EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

April 5, 2014

'Jesus Christ Superstar' coming to Boston arena

NEW YORK — The 1970s rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” is being resurrected for a North American arena rock tour this summer, led by a former boy band member, an R&B siren and a punk icon.

The musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice about the last days of Jesus will start a 54-city tour in New Orleans on June 9.

It will star punk legend John “Johnny Rotten” Lydon as King Herod, Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child as Mary Magdalene, Brandon Boyd of Incubus as Judas and JC Chasez of ‘N Sync as Pontius Pilate. Ben Forster, the winner of the U.K.’s prime-time contest show “Superstar,” will play the son of God.”I’m looking forward to the experience,” said Chasez.

“This is honestly my first theater experience so I’m being thrown into the fire a bit. But I’m excited because the fact that we’re doing something that feels pretty unique.”

The tour will start at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans and include stops in Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, Phoenix, Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver, New York City, Boston and ends in Philadelphia on Aug. 16. The guitar- and keyboard-driven 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 show will have four video cameras broadcasting the show onto screens and use the latest in lighting and sound technology.”Superstar” was first introduced as an album before being staged in theaters on Broadway and London.

“There’s always been for me, something a little bit constraining about it in a theater,” said Lloyd Webber. “We wrote it as a rock album and not as a stage show.

“In 2012, producer Michael Cohl said he saw a concert version of “Superstar” in London and was blown away. That show toured the UK and Australia before jumping to North America.

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