Business News Live Business

Cohl says ‘Superstar USA’ ticket sales were “horrific”

By | Published on Monday 9 June 2014

Jesus Christ Superstar

Veteran tour promoter Michael Cohl says he realised his joint venture with Andrew Lloyd Webber, that was attempting to replicate Stateside the West End musical arena circuit that has emerged in the UK, was facing sizable problems as soon as they put tickets on sale for their first production, an all-star version of ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. Tickets sales for the shows, he added, were “horrific”.

Speaking to Billboard just a few days after the mega-bucks venture was cancelled, Cohl said: “We all worked very hard reinventing things, rethinking things, fighting the good fight. And it just got to the point … Look, it is a business, let’s face it. We had to make the right business decision”.

As previously reported, most of the stars set to appear in the show – including Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd, N Syncer JC Chasez, Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams and none other than John Lydon – seemed shocked by the sudden pulling of the show at the start of the month. Cohl was reported to have indicated he and his business partners had invested an eight figure sum into the venture at the point of cancellation, though he wouldn’t discuss the financials with Billboard.

Cohl says he knew the musical venture was “risky” and he and his team have questioned all the decisions they made about the project. But, he says, his joint venture with Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group covers the musical man’s other shows, and they could as yet have a second attempt with a ‘Phantom’ or an ‘Evita’ or some such. Because perhaps middle America just wasn’t ready to see Lydon cast in the Jesus story, even as the villain.