'Duck Dynasty' expanding to the stage with "The Duck Commander Family Musical" in Las Vegas
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/13/2014
Duck Dynasty's famous Robertson family is taking their story to the stage, as they've convinced a Broadway team to create a musical in Las Vegas.
The Robertsons -- known for their long beards, duck-hunting gear and occasional religious controversy -- will be the inspiration for "The Duck Commander Family Musical," a 90-minute show featuring actors playing the family members from A&E's Duck Dynasty as they celebrate their history, The New York Timesreported.
Willie Robertson, chief executive of the Duck Commander company, reportedly said in a statement Duck Dynasty has been "a great ride so far" and his family has approval rights over the musical's script and casting process.
"We've enjoyed the process of making a musical alongside the team who is interested in telling the Robertson family story from an outside perspective," said Robertson, whose 2012 book about the family, written with his wife Korie, is the basis for the musical.
The show is reportedly expected to open in February at the Rio hotel and casino and feature video of the real Robertsons, the clan duck hunting, family anecdotes, and a 14-song score that mixes show tunes, country and blues. The opening number will likely be "Faith, Food and Family."
The Robertsons are strict Catholics and often preach their religious views in public, offending many people and sparking controversies. The family's patriarch Phil Robertson, for example, once compared homosexuality to bestiality -- calling it a terrible sin.
"The show will end up challenging the views and assumptions of people across the political spectrum, more than most theater does," Michael David, the Broadway producer who is developing the show, said in a statement obtained by The Times.
"The Robertsons are so unusual, their story so juicy, and theater shouldn't be limited to telling stories about people you resemble or revere."
In addition to the concerns of gay rights leaders, David himself and the musical's director Jeff Calhoun have reportedly been offended by some of Robertson's comments, however, they got involved with the project prior to the incidents.
"We've agreed to disagree on some things, but we're family and we love and respect each other," Calhoun reportedly said, adding that such offensive remarks will be addressed in the musical. "I like to think that this musical could bridge some gaps, too."
Steven Morris, one of the composers of "The Duck Commander Family Musical" explained "the specificity and the strangeness of the family's lives and home are a great fit for a compelling musical."
"I think the expectation is that it'll be all chicken-pickin' stuff and banjos, but what we're trying to do is pull out as much heart, humor and sincerity as we can to keep people surprised," Morris noted, according to The Times.
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Morris reportedly predicts the musical will attract a fairly large audience as Duck Dynasty's sixth-season finale racked in four million viewers for its August. The show's seventh edition will premiere Wednesday, November 19.