A musical based on the lives of the family behind the hit A&E show Duck Dynasty has reportedly flopped in Las Vegas. The show at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino drew weak ticket sales and will close after a monthlong run.
The Duck Commander Musical, which was based on the best-selling book The Duck Commander Family by Willie and Korie Robertson, premiered on April 15 and was expected to play until June 30. However, organizers said that the musical will now be closing on May 17 instead.
“Much has been learned from this limited engagement, and from the great support from everyone who has come to see this first staging of this completely new musical,” representatives for the production told Playbill in a statement. “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.”
You can see the trailer for the musical below:
According to CBS Las Vegas, the musical struggled to sell tickets and routinely filled only 100 of the 680 available seats in the Crown Theater for each show. The show drew criticism from some in the Broadway community due to controversial comments made by Phil Robertson in 2013. Robertson, the 69-year-old patriarch of the Robertson family and the founder of the Duck Commander brand, has been criticized heavily over the past two years for making comments that some see as homophobic and racist. It was something that the musical’s producer, Michael David, expected.
“The show will end up challenging the views and assumptions of people across the political spectrum, more than most theater does,” he told The New York Times in an interview last year.
Both David and stage director Jeff Calhoun said that they were disturbed by Robertson’s remarks, but will nonetheless address them in the musical. According to the Duck Commander Musical’s website, the show “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’d 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 score is a contemporary mix of country, rock, gospel, and pop.
Organizers have reached out to fans for input on which city they should take the show to next, and producers have expressed interest in moving away from traditional Broadway hubs like New York and seeking out new venues.