'Six' creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss reflect on their journey to the Tony Awards
"I'm so proud of my friend Toby winning a Tony. The Tonys are going to rename themselves for Toby Marlow!" joked Lucy Moss, the co-creator of the musical Six, after she and Marlow won the 2022 Tony Award for Best Original Score.
Even without getting the awards renamed, Marlow's win is particularly historic. They were the first openly non-binary Tony nominee in history, and now, they've become the first non-binary winner. Alongside them this year was A Strange Loop actress L Morgan Lee, the first openly transgender acting nominee, and The Skin of Our Teeth set designer Adam Rigg, the first openly agender design nominee.
"This was really amazing, to be part of a season where there is so much queerness on stage explicitly," Marlow said. "I really hope that there are more and more queer people swarming Broadway, lots of new waves."
Marlow and Moss's journey with Six, in which Henry VIII's six wives tell their own stories with pop music, has already taken them around the world and back before getting eight Tony nominations and two wins (the other was for costume designer Gabriella Slade). But it all started with one important "yes" from a producer who came upon the show by chance, back when the two were college students at Cambridge University in 2017.
"Our producer Kenny Wax asked if we'd like to do a festival showcase," Moss said. "We'd written the show for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a student cast, and then he was like, 'I've got this theatre in the West End. Are Monday nights free? Would you like to do four showcases with a professional cast?' He was sitting in his office on Shaftesbury Avenue, which is like the Broadway of the West End, and looking out at the [Gillian] Lynne [Theatre], I was like, 'This is the biggest thing ever.'"
Spoiler alert: Six, objectively a small musical (with six cast members and an 80-minute running time), would only get bigger. The show toured the U.K., U.S., and Australia before even hitting Broadway and earned a massive global fanbase, primarily among young women, thanks in part to the streaming success of its cast album. Moss hopes Six's success proves the wealth of talent to be found in young artists.
"I hope that Six can show that people who haven't done anything before are worth taking a chance on," Moss said. "It's about investing in those younger, less likely, less experienced people in those spaces like the Edinburgh Fringe... and spending money and investing time and finding people who have the passion and the voice."
This duo, for one, are just getting started. Marlow also teased future projects that they and Moss are working on, including an "animated family film," per Marlow, and a musical titled Why Am I So Single? Who knows — maybe that'll be their next Tony-winning hit.
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