Jesus Christ Superstar Tour Cancellation Due To Low Ticket Sales, Promoter Says

News that the Jesus Christ Superstar tour was abruptly cancelled came late on Friday evening, and it took no time for the cast and the public to express their anger to various degrees on social media.

The disappointing cancellation of the North American tour just days before it was set to kick off on June 9 left all involved and those who looked forward to attending the live performances at 54 designated stops furious, sad and angry. According to the show’s promoter, Michael Cohl, the cancellation came following low ticket sales across the country.

The 1970 Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice rock opera is iconic and its roles are coveted. Ever since its debut on Broadway, the musical — which is loosely based on the Gospels in the Bible and reviews the last three days of Jesus’ life, his controversial arrival in Jerusalem, his trial, and crucifixion — has been a hit all over the world for its flawless music (Webber) and powerful lyrics (Rice).

The main focus of the story is the personal conflict between Judas Iscariot and Jesus, which are not described in the Bible, but only imagined by the creative pair. Jesus’ resurrection is not included; instead the play ends right after he dies on the cross. Many see Jesus Christ Superstar as the story of Jesus from Judas’ point of view.

Originally, the play was released in the form of an album in the UK in 1970, and then went on to Broadway and the West End in London. At the time of its release, Jesus Christ Superstar was called “blasphemous” by religious groups for the way in which Jesus was depicted. But, this didn’t prevent many small theater companies around the world from putting on a play of their own, and in 1976, the first tour took place.

A film adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar was released in 1973, directed by Norman Jewison and shot on location in Israel and the Middle East. It starred Ted Neeley (Jesus), Carl Anderson (Judas) and Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalene). Many in the cast — including Neeley and Anderson — went on to perform in tours across the globe following the commercial success of the film.

As The Inquisitr reported on Saturday, the list of names set to perform in the cancelled Jesus Christ Superstar tour consisted of many well-known performers:

“The show depicted names such as, Michelle Williams formerly of Destiny’s Child who was to play Mary Magdalene, Brandon Boyd of Incubus would have presented the role of Judas, JC Chasez of `N Sync as Pontius Pilate, and Ben Forster was slated to play Jesus Christ. Forster was selected after his big win on the U.K. popular show Superstar… The musical dramatizes Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the unrest caused by his preaching and popularity, his betrayal by Judas, the trial before Pilate and his ultimate crucifixion.”

The disappointment over the cancellation of the Jesus Christ Superstar tour is profound, not only for the cast, but for those who were looking forward to attending the performances.

The Jesus Christ Superstar tour promoter, Michael Cohl, stated they tried to avoid cancelling, “It became obvious the shows were in trouble, but we tried until the last moment to give it every chance to turn around… In the end it just did not make business sense to continue, and we didn’t want the cast to endure playing to disappointing audiences.”

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