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BroadwayWorld learned today that the recently announced US arena tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock opera JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR has been completely cancelled.

UPDATE: The official statement has just been released: "Options Clause Entertainment LLC, an affiliate of S2BN Entertainment, announced today the cancellation of the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular Tour including the previously announced show on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at Madison Square Garden. All purchased tickets will be refunded. Tickets purchased online and via telephone will be automatically refunded. Tickets purchased from outlets/venue box office must be returned to that location for refund."

Tonight, the official website removed all dates and cast info, as well, as can be seen here.

According to social media reports, assembled cast and crew were informed of the cancellation this afternoon following a run-through of the show. Primary cast members were expected to begin rehearsals for the show next week prior to embarking on a planned 50-city tour throughout the United States over the next several months.

Of note, earlier today, Times of San Diego revealed that the San Diego stop on the tour had been cancelled at the Valley View Casino Center originally scheduled for July, as reported here, with a brief news release stating: "All purchased tickets will be refunded. Tickets purchased online and via telephone will be automatically refunded. Tickets purchased from outlets/venue box office must be returned to that location for refund."

Ben Forster, who also headlined the international arena tour last year as Jesus, posted to Facebook (censored): "I am so devastated. I'm sorry to everyone who got tickets and flights..Who ever f*cked it up I hate u . But ?#‎IforgiveU? ?#‎imjesus?..wellwas x".

Follow Ben Forster on Facebook here.

JC Chasez, who had been cast as Pilate, just took to Twitter to share his disappointment, writing, "When it rains it pours".

Follow JC Chasez on Twitter here.

Additionally, Paul Ayres shared his disappointment on social media, writing, "Absolutely gutted!!"

Follow Paul Ayres on Twitter here.

The tour was set to star Brandon Boyd, Michelle Williams and Ben Forster in addition to Chasez as Pontius Pilate and Johnny Rotten as King Herod.

The official description of the new JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR arena tour is as follows: "Jesus Christ Superstar, the global phenomenon that has wowed audiences for over 40 years, is reimagined for the 21st century as an arena rock spectacular. The biggest ever North American arena tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's groundbreaking rock musical will hit the road this summer with an extraordinary cast of rock, pop and R&B superstars. The 50+ city tour kicks off in New Orleans at the Lakefront Arena on June 9, and stops in Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and more, before culminating in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Arena on August 17. Brandon Boyd, Grammy® nominated lead vocalist of rock band Incubus, is confirmed for the role of 'Judas Iscariot', Grammy® nominated *NSYNC vocalist, JC Chasez, will play 'Pontius Pilate', Grammy® Award winner and member of Destiny's Child, Michelle Williams, will take the female lead as 'Mary Magdalene', English singer-songwriter and lead singer in Public Image Ltd. (PiL) and Sex Pistols, John Rotten Lydon, will play 'King Herod' and introducing British actor and singer, Ben Forster, who won England's ITV Superstar competition in 2012 and played the lead role in the UK and Australian arena tours of Jesus Christ Superstar, will revive his role as 'Jesus.' With over 50 cast and musicians on stage this is one arena show that can't be missed! The North American leg comes on the heels of the wildly successful UK and Australian arena tours, which began in the UK in September 2012 and commenced in Australia in May 2013. The Times said "The show gets the right balance between the spectacular, the jokey and the sincere. The performances from the well-choreographed supporting cast are fine throughout. Honestly, it's enough to give rock opera a good name." The Evening Chronicle exclaimed, "the extravagance of the production, a flamboyant spectacle of acrobatics, dramatic flames and provocative pole dancing," and Liverpool Daily Post claimed, "Restored to its rock roots, the star-studded second coming of Jesus Christ Superstar is big, brash and bold..." and the Manchester Evening News stated, "from the very opening strains the pounding music, the huge and sophisticated video backdrops and pulsating energy from a talented ensemble cast make this a true spectacle."

For more information on JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, visit the official site here.

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From This Author Pat Cerasaro

Pat Cerasaro contributes exclusive scholarly columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Theatrical Throwback Thursdays, Flash Friday and Flash Special as well as additional special features, (read more...)