A new arena version of Jesus Christ Superstar starring former Sex Pistols singer John Lydon and Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child has abruptly cancelled its 54-city US tour just days before its launch in New Orleans.
Producers quietly pulled the plug on the project on Friday without explanation.
The tour was to have begun next Monday at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans and include stops in Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, St Louis, Phoenix, Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver, New York, Boston and Philadelphia.
Producer Michael Cohl, who was also a lead producer on the ill-fated, aerial effects-laden Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, declined to give too many details about the tour's financing when it was unveiled in April.
But he said the new show's total costs were in the "eight figures" and needed to pull in "several hundred thousand dollars" each night to keep it on the road.
The show was to star Lydon - the former Johnny Rotten - as King Herod, Williams as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Boyd of Incubus as Judas and JC Chasez of 'N Sync as Pontius Pilate. Ben Forster, the winner of Britain's prime-time contest show Superstar, was to play Jesus.
The rock musical, which debuted on Broadway in 1971, includes such songs as What's the Buzz?, Superstar, Everything's Alright and I Don't Know How to Love Him.
The musical marked an early collaboration between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who also created worldwide stage hits including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Evita.