Brandon Boyd, Michelle Williams, JC Chasez to Star in Arena Tour of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

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Also starring newcomer Ben Forster along with John Lydon, the 50-city "rock show" kicks off June 9 in New Orleans.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic
The new production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock opera is kicking off a 50-city, North American arena tour on June 9 in New Orleans, starring Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd, Destiny's Child's Michelle Williams and N'Sync alum JC Chasez.

Boyd and Williams, who play Judas Iscariot and Mary Magdalene, took to the Good Morning America stage on Friday to make the announcement.

Chasez will play Pontius Pilate, with The Sex Pistols' John Lydon as King Herod. Ben Forster will reprise the lead role of Jesus, which he played in last year's U.K. leg of the tour, after winning the part on Lloyd Webber's reality competition show, Superstar. The show is directed by Laurence Connor, currently represented on Broadway as co-director of the Les Miserables revival.

"It's completely new, and it's incredible," said Boyd, before performing "Superstar" with Williams. "It's an arena rock show."

Among the presenters is veteran concert promoter Michael Cohl, who was lead producer on the controversial $75 million Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which closed in January at a loss, despite running almost three years and grossing $212.4 million.

A ground-breaking rock retelling of the Gospels' account of the last week in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus Christ Superstar has been revived multiple times on Broadway since its 1971 premiere, most recently in 2012. That production drew a number of strong reviews, particularly for the vocal performances. But it failed to sustain an audience, running only three months and grossing just under $11 million.

However, tour producers are clearly banking on the durability of the iconic title and the box office power of a fresh cast of music-industry recruits, each of whom brings his or her own fan base. For aging punks nostalgic about their hard-core heydays, the idea of seeing Johnny Rotten prancing through the vaudevillian show-stopper "Herod's Song" will be hard to resist.

Tickets go on sale next week.


so strange watching them perform together