Reality TV Hits the Stage in DUCK COMMANDER MUSICAL, Beginning Tonight in Las Vegas
Based on the best-selling book The Duck Commander Family by Willie and Korie Robertson, preview performances for DUCK COMMANDER MUSICAL begins tonight, April 8. The production makes its world premiere at the Crown Theater inside Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino on April 15. The talented cast features Broadway veterans and Las Vegas locals who will join the company in celebration of the Robertson family's rags-to- riches story.
The cast portraying America's favorite backwoods family will star Mimi Bessette as Miss Kay, Jesse Lenat as Uncle Si, Ginna Claire Mason as Korie, Ben Thompson as Willie, Tad Wilson as Phil, Russell Arden Koplin as Missy, Mary Little as Jessica, Tommy McDowell as Jase, Matt Stokes as Alan, Haley Swindal as Lisa, and Josh Tolle as Jep. DUCK COMMANDER MUSICAL also includes Chelsea Rae Bernier, Christopher Harrod, Charlie Ingram and Cathy Trien.
The DUCK COMMANDER MUSICAL transports the Louisiana bayou to the Las Vegas stage in a captivating 90-minute show seasoned with all the southern spirit and down-to-earth humor you expect from America's most famous rednecks, the Robertson family. But while the true-to-life, rags-to-riches story behind A&E's mega-hit DUCK DYNASTY will surely please its most loyal fans, audiences unfamiliar with the Robertsons will also find themselves charmed - and even moved - by this surprising tale of faith, food, and family.
The production is designed by Tobin Ost with lighting design by Michael Gilliam, sound design by John Trace, wig and hair design byCharles G. LaPointe, musical supervision by Jesse Vargas, orchestration by Steve Margoshes and casting by Duncan Stewart CSA/Benton Whitley CSA. It is produced by Tommy Mottola and the Dodgers, with Ollawood Productions.
DUCK COMMANDER MUSICAL will perform Sunday through Tuesday and Friday at 7 p.m., with two shows Thursday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. There will be no performance on Wednesday. Tickets can be purchased at www.DuckCommanderMusical.com, by phone at 702-777-7776 or 888-746-7784, or by visiting the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino box office.
MIMI BESSETTE (Miss Kay) is thrilled to be working once again with the incredible director, Jeff Calhoun. Jeff also directed her in the Broadway show Bonnie & Clyde as "Emma Parker." Other credits include: Broadway/Off-Broadway - in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Dawn), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Cowgirls (Jo/Lee), Love in the Middle Ages (Sandy). National Tours: Parade (Ensemble),Keep on the Sunny Side (Maybelle Carter), Big River (Susan/Mary Jane/Joanna u/s), and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Angel). Regional: Always...Patsy Cline (Patsy), Hank Williams Lost Highway (Mama Lilly/ The Waitress), Woody Guthrie's American Song (Young Woman), The Buddy Holly Story (Vi Petty/Maria's Aunt), Pump Boys and Dinettes (Prudie), Blood Brothers (Mrs. Lyons), and Nunsense(Sister Amnesia). Most recently Mimi made her film debut in the movie musical "Annie" opposite Jamie Foxx. She is a featured singer on the cast albums Bonnie & Clyde, Woody Guthrie's American Song and Keep On the Sunny Side. She is the singer and executive producer on her own album "Lullabies of Broadway," available at CDBaby.com. For further information you can check out her website: mimibessette.com
JESSE LENAT (Si) is a singer, songwriter and actor that lives in Brooklyn, New York. Jesse grew up in rural Pennsylvania the son of a cactus farmer. He has been making music with his brother David and many others since the age of 8. He moved to NY after landing his first off-Broadway show, RENT. Since those formative years, he has performed at many of New York's, and the country's, top theatres. He has had the honor of performing his original music alongside Willie Nelson & John Mellencamp at four FARM AID Concerts around the country, most recently in Raleigh, NC at the Live Nation Walnut Creek Amphitheatre. Jesse also recently had the privilege of performing at the famed Ryman Auditorium in "The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County". His Fourth, self-released album "Son of a Cactus Farmer" was released October 21st 2014. Www.jesselenat.com.
GINNA CLAIRE MASON (Korie) is honored to be sharing this beautiful story about faith, food, family, and forgiveness. NASHVILLE native & proud Elon University graduate. National tour: Newsies and Flashdance. Regional favorites: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Grease, Godspell, and Hairspray. Much love to Jeff Calhoun, this company, and our brilliant creatives. Thank you Mom and Daddy-Claire, MT'13, DGRW, friends, teachers, and Prince Eric for endless love and support. @ginnaclaire, James 1:27
BEN THOMPSON (Willie) comes directly from starring as Broadway's hammer-throwing headmistress, "Miss Trunchbull" in Matilda the Musical after originating the part of "The Escape Artist." He has also appeared on Broadway in Holler If Ya Hear Me (Griffy), the musical inspired by the music and lyrics of Tupac Shakur, and in the original Broadway cast of Green Day's American Idiot. Off-Broadway/NY: Rent[New World Stages], Carrie [MCC], Parable of the Sower [New York City Opera]. National tours: Disney's High School Musical, Big River[Deaf West], Joseph... Film: Freedom (2015) starring opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr. TV: Appeared with the band Green Day on "The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards," "Monday Night Football" and NBC's "America's Got Talent," as well as "The Tony Awards" with the original Broadway casts of both Matilda and American Idiot. BFA: TCU. Thanks to Jeff Calhoun, Abrams Artists and Vanguard Management. Always for my amazing wife Kat and my family who taught me that Love is Love. @itsBenThompson
TAD WILSON (Phil) has called New York City home for the past 10 years. He's had the privilege to be part of the original casts of 3 Broadway shows, debuting in the smash hit Rock of Ages; Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical; and Bonnie & Clyde. Off-Broadway and Regional theatre credits include Rock of Ages, Les Miserables, The Full Monty, The Civil War, Annie, Jekyll and Hyde, Wonderland, Somewhere In Time, and the Broadway bound Getting The Band Back Together, among many others. Tad made his Grand Ole Opry debut alongside Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin brothers in the summer of 2012 and was a guest vocalist at the White House, singing for President George W. Bush. He is proud to be a part of the country duo "10th & Carlisle" whose single can be found on iTunes. Off stage you'll find Tad on the golf course. This Augusta native took to the game early in life and has recently has become known as The Bogeyman, man on a quest to learn to play bogey golf. @bogeymantad on Twitter and Instagram
RUSSELL ARDEN KOPLIN (Missy) is a native New York City girl and can be seen in the upcoming Indie Feature Films: Lily of the Feast starring Troy Garity and Paul Sorvino, and Mad Women by Jeff Lipsky. Broadway: LES MISERABLES (Eponine), James Joyce's The Dead with Christopher Walken and Blair Brown. Some Off-Broadway & Regional credits: Lies My Father Told Me, Jerry Herman's Showtunes, The Ruby Sunrise directed by Oskar Eustis, and Grey Gardens at Playwrights Horizons directed by Michael Greif with choreography by Jeff Calhoun. Film/Television: Lullaby directed by Andrew Levitas staring Amy Adams, Richard Jenkins, & Jennifer Hudson, Sand Castle by Rob Feld, Law & Order: CI. Russell has also recorded numerous voiceovers for radio, television, as well as some video games. Say hello at www.RussellKoplin.com
MARY LITTLE (Jessica) is thrilled to be a part of the Duck Commander Musical! She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013 with a degree in Musical Theatre and recently appeared in the Ogunquit Playhouse production of GREASE (Sandy) and Arkansas Repertory Theatre's Les Miserables (Eponine). She thanks everyone involved in DUCK COMMANDER, BRS/Gage group, the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!) her family and Reid for their support and encouragement. Most importantly, she thanks God for providing opportunities to pursue her dreams with talented and inspiring people.
TOMMY McDOWELL (Jase) Never before has a role made me feel so in touch with my roots as a teenager, hunting deer and turkey in the deep woods of Alabama, and I'm so blessed to have this experience. Credits include - Tours: American Idiot [1st National] (Swing), The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley (Flat Stanley), A Year With Frog & Toad (Snail); NYC: Urinetown, Hudson Guild Theatre (Bobby Strong), LMNOP [Developmental Lab] (Nate Warren); Favorite Regional: Grey Gardens (Joe Kennedy, Jr.), Hairspray (Link Larkin), The Who's TOMMY (Tommy), Joseph... (Ruben); and readings of two new musicals at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Conference: The White City(Gem Geyer) and Broadcast. All my love and thanks to my family (my own personal version of the Robertsons) and CMR (My Mindful Monkey). www.tommymcdowell.com
MATT STOKES (Alan) is Happy, Happy, Happy to be a part of this amazing family. Credits include the 2012 Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar and the National Tours of Evita and South Pacific. See more at STOKESCREATIVE.COM. A BIG thanks to Mom, Dad, Josh, Jon, Kate, Charlie Mae, Ruby Lou, NENA and my beautiful wife Keri!
HALEY SWINDAL (Lisa) has appeared on Broadway and on tour with Jekyll & Hyde, White Christmas, Jesus Christ Superstar opposite Ted Neeley, and Annie (Grace Farrell) opposite Sally Struthers. She has performed in concert at Carnegie Hall alongside the great jazz vocalist Steve Tyrell, acclaimed Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, and under the baton of Steven Reineke with the New York Pops. As a film actress, she won a New York Emmy as the host of Kids on Deck, which ran on YES Network television for two seasons. Recently, Haley debuted her one-woman show, Play to Win, at Broadway's 54 Below. Many thanks to Jeff and team for this incredible opportunity! For love and family.
JOSH TOLLE (Jep) is thrilled to be making his Las Vegas debut with the Duck Commander family! New York credits include The Twelve(Andrew) at the Signature Center and NYMF's Searching for Romeo (Romeo). Favorite regional credits include Altar Boyz (Matthew) with the Lake Dillon Theatre Company and Thoroughly Modern Millie at the St. Louis MUNY. Josh recently received a Chicago Jeff Award nomination for Next to Normal (Gabe) at Drury Lane Theatre. Josh is a proud graduate of CCM and member of Actors' Equity. Many thanks to Nicolosi and Co. and to my Mom and Dad for their constant love and support. Joshtolleofficial.com
CHELSEA RAE BERNIER (Swing) was most recently seen in the international tour of BARBIE LIVE! the Musical (Barbie). She was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, and is thrilled to be performing again in her hometown. Following high school, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked extensively in film and television. Along with her passion for both the stage and screen, she has a Bachelor's degree in Health Care Administration. Her favorite part of being is performer is using her talents to give back to the community through various volunteer efforts.www.chelseabernier.com
CHRISTOPHER HARROD (Swing) is thrilled to be a part of The Duck Commander Musical at the Rio! Theatre: The national tour of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The New Yorkers at Town Hall, The World Premier of Dennis DeYoung's The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Tennessee Rep. Television/Film: Elvis, The Younger Years (Dale) ABC, A Tinsmith (Father Rick), Corner (Max). Thanks to Lisa at The Price Group, the entire production team of Duck Commander. The true joys of his life are his beautiful wife Cyndi and his amazing sons Dalton and Kellan.
CHARLIE INGRAM (Swing) is incredibly excited to be a part of the Duck Commander Family! He is a recent graduate of The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University where some of his favorite roles included Into The Woods (The Wolf/Cinderella's Prince), Smokey Joe's Café (Ken), and Legally Blonde (Warner). He has been fortunate enough to work at various regional theatres around the Midwest including The Muny, Stages St. Louis, and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. As Always, he would like to thank his family and Bloc NYC for all their love in support.
CATHY TRIEN (Swing) Broadway: Gypsy-Rene (u/s Bernadette Peters, cover-Mazeppa/Electra/Tessie) dir. Sam Mendes, Grease (Marty) dir. Jeff Calhoun. Off-Broadway & national tours: The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Zombie Prom (CoCo), first national tour ofGrease (Marty), 25th anniversary national tour of Hair (Sheila), Annie Get your Gun (Annie). Regional: Gypsy, Mambo Kings, Godspell,Always Patsy Cline, Hair, Beehive, Cabaret, Oklahoma. T.V., film and video: The Drop, Hello Lonesome, Deception, Gossip Girl, PootieTang(Stacey), Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (Trudie), Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories...and many more. But, all that really matters in the end is her kids Keaton and Cali, her parents Don and Ellen, her 3 brothers, and her man Daniel Stewart Sherman...Family.