It was the quack heard ’round the world when the Robertson family flocked into the limelight with A&E’s hit reality television series, “Duck Dynasty.” Instantly becoming a success, this show offered millions of viewers around the globe a peek into the lives of some unassuming Louisiana rednecks, who made it big all because they created a little gizmo that imitates the sound of a duck’s quack…. Yep, no big behinds or pregnant teenagers were needed to entertain viewers, just homemade duck calls and a bayou state-of-mind earned them that coveted overnight fame and fortune.
OK well, that’s obviously not the whole story and the show aired at the juiciest moment of the Robertsons’ success thus leaving out the decades of work leading up to the moment when their lives were interesting enough to produce television gold.
But now, with Sin City’s newest entertainment addition the “Duck Commander Musical,” which celebrated its grand opening at Rio last week, the world now has the opportunity to rewind to the times when those signature Robertson beards were a mere aspiration, money was hard to come by, and the now-famous family was just another frog-giggin’, duck-hunting clan that busted their backs for the success they are enjoying (and still working hard for) today.
Accompanied by an on-stage band, the 15-member cast of the “Duck Commander Musical,” reenacts 40 years of Robertson family history over the productions 90 minutes. Showing the struggle, triumph, heartbreak, and happiness that the family worked through before their lives were chronicled by a camera crew, the production’s plot offers the raw truth that was unseen until now.
Based on the book “The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty,” the musical features original music scored including “Camouflage,” “Faith, Food and Family,” “Cooking for the Family” and “Like the River Flows”
that perfectly blends the country and pop genres with a touch of gospel for an infectious soundtrack that we can guarantee will be stuck in your head after you see the show… and for a few days after that.
But it’s not a bad thing. Written with timely comic relief (thanks, Si… you “quacked” us up) during some of the show’s more serious moments, audience members will find themselves clapping in time to the song and dance numbers, laughing with the family – even during their pre-supper prayers – and most importantly, having a few ah-ha moments that humanize the celebrity family as we realize how normal they actually are.
Not trying to cover up the past nor individual family members’ beliefs, the mostly upbeat musical did address some heavy topics including Phil Robertson’s anti-gay remarks as well as social media backlash from naysayers across the world.
And while it was presumably a difficult decision to include the moment in time that led to a firestorm of negativity toward the family, the on-stage moment that highlights Phil’s discussion with the reporter that published his religious views on the topic
of homosexuality was so fleeting in the musical that it only gave viewers a few more seconds worth of back story behind the controversial interview.
In theme with Phil standing firm in his belief, the musical did point out that just because one member of the Robertson family felt a certain way about a topic does not mean that they all share the same thoughts. Similarly, the musical makes it clear that the family’s Christian faith takes center stage in their lives.
Throughout the show and even dedicating a song to their religious faith, the audience is well aware that these devout
Christians have very strong beliefs pertaining to their religion. However, it is refreshing because not once does the family try to persuade the audience one way or another that they should be practicing Christians as well.
It is good to keep in mind that this musical biography is simply, the story of the Robertson’s lives and how they live it – not a church service.
Overall, the “Duck Commander Musical” delivers audiences a fun evening of upbeat and catchy (seriously… the songs are still in our heads) tunes that will give you a little insight on “rags” portion of the rags-to-riches story of this down-home, duck-hunting, God-fearing, beard-growing, fun-loving Louisiana family.
Check out this “Today Show” segment features an interview with Willie and Kori Robertson: