Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Andddd I Just Threw Up in My Mouth

Apparently there is a new musical coming to town. That town is Las Vegas, and that musical is about “Duck Dynasty”. If you threw up in your mouth, don’t worry, I did too. Obviously Vegas is not home to the classiest of shows (scantily-clad “sirens”, Chipendales, Britney Spears… jk I love Britney), but this seems like a different level. There seems to be shared concern about the risky musical choice… “Even before rehearsals start, the show is courting controversy. Several Broadway producers, many of whom are liberal, gay, or both, are aghast that colleagues would work with a family whose patriarch, Phil Robertson, has compared homosexuality to bestiality. Gay rights leaders are also eyeing the show with concern, while evangelical Christians — many of whom admire the Robertsons — might be hesitant to go to a Las Vegas casino and see whether New York artists have fairly rendered the family.”

The creative team comprises many LGBT individuals, and I hope the cast does as well. The one thing I find pleasure in is knowing that the character, Phil Robertson, will most likely be played by a gay man.

As arts managers we will constantly be faced with potentially problematic programming choices. How do we approach programming opportunities that disagree with our personal beliefs or lifestyles? The show will be at the Rio Hotel and Casino, what happens if the choice of show offends LGBT employees or potential audience members?

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5 comments on “Andddd I Just Threw Up in My Mouth

  1. cayleycarroll
    November 13, 2014

    “It’s pretty disgusting, but it’s also a reminder that Broadway is mostly about making entertainment today — not art — even if it means getting involved with a family whose members say things that offend a lot of people working on Broadway,”

    –My favorite quotation from the article.

    Entertainment and art have a history of being controversial and that is what makes it fun for all different breeds of people. If I had to (needed to) work on this show, I would keep in mind that this is not an inspirational piece but merely a form of entertainment. Chances are, the content of the show won’t be as bigoted as this family is…so there’s a silver lining. As sad as it is, business is just business sometimes.

  2. shrulala
    November 14, 2014

    I read that the prodders of Jersey Boys will be producing this. Its amazing that in world over the phenomena of reality tv is taking a whole new dimension! A show like Duck Dynasty, gets funded and actually made into a play where as original playwrights have to hear rejections!

  3. jaredchamoff
    November 14, 2014

    I think that it is a little bit far reaching for this Mr. Morris fellow to say that the fan base for Duck Dynasty would create a sizable audience for the musical. Would people really go out of their way to see a musical of this show? Would the audience for the television show (with a story that does not have any singing or music in it) REALLY translate to an audience for a musical show? What even is Duck Dynasty?

    What’s going to be the next musical? Honey Boo Boo the musical? CSI the musical? Oh gosh!!

  4. qfloyd
    November 14, 2014

    This article made me laugh out loud! I agree with Cayley in the fact that entertainment and art are completely different. Entertainment is more about making the money and being commercial. I’m sure this show will sell out, meanwhile, we have orchestras that cannot even sell out shows. Sadly, the entertainment industry IS what the American people pay for

  5. yaoge2016
    November 14, 2014

    I think musical Duck Dynasty mainly flatters the man who hold the similar opinion of the Robertson family. However, that’s not coherent to my current knowledge that most musical goers are women. Despite men in Las Vegas appreciate the TV series, will they choose theatre as their leisure destination, I highly doubt it.

    As for how can arts managers handle the work that may has conflicts with our beliefs or lifestyles, we can choose to compromise or insist what we believe, just take the results.

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