Barenaked Ladies Leave ANIMAL HOUSE Musical; David Yazbek Joins as New Composer/Lyricist

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According to the Lethbridge Herald, Canadian pop group Barenaked Ladies will no longer be composing songs for the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of ANIMAL HOUSE. They were replaced by composer David Yazbek (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) a few months ago.

Executive producer Matty Simmons, who co-founded National Lampoon, told the Herald, "We wanted music that would fit the story and the nature of the story and the raucousness of the story. The movie has a personality and the music had to suit that, you know?"

Read the original report here.

Simmons also said the Barenaked Ladies' tunes "just didn't work" and that book writer Michael Mitnick has also been asked to rewrite much of his material. As of right now, the musical is on track to open in late 2014.

Universal Pictures Stage Productions, in association with producers Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and James L. Nederlander, are developing the musical, based on the classic 1978 Universal comedy, National Lampoon's Animal House. The movie will celebrate its 35th Anniversary on July 18, 2013.

Animal House: The Musical will feature direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spamalot).

National Lampoon's Animal House is a 1978 American comedy film directed by John Landis. The film was a direct spin-off from National Lampoon magazine. The plot is about a misfit group of fraternity members who challenge the administrators of their university.

The screenplay was adapted by Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller and Harold Ramis from stories that were written by Miller and published in National Lampoon magazine. The stories were based on Miller's experiences in the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity at Dartmouth College. Other influences on the film came from Ramis' experiences in the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Washington University in St. Louis, and producer Ivan Reitman's experiences at Delta Upsilon at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Of the lead actors, only John Belushi was an established star, but even he had not yet appeared in a movie, having gained his notoriety mainly from his Saturday Night Live television appearances. Several cast members, including Karen Allen, Tom Hulce and Kevin Bacon, were just beginning their movie careers.

Upon its initial release, Animal House received generally mixed reviews from critics, but Time and Roger Ebert proclaimed it one of the year's best. Filmed for $2.7 million, it is one of the most profitable movies of all time. Since its initial release, Animal House has garnered an estimated return of more than $141 million in the form of videos and DVDs, not including merchandising.



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