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Not since Fiddler on the Roof has a theatrical project involved this much facial hair.
A stage musical is being developed that will center on Duck Dynasty‘s Robertson family, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Dodgers, the New York-based theatrical producing entity behind Jersey Boys, which is headed by Michael David, is in talks with the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas to produce a semi-biographical show about the A&E reality clan. It will be based on Duck Dynasty stars’ Willie and Korie Robertson‘s book The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty.
Actors will portray the family members, who run the duck-hunting merchandise company Duck Commander and are identifiable by their long beards. The cast has yet to be announced, and A&E is not involved.
The production, eyeing a spring 2015 premiere, has music and lyrics by Robert Morris, Steven Morris and Joe Shane (the team behind White Noise), with the book written by Asa Somers. Jeff Calhoun (Newsies) is on board to direct and choreograph.
Numerous films have been turned into successful stage musicals, including Aladdin and Once, but TV shows have less frequently been tapped as source material. One project attempting to buck the trend is The Honeymooners, a show based on the classic sitcom, which will have its world premiere next fall at Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn. That production is expected to transfer to Broadway depending on critical and commercial response.
Whether the family known for Duck Dynasty, which begins its seventh season on Nov. 19, still has enough cultural currency to launch a hit theatrical endeavor is another question. The series’ sixth season, which concluded in August, averaged 3.77 million viewers, down substantially from its season-four average of 9.16 million.
It also remains to be seen if the Robertsons’ faith-based audience will be enthusiastic about trekking to Sin City to see the show, along with whether the family’s controversies, including patriarch Phil’s anti-gay comments in a GQ profile, will be a turnoff to theatergoers.
Nov. 12, 6:48 p.m. Updated with corrected information about the producers, and a correct season seven premiere date. THR regrets the error.
David Rooney contributed to this report.
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