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updated: 2/19/2014 5:18 PM

Jim Belushi helps reopen renovated COD venue with improv show, benefit

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  • Wheaton native Jim Belushi, a 1974 COD graduate, brings his improv comedy to the school's newly renovated McAninch Arts Center in a performance raising money for scholarships and arts programs.

      Wheaton native Jim Belushi, a 1974 COD graduate, brings his improv comedy to the school's newly renovated McAninch Arts Center in a performance raising money for scholarships and arts programs.
    Daily Herald File Photo

  • The fundraiser on March 8 will benefit the John Belushi Scholarship fund, which Jim Belushi established in memory of his brother.

      The fundraiser on March 8 will benefit the John Belushi Scholarship fund, which Jim Belushi established in memory of his brother.
    Daily Herald File Photo

 
By Barbara Jo Mitchell
College of DuPage

MAC Madness 2014 will feature Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy during a fundraising event to celebrate the programs of the newly renovated McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

Presented by the College of DuPage Foundation, the evening will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 8, with a reception in the McAninch Arts Center lobby, followed by Belushi's improv show and live auction in the Performance Hall at 7 p.m. and a post-performance celebration at 8:45 p.m.

Tickets are $250, and proceeds can be designated for the John Belushi Scholarship Fund, MAC General Fund, the Cleve Carney Art Gallery and Endowment Art Fund, or New Philharmonic.

Following the benefit performance, Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy will present a late show at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $44 for adults, $42 for seniors and $32 for youths.

Belushi, a 1974 College of DuPage graduate who grew up in Wheaton, has appeared in more than 75 movies, spent eight years starring in the TV show "According to Jim," and opened the Comedy Bar in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.

He established the John Belushi Scholarship in 1987 in memory of his brother, also a former COD student.

"We are grateful to Jim Belushi for graciously donating his time to help the Foundation and College of DuPage," said Cathy Brod, vice president of development and executive director of the foundation. "It's fitting that he is one of the first people to perform in the newly renovated Performance Hall, and we appreciate his continued support of the McAninch Arts Center."

Robyn Coffin, a former COD theater student and John Belushi Memorial Scholarship recipient, said she was able to attend college because of the award.

"I am a working actor today, and I attribute my studies at COD as a major reason I work now," she said. "The scholarship made it possible for me to learn and hone skills that paved the way for my professional career and my work ethic. I will always be grateful for the Belushi scholarship."

The performances are part of the McAninch Arts Center's 2014 Grand Opening Season following a 14-month, $35 million renovation that was funded by the $168 million referendum question that passed in November 2010. The renovations included updates to the three performance spaces, construction of a new outdoor patio stage, improvements to the infrastructure and patron service areas, and upgrades to academic classrooms and studios.

To purchase tickets to the 9:30 p.m. show, call (630) 942-4000 or visit AtTheMac.org.

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