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'Animal House' musical to bring toga party to Broadway

March 6, 2012 |  7:00 am

Animalhouse

"National Lampoon's Animal House," the 1978 comedy that put toga parties in the mainstream, is coming to Broadway in a new musical stage version, with a score by the band the Barenaked Ladies.

Universal Pictures Stage Productions reportedly is working on the musical, which doesn't have an opening date yet. (The movie was distributed by Universal in the U.S.) The stage production will be directed by Casey Nicholaw, who knows a thing or two about bawdy musicals, having co-directed "The Book of Mormon." Nicholaw will have to find time on his busy schedule. His next project, the musical "Tuck Everlasting," is scheduled for a pre-Broadway opening in June 2013 in Boston.

The original movie, directed by John Landis, followed members of the fraternity Delta Tau Chi as they rebel against the college dean who wants them expelled. John Belushi played the rowdiest character in the film -- John "Bluto" Blutarsky, a seventh-year college student with a grade-point average of 0.0.

The movie cast also included Tom Hulce, Tim Matheson, Karen Allen, Donald Sutherland and a very young Kevin Bacon.

Reports of the musical project come exactly 30 years after the death of Belushi in 1982. (Coincidence? Probably not.) The New York Times reported the news on Monday.

The 33-year-old actor was found dead at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood. It was determined that Belushi died from a drug overdose, the result of injecting a speedball, a combination of cocaine and heroin.

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-- David Ng

Photo: John Belushi in the movie "Animal House." Credit: Universal

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