After a run of about 15 minutes, Duck Commander Musical has announced a quick closing at the Rio in Las Vegas. Based on Willie and Korie Robertson’s 2012 book about the Louisiana family and the franchise built on its A&E Network series Duck Dynasty, the bio-revue was the brainchild of Broadway’s Dodger Productions (Jersey Boys) and was staged by Jeff Calhoun (Newsies). The show’s book is by Asa Somers, and the score, by Steven Morris, Robert Morris and Joe Shane, ranges from country and rock to gospel. The show began performances on April 8, held a press opening on April 15 and will disappear after May 17.
The musical blew in on the winds of controversy. One family member, Phil Robertson, was suspended by A&E in December 2013 after his anti-gay comments were published in an interview with GQ. Robertson said at the time that his beliefs are based on Scripture. In the wake of protests, the suspension was lifted after nine days.
But some in the Broadway community were less forgiving. A Page 1 story in The New York Times in November touting the show’s Broadway pedigree quoted veteran producer Emanuel Azenberg, who called the project “pretty disgusting,” a sentiment shared by many in the generally liberal-leaning, accepting theater culture.
Apparently, the Vegas crowd wasn’t in an embraceable mood either. The Crown is a nightclub-style venue in the hotel where Penn & Teller and Chippendales dancers also perform. Attendance figures were not available, and a representative for the hotel didn’t immediately return request for a statement about the unusually quick closing.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, said in a released statement that “Duck Commander will now consider several possible opportunities for the next stage in the life of the show, including extended sit-down engagements in interested cities, as well as a national tour.”