What on earth were the producers of the hit “Jersey Boys” thinking when they came up with the idea for “The Duck Commander Musical?” It seems they were thinking that theatre goers are the same type of people as tv watchers, or perhaps that they could convince tv watchers to become theatre goers. But they were wrong on both counts.
“The Duck Commander Musical” opened in Las Vegas on April 15. According to Outdoor Hub, it was supposed to run through June, but it will close on May 17. Representatives for the production say that they “have learned from this limited engagement,” and that they will consider “extended sit-down engagements in interested cities, as well as a national tour.” If they are considering taking this train wreck on tour, you can’t help but wonder just how much they have learned.
Everything surrounding this show has been a complete disaster, according to A.V. Club. Evangelical Christians, who are largely the target audience for the show, are not thrilled about visiting “sin city” Las Vegas. Some who work in the Broadway community, where many are liberal, gay, or both, are unhappy that some of their colleagues would work with the right wing “Christian” Robertson family. Longtime Broadway producer Emanuel Azenberg tells the New York 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.
It’s bad enough that we have to listen to the prose coming from the mouth of Phil Robertson, and the other members of this fraudulent family, who all looked like typical preppy businessmen until A&E turned them into Bin Laden-bearded rednecks. But how many people really want to hear an actor, playing Robertson, singing about how homosexuality is akin to bestiality? Apparently, not enough people to keep the show open, as poor ticket sales has been cited as the reason for the production’s early closure. Web Pro News speculates that it is the continuing controversy surrounding Phil Robertson’s opinions that sunk the show.
But by many accounts, what really sunk the show was that it is simply terrible theatre. A.V. Club says,
[A] show celebrating the Robertson family—which has become synonymous with comments conflating gays with terrorists in their mutual damnation—somehow failed to catch on with fans of musical theater.
In the end, it seemed Duck Commander Musical managed to be an equal opportunity offender on a purely aesthetic level, as even the sort of Vegas crowd that would willingly eat an $8 prime rib turned up its nose.
If you are wondering what you might have missed by not attending this show, here’s the trailer, via YouTube:
Featured image via screen shot from YouTube