It’s a big day for rock promoter Michael Cohl, who famously served as the producer of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark during its biggest logistical and creative disasters. Not only was it announced that Cohl is mounting an Alvin And The Chipmunks musical, he’s also being sued by the legendary composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The lawsuit that in musical theater terms, finds Webber standing in a spotlight angry belting, “Do you think you’re what they say you are?” is over the recently canceled production of Webber’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Cohl was co-producing the North American tour with Webber’s Really Useful Group. With a cast that included Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams, ’NSYNC’s JC Chasez, and John Lydon as King Herod, the tour was set to open June 9 and hit more than 50 U.S. cities. By late May, sets and costumes had been constructed and the show had been heavily promoted when Cohl—in what could be described as a Judas-esque betrayal—abruptly cancelled the whole venture.
At the time, Cohl maintained that the tour was just too expensive and would have to make several hundred thousand dollars at every performance to succeed. The Really Useful Group, however, feel the production had every chance at turning a profit, since similar arena tours had succeeded in the U.K. and Australia. In a statement, The Really Useful Group argues that, under their agreement, Cohl “was responsible for all of the costs associated with the U.S. dates” and added that the company is “hugely disappointed to be let down in this way, particularly taking into account the impact (both personal and financial) that it has had on the many people who have put so much hard work into this project.”
If the lawsuit makes it to court, one can only hope it resolves in Webber breaking down into a tearful rendition of “I Don’t Know How To Love Him.”