The massive touring production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice classic “Jesus Christ Superstar” that was to have starred Sex Pistols/Public Image Ltd. frontman John Lydon and hit 54 cities across North America this summer has been unceremoniously canceled less than two weeks before it was slated to open in New Orleans.
The production, which was to have toured from June 9 to Aug. 17, would have featured Lydon as King Herod starring alongside Incubus’ Brandon Boyd (Judas Iscariot), *NSYNC’s JC Chasez (Pontius Pilate) and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child (Mary Magdalene).
British actor and singer Ben Forster was to have played Jesus.
On Friday, the production posted this on its website:
Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular Tour Cancelled
Options Clause Entertainment LLC, an affiliate of S2BN Entertainment, announced today the cancellation of the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular Tour. The tour was scheduled to kick off in New Orleans on June 9. All purchased tickets will be refunded. Tickets purchased online and via telephone will be automatically refunded. Tickets purchased from outlets/venue box office must be returned to that location for refund.
The following day, an Associated Press report shed a bit more light on the troubled tour:
Producer Michael Cohl, who was also a lead producer on the ill-fated, aerial-effects laden “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” declined to talk too much about the tour’s financing when it was unveiled in April, but he said the new show’s total costs were in the “eight figures” and needed to pull in “several hundred thousand dollars” each night to keep it on the road.
And in the New York Times over the weekend, Lydon himself slammed Cohl: “I had a run-in with the alleged promoter in New York. I didn’t like him and I instinctively didn’t trust him.”
Lydon when on to joke about his next project: “I’m going to be doing the ballet next.”