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Toga, Toga! Barenaked Ladies Dish on Their Upcoming 'Friggin' Ridiculous' Animal House Musical

Toga, Toga! Barenaked Ladies Dish on Their Upcoming 'Friggin' Ridiculous' Animal House Musical
Barenaked Ladies; the cast of 'Animal House'
Writing a musical is 'a hell of a lot of work' for alternative rock band Barenaked Ladies.

Alternative rock band Barenaked Ladies are preparing to take on Broadway by penning the previously announced musical adaptation of classic 1978 college movie Animal House. Broadway.com recently caught up with Barenaked Ladies to get the scoop on the forthcoming musical toga party.

“People have a lot of nostalgia and affection for Animal House,” lead singer Ed Robertson said. “The great thing about it is the movie is so friggin’ ridiculous. We’ve taken it as an opportunity to just be funny and entertaining. Rather than be shackled to what the movie did, we’re just gonna go with that setting and have a ton of fun.”

Having fun also means “a hell of a lot of work,” according to BNL drummer Tyler Stewart. “We’re used to writing music for us. We’re the judges [who say] ‘yeah, this is good.’ But this is a whole ‘nother criteria. It’s a work in progress.” The band has already written 11 songs about the misfit students of Faber College, and although the Canadian bandmates missed out on the American frat scene in college, they can draw from hijinks they witnessed during the ‘90s, playing concerts on frat house lawns. “We’re going to school all over again,” bassist Jim Creeggan added.

So who will be playing the seminal role of John “Bluto” Blutarsky, made famous by Saturday Night Live’s John Belushi? “We’re constantly joking about who we want to be cast,” said Robertson. “It’s such a physical role, and it’s an inspiring performance. I think lots of people would want [it],” he said, adding with a laugh, “I actually want the role!”

Despite having never written a musical, the band was inspired by watching the antics of Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells in The Book of Mormon, which the bandmates saw on Broadway together. “It’s the best musical we’ve all ever seen,” Stewart said of the show, which scored Animal House director Casey Nicholaw a Tony Award. “The songs are incredible and we laughed our asses off. Can I say asses on Broadway.com?” Yes. Yes, you can.

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