Charles Dharapak / AP
Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 | 1:28 p.m.
With casting complete and rehearsals well underway in New York, the producers of the “Duck Dynasty” musical “Duck Commander Musical,” including Mariah Carey’s former husband, record mogul Tommy Mottola, have planned a world premiere at the Rio for April 15. Presale tickets will be available as of Thursday at DuckCommanderMusical.com. General public tickets go on sale next Tuesday.
The Louisiana bayou will be transported to the Las Vegas entertainment scene in a 90-minute show full of Southern spirit at the newly refurbished Crown Theater in the Rio, which is being transformed for the production. Expect a contemporary score that blends country, rock, gospel and pop. Get your duck calls ready!
“It will have a multimedia set delivering authentic backwoods through cutting-edge technology,” the producers said. “Audiences will leave humming tunes, shedding a tear and laughing at the hijinks of one family in pursuit of the American Dream. It will please its most loyal fans, and audiences unfamiliar with the Robertsons will be charmed and moved by this surprising tale of faith, food and family.”
We first reported the pending arrival of the Willie and Korie Robertson true-life, rags-to-riches story detailed in their bestselling book “The Duck Commander Family” last fall and updated last month as rehearsals began in Manhattan.
“It isn’t often that you are approached with the idea to have your life story transformed into a musical,” says Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander in an official release this morning. “But when opportunity knocks, you answer the door — and sometimes that door leads to Las Vegas.”
The production features music and lyrics by Robert Morris, Steven Morris and Joe Shane, is written by Asa Somers and is directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun and Bryan Bradford.
The show will perform in Crown Theater on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., with two shows Thursdays and Saturdays at 7 and 10 p.m., dark Wednesdays.
Tommy, with The Dodgers Group, who produce Las Vegas’ longest-running Broadway show, “Jersey Boys” at Paris Las Vegas, produces “Duck Commander Musical.”
“We are delighted to present the Robertson family story in their first-ever theatrical production,” says Michael David, president of Dodgers. “Las Vegas is the prime location for audiences to experience first-hand the family America has come to know and embrace, where they can take a seat around Miss Kay’s dinner table and watch Willie and Korie’s love story unfold and a dynasty spring to life.”
“This is a very exciting time for our family,” says Korie Robertson. “We are blessed to have the opportunity to share our lives with the world, and we cannot wait to have audiences join us on this incredible adventure.”
The production’s score will include original songs inspired by the family such as “Faith, Food and Family,” “Camouflage,” “Cooking for the Family” and “Like the River Flows.”
“We are proud to debut a world-class musical at the Rio, further cementing Caesars Entertainment as the entertainment leader in Las Vegas,” said Caesars Entertainment Senior Vice President of Marketing and Entertainment Jason Gastwirth. “The Dodgers have an exceptional history of producing top-notch shows, including ‘Jersey Boys’ at Paris Las Vegas, and we are excited to expand our relationship with them.”
“Duck Dynasty” debuted on A&E in March 2012 and exploded in the ratings. The Season 4 premiere drew nearly 12 million viewers, the most-watched nonfiction cable-TV series in history. To date, they have filmed 81 episodes in Monroe, La., for six seasons and a seventh is underway. The Robertson men — brothers Phil and Si, Phil’s sons Jase, Willie and Jed — are known for their long beards and Christian views.
Tommy summed up: “From the moment we began discussing the idea for this production, we knew we had something special on our hands. The Robertson family story is unique and captivating and will provide great family entertainment and appeal to a wide spectrum of audience.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
Carnival lasts all year at the Rio. With a float occasionally passing overhead and dropping beads while feathered dancers fire up the gamblers below, the Rio tries to keep its 120,000-square foot casino jumping with excitement. Special Brazilian mixed-drinks are also served throughout the casino. The hotel suites tend to be larger than similar priced rooms on the Strip and many offer excellent views with floor to ceiling windows.
The Rio offers some quality shows like "Penn & Teller" and "Chippendales." Many come to the Rio for the nightlife at the VooDoo Lounge, located on the 51st floor, or McFadden's Irish Pub on the casino level.
Others come for a bit relaxation at the Rio Spa or pool area and still others come to shop at the hotel's 60,000 square feet of shops. In each of these endeavors, the Rio attempts to make the experience a bit more fun and spontaneous.
The Rio also offers guests a variety of dining choices from all-American food at the All-American Bar & Grille to Gaylord India Restaurant for something a little spicier and even Carnival World Buffet for the indecisive.