Cohl’s ‘Superstar’
Burns Out

Michael Cohl’s latest Broadway endeavor, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” has called it quits before ever making its debut.

Photo: Evan Agostini / Invision / AP
The all-star touring production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” never made it to the stage. The 54-city tour was canceled days before its launch in New Orleans.

The show was scheduled for a major tour of 50 cities across North America this summer, but Cohl pulled the plug suddenly May 30, citing slow sales.

“It became obvious the shows were in trouble, but we tried until the last moment to give it every chance to turn around,” Cohl told the New York Times. “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.”

Cohl previously told the Times total costs for the show were in the “eight figures” and the production, which had top ticket prices around $125, would need to make “several hundred thousand dollars” each night to keep afloat.

Asked whether the motley crew of celebrities he’d assembled for the show would generate such sales, he replied, “Well, we’re going to find out, aren’t we?”

“Jesus Christ Superstar” was set to feature British actor Ben Forster in the title role, Incubus lead singer Brandon Boyd as Judas Iscariot, Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams as Mary Magdalene, *NSYNC’s JC Chasez as Pontius Pilate, and Johnny Rotten of Sex Pistols as King Herod.

The tour cancelation marks another black eye for Cohl in the world of theatre, after his beleaguered $75 million production of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ended an unprofitable three-year run. A tour of that production is still in the works.