A high-wattage and eclectically cast new North American touring production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” has been abruptly canceled, just over a week before what would have been its first performance.
In a brief statement on Friday, an affiliate of the production company S2BN Entertainment announced “the cancellation of the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular Tour” and said that all purchased tickets would be refunded. This production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice rock opera was begun with some fanfare in April, with a cast that was to include Ben Forster, the winner of a British reality-TV competition, as Jesus; Brandon Boyd of Incubus as Judas; Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child as Mary Magdalene; and John Lydon, the lead singer of the Sex Pistols, as King Herod.
As recently as Thursday, cast members including Mr. Forster, Mr. Boyd and Mr. Lydon had been rehearsing with the director, Laurence Connor (a director of the current Broadway revival of “Les Misérables”) at a studio space in New Orleans, and apparently had no indication that the tour was in danger of cancellation. The first performance was scheduled for June 9 at the Lakefront Arena, with some 50 additional dates planned at sites that included the Staples Center in Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York.
Cast reactions on Twitter:
I got fired from #JesusChristSuperstar today....but so did the rest of the cast so we're all sad together. Yeah, it's true. Tour cancelled— Brandon Boyd (@mybrandonboyd) May 30, 2014
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.— Ben Forster (@thebenforster) May 30, 2014
When it rains it pours— JC Chasez (@JCChasez) May 30, 2014
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