in CATS. I’m a sucker for CATS and I don’t care who knows it.  

Is it hard being on the road all the time?

It’s certainly an adjustment. I find myself missing my family and friends a lot. You can’t always make it to special events. I also have to spend my time very wisely; I can’t stay out too late or party super hard because I have a daily show (sometimes 2) to show up for the next day. I have to be very cautious about how I use my body and voice in every moment, even when I’m off stage. Living with a reduced set of your belongings can be difficult too. I kind of had to choose what I wanted to have access to for the next two years and leave the rest behind. Plus, I absolutely love traveling and seeing new cities and trying new restaurants everywhere I go. I guarantee, every city we go, I’m gonna leave saying, “I think I could live here.”  

How well do you and your castmates get along? 

We have a really fun, supportive dynamic. A lot of us are touring for the first time and so having that support system is so wonderful. I think we all were also just so thrilled and thankful to be a part of this production; it was an intense audition process and we all wanted this so badly. We’re so happy to be where we are, and that comes through at work. I also appreciate the level of honesty and authenticity we have with each other. We can really be honest about how we are feeling on any given night and the rest of the cast will give us support in whatever way we might need. The team did something special putting this group together. 

What should our readers expect from this touring company of “Six”?

This company is going to blow your mind. I am awed on stage every night by my castmates and am honored to perform beside them. We each give nothing less than 100%, every single time. We truly leave everything on that stage. I think this show is a must-see for musical theatre lovers AND skeptics alike. There’s something for absolutely everybody. Incredible music, the fiercest dancing, insanely beautiful costumes, humor, history, empowerment, and the energy is a combination of a stadium pop concert, a Broadway musical, and maybe just a tiny bit of live standup. It’s like no other Broadway production you’ve seen, I can promise that.  I dare you to try to sit still the whole time.

For more information, please visit: sixonbroadway.com/north-american-tours.

To purchase tickets to SIX at the Broward Center (Oct 11-23) or Arsht Center (Oct 25-30) go to sixsouthflorida.com. You can also visit their respective websites: BrowardCenter.org or ArshtCenter.org.