This summer's touring arena production of Jesus Christ Superstar
was abruptly canceled this afternoon after rehearsals had already begun in New Orleans. No explanation was given. It was to have opened at UNO Lakefront Arena June 9 before playing more than 50 dates at large arenas around the country, from Los Angeles' Staples Center to Madison Square Garden in New York.
Tamar Grace Gregorian, director of communications for the UNO Lakefront Arena, confirmed the cancellation, and a brief notice was just posted on the tour's website:
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 tour had gotten much publicity for its casting of pop stars from various genres, including John Lydon (Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd.), Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child), JC Chasez ('N Sync) and Brandon Boyd (Incubus). British TV reality star Ben Forster, who was playing Jesus, tweeted that the cancellation came in the middle of a rehearsal:
Boyd, who was playing Judas Iscariot, also tweeted out his firing notice:
Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, was also in New Orleans rehearsing, and Southern Costume posted this image on the company's Facebook page yesterday:
We'll update when we know more. Meanwhile, the cancellation came an hour before we were to go to press, resulting in a last-minute cover swap for our planned John Lydon interview.