Controversy, Faith and Reality TV Hit the Stage in "Duck Dynasty" Musical Tonight in Las Vegas

News   Controversy, Faith and Reality TV Hit the Stage in "Duck Dynasty" Musical Tonight in Las Vegas
The Las Vegas stage production of The Duck Commander Musical, based on the popular, yet controversial family from the A&E series "Duck Dynasty," premieres April 8 at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The Duck Commander will officially open April 15. 

The cast features Broadway actors Mimi Bessette (Bonnie & Clyde) as Miss Kay, Ben Thompson (Matilda) as Willie, Tad Wilson (Rock of Ages) as Phil and Russell Arden Koplin (Les Misèrables) as Missy.

The Robertson Family on "Duck Dynasty"
The Robertson Family on "Duck Dynasty"


The company also includes Jesse Lenat (Rent) as Uncle Si, Ginna Claire Mason (Newsies) as Korie, Mary Little (Grease) as Jessica, Tommy McDowell (American Idiot) as Jase, Matt Stokes (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Alan, Haley Swindal (Jekyll & Hyde) as Lisa and Josh Tolle (The Twelve) as Jep with Chelsea Rae Bernier, Christopher Harrod, Charlie Ingram and Cathy Trien.

Tony Award-nominated Newsies director Jeff Calhoun directs and choreographs the 90-minute musical that is based on the 2012 book, "The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty," written by Willie and Korie Robertson. Asa Somers is the musical's book writer and Steven Morris, Robert Morris and Joe Shane wrote the score that combines country, rock, gospel, and pop. Michael David (Jersey Boys) helped develop the production, which he is producing for the Dodgers along with Tommy Mottola.

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.

Industry members voiced skepticism when the production was first announced last November, questioning why members of the Broadway community, many of whom are LGBT and pro-LGBT, would chose to work with the Robertsons.

Here's how it's billed: "The Duck Commander Musical transports the Louisiana bayou to the Las Vegas stage in a captivating 90-minute show – seasoned with all the southern spirit and down-to-earth humor you expect from America's most famous rednecks, the Robertson family. But while the true-to-life, rags-to-riches story behind A&E's mega hit 'Duck Dynasty' will surely please its most loyal fans, audiences unfamiliar with the Robertsons will also find themselves charmed – and even moved – by this surprising tale of faith, food, and family."

The production is designed by Tobin Ost with lighting design by Michael Gilliam, sound design by John Trace, wig and hair design by Charles G. LaPointe, musical supervision by Jesse Vargas, orchestration by Steve Margoshes and casting by Duncan Stewart CSA/Benton Whitley CSA. It is produced by Tommy Mottola and the Dodgers, with Ollawood Productions.

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