'Jesus Christ Superstar' Tour Cancelled. Why?

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No explanation was given for the cancellation of a new 54-city tour of Jesus Christ Superstar starring punk legend John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon and Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child.

Producers of the new arena version of Jesus Christ Superstar announced the cancellation of the project Friday just days before its launch in New Orleans without explanation.

The tour was to begin June 9 at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans and include stops in Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Phoenix, Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver, New York City, Boston and Philadelphia.

Fran Curtis, a publicist for the show from press representative Rogers & Cowan, did not return messages seeking a reason for the cancellation.

A notice on the website offers no explanation, but says tickets will be refunded.

Speculation focuses on financial difficulties and perhaps a lack of interest, since producer Michael Cohl was also a producer on Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark which bombed.

When announcing the show in April, Cohl said the new show’s total costs were in the “eight figures” and they needed to make “several hundred thousand dollars” each night to keep it on the road.

The show was to star Lydon as King Herod, Williams as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Boyd of Incubus as Judas and JC Chasez of ‘N Sync as Pontius Pilate. Ben Forster, the winner of the U.K.’s prime-time contest show, Superstar, was to play the son of God.

The musical, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, the creators of other London-based musical hits like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Evita, debuted on Broadway in 1971, and includes the songs What’s the Buzz?, Superstar, Everything’s Alright and I Don’t Know How to Love Him.

Image via YouTube

Pam Wright

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