by DW Grant
Ducks are falling from the sky, Broadway style, in the Crown Theater at the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.
Say what? They made a Broadway-like musical out of a reality TV show about a Louisiana swamp family, that I either think is hilarious, or just don’t understand? Yep, and that’s what I said the first time I was told “Duck Dynasty,” the TV show, was going on stage.
“Duck Commander Musical” is all about “Faith, Food, and Family,” and how it built a dynasty. But, even if you don’t love prayer, possum stew, and your Uncle Si, you may still love this production. It’s a “goodun.”
Going into the theatre, and not being much of a Duck Dynasty fan, I wondered if this was going to be a typical Hollywood stereo typed bashing of brainless, gun toting, Bible thumping, hillbilly idiots. To my happy surprise I have to say, no. The show is sincere in its character profiles, and it also is a lot of fun to watch, even if you haven’t been a fan of the TV show.
Through swampy flash backs and while ducking though some forwards too, the show’s plot takes the audience on a very entertaining musical romp through Robertson family history. It all takes place in and out of their kitchen and dining room, and of course, the swamp. The kitchen is the Food part. The Family part is how they hilariously present each Robertson family personality and how they relate together. And the Faith part takes the audience respectfully, and sometimes precariously, into their beliefs, and how it molds their lives.
The music is country, pop, gospel, and even disco, all wrapped up in camouflage and swamp moss, created by a live orchestra above the swamp. The fiddle player is especially good!
A few of the show tunes include:
*”Faith, Food, and Family, ” the opening number with a southern rock heartbeat.
*”Camouflage,” a driving country-pop song, where Korie teaches Willie about being true to himself.
*”Cookin’ for the Family,” where Miss Kay teaches the family blondes how to prepare great red neck dishes, with a hoe-down savvy, and in good cloggin’ boots.
*And then there’s Si’s big sexy number. There is no explaining it, except to say “LOL!”
Original songs, and some fun visuals, carry the show through Phil’s invention of the “Duck Commander” duck call device, and son Willie’s successful efforts to make the family rich by taking Duck Commander to Walmart and then “World Wide.” Conflict comes with fame, when Willie puts the family into a reality show, and when that fame comes too fast. Then Daddy Phil gives an Old Testament opinion that causes problems, and threatens to put Phil on the sidelines for a while. More faith and family saves the show at the kitchen table, and then it’s on to the Broadway finale. Camouflaged Tuxedos and top hats any one? No, I’m not kidding.
There are surprises, and it wouldn’t be fair to tell you too much about them; from the seating (I sat in “The Pond”), to how the stage rotates vertically and horizontally, and animates the plot and the characters; how the real Robertson family appears in the show; and how you may walk out of the theatre wanting to watch the TV show. Oh yes, one of the best surprises is that you can take your entire family to it. There’s not many of those in Las Vegas.
“Duck Dynasty,” those gun toting, duck calling, Bible thumping, hillbillies are on stage and heading for Broadway from Vegas. Take the family to see it, then believe it.