Duck Dynasty Musical, Controversy in Tow, Heading for the Stage

News   Duck Dynasty Musical, Controversy in Tow, Heading for the Stage
The Duck Commander Family Musical, a stage production based on the controversial family from the A&E series "Duck Dynasty," is heading for the stage, according to the New York Times. Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun is attached to direct.

Phil Robertson
Phil Robertson

The 90-minute production, which will cast actors to portray the family, is eyeing a Las Vegas premiere at the Rio Hotel and Casino in February 2015.

Michael David (Jersey Boys) is working with the Robertson family to develop the work, which will explore their family history and is based on the 2012 book, "The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty."

Steven Morris, Robert Morris and Joe Shane, who last collaborated on the once Broadway-aimed musical White Noise (a cautionary musical about White supremacists), are writing the 14-song score for The Duck Commander Family Musical. Asa Somers is the musical's book writer.

The Robertsons are equally well-known for their A&E series as they are for their controversial remarks about LGBT individuals. In a 2013 interview with GQ Magazine, Phil Robertson called the LGBT lifestyle sinful and illogical and compared homosexuality with bestiality.

The Times reports that many individuals within the theatre community, many of whom are LGBT and pro-LGBT, are shocked that their contemporaries would want to work with the family. Veteran producer Emanuel Azenberg told the Times, "It's pretty disgusting, but it's also a reminder that Broadway is mostly about making entertainment today — not art — even if it means getting involved with a family whose members say things that offend a lot of people working on Broadway."

Calhoun, the Tony-nominated director of Newsies, and producer David said they had made peace with the family's differing point of view on LGBT individuals, despite being offended by their remarks. "The show will end up challenging the views and assumptions of people across the political spectrum, more than most theater does," David said.

David told the Times that, at this point, a Broadway run is not part of the plan for the musical. 

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