Exposing the theater community’s shocking, deep-seated bigotry toward awful theater, Duck Commander Musical, based on the reality show Duck Dynasty, is closing after barely a month’s worth of performances. The show debuted on April 8 at Las Vegas’ Rio Hotel, translating the experience of watching the Robertson family traipse around the Louisiana backwoods, sifting through raccoon shit and deeply conservative values, to its natural habitat: the off-Broadway stage. But it’s already set to give its last performance on May 17, suggesting that 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.
Duck Commander Musical was first announced late last year, backed by genuine Broadway producers like Jersey Boys’ Michael David, and boasting a Steven Norris-composed score that mixed country, blues, show tunes, and cognitive dissonance. Almost immediately, it was met with skepticism and derision, from both sides of the “anuses are inherently sinful/fine” ideological divide.
“It’s pretty disgusting,” veteran producer Emanuel Azenberg said to the New York Times of the show, which he said celebrated a family whose beliefs “offend a lot of people working on Broadway.” Meanwhile, evangelical Christians were believed to be “hesitant” to go to Sin City—in the same hotel where The Chippendales perform, purely for godly women who take that inspiration to go and procreate—even if it meant supporting this poor, oppressed multimillionaire family.
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. Producers are now said to be considering “several possible opportunities” for the show, including extended engagements in “interested cities” where a deep-seated conservatism and a love of kitschy musicals are not mutually exclusive. So, Branson.