I, for one, am disappointed. When I saw that one of my favorite shows, Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s Jesus Christ Superstar, was doing a national arena tour with Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd and other stars, I was pretty excited. I invited a few musical-minded friends and planned for a fun evening out in the city later in the summer.
Well, shucks. I just found out moments ago the whole darn tour was cancelled.
The upcoming North American arena touring production of the Webber/Tim Rice rock opera has been canceled. A statement on the show’s website confirmed the news that the production, which would have begun performances on June 9th in New Orleans, was no longer happening and that all ticket sales would be refunded.
The tour was announced back in April and was to have starred Ben Forster in the titular role of Jesus. The news is particularly devastating for Forster because he actually competed to win the role in a British reality-TV competition, Superstar. Can you even believe that? That is so unfair.
Boyd would have played Judas, a role that comes with awesome solo numbers that I was truly looking forward to hearing Boyd sing. JC Superstar would have also starred ‘NSYNC’s J.C. Chasez, Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams, and the Sex Pistols’ John Lydon.
The cast was finishing up rehearsals as recently as Thursday in New Orleans, under the direction of Laurence Connor (currently represented on Broadway with the revival of Les Misérables). Cast members were reportedly unaware of the show’s impending doom. New Orleans was to be the first in a 54-city tour that would have also played major venues, including NYC’s Madison Square Garden (the show I would have attended) and L.A.s Staples Center.
Tickets were priced fairly. Excluding Ticketmaster’s superfluous charges, my tickets were $65 a piece for the middle section. Tickets in general were priced between $29 and $125. According to the Associated Press, lead producer Michael Cohl said “the new show’s total costs are in the ‘eight figures’ and needs to pull in ‘several hundred thousand dollars’ each night to keep it on the road.” Cohl was also a producer for the Broadway musical financial mess of a show, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
The show’s stars have turned to Twitter to air their heartbreak and grievances. Forster wrote, “My heart is broken. My beautiful talented cast and company I adore. This wonderful show & opportunity is over. I’m so sorry I am devastated.” Chasez, who had been cast as Pontius Pilate, tweeted, “When it rains, it pours.”
(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)