Andrew Lloyd Webber suing promoter of cancelled 'Jesus Christ Superstar' arena tour

By Daniel S Levine,

Jesus Christ Superstar was supposed to be making the rounds this summer and fall in arenas across the country, but the new production of the iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical was abruptly cancelled. Now, Lloyd Webber’s company is suing the main promoter for making the sudden decision.

The tour was announced with much fanfare in April. Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams, Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols and *NSYNC’s JC Chasez were among the castmembers. Newcomer Ben Forster won Lloyd Webber’s U.K. reality show for a spot in the tour.

However, over a month later, the tour was suddenly cancelled. While no immediate cause was announced, promoter Michael Cohl claimed that ticket sales weren’t great and it would have cost “eight figures,” reports The New York Times.

Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group (RUG) isn’t buying it. The company “has no option but to proceed with legal action to recover its costs associated with the project and in turn, satisfy outstanding payments to suppliers and contractors,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to Deadline.

RUG CEO Barney Wragg told the NY Times that the company was “hugely disappointed” by Cohl’s decision. “We had a sell-out UK Arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2012 and, in 2013, the same production toured Australia also playing to capacity audiences with unprecedented success,” Wragg noted.

Cohl is best known for producing the Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark Broadway show that was unprofitable at a cost of $75 million. He also produced A Night With Janis Joplin and is planning on turning Rio and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked into musicals.

The Jesus Christ Superstar tour had included over 50 dates and would have started late next month.

image courtesy of INFphoto.com

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