Production Company to Sue Over Failed Tour of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

Brandon Boyd, left, and Ben Forster rehearsing in New Orleans on Thursday. (Edmund D. Fountain for The New York Times)
Brandon Boyd, left, and Ben Forster rehearsing in New Orleans on Thursday. (Edmund D. Fountain for The New York Times)

The Really Useful Group, the production company of Andrew Lloyd Webber, said Tuesday that it was taking legal action against Michael Cohl, the main promoter behind a failed tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” that was scheduled to play in North America this summer.

The new production of Mr. Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s rock opera about the final days of the life of Jesus was rehearsing in New Orleans at the end of May in preparation for a tour of more than 50 cities, when it was abruptly canceled before it could play a single show.

Mr. Cohl said at the time that ticket sales had been disappointing, and that “it just did not make business sense to continue.” The tour’s eclectic cast included Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, Brandon Boyd of Incubus and Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, and Mr. Cohl had estimated that the tour’s total cost was in the range of “eight figures.”

In a statement on Tuesday the Really Useful Group said that Mr. Cohl’s cancellation of the tour had been his “unilateral decision,” and that since then the company “has been tirelessly working to find an out of court settlement of the costs incurred by cancellation at such a late stage.”

The Really Useful Group said it had “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.”

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SOURCE: The New York Times
Dave Itzkoff

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