Johnny Rotten & '90s pop stars coming to Xcel with 'Jesus Christ Superstar'


The real-life John Lydon will play King Herod in a touring production that will also feature singers from 'N Sync, Destiny's Child and Incubus.

John Lydon went bananas at a "Jesus Christ Superstar" press conference in New York with, from left, JC Chasez, Michelle Williams and Brandon Boyd.

He once infamously claimed to be the antichrist in song, and now British punk legend Johnny “Rotten” Lydon will be starring opposite another rock singer playing Jesus on stage at Xcel Energy Center when an ambitious new version of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” comes to the St. Paul arena on tour July 31.

Lydon, of Sex Pistols notoriety, has signed up to play King Herod in the so-called “21st century adaption” of the 1971 Broadway hit, which will hit 51 cities on tour and will also feature Brandon Boyd of the ‘90s rock band Incubus as Judas, Justin Timberlake’s old ‘N Sync bandmate JC Chasez as Pontious Pilate and Destiny Child’s Michelle Williams as Mary Magdalene. The role of Jesus will be played by newcomer Ben Forster, who won a British TV competition to land the role.

Tickets go on sale May 9 at 10 a.m. at prices ranging from $47 to $97 through Ticketmaster and the X’s box office.

Lydon as Johnny Rotten

Lydon as Johnny Rotten

In an interview last year before he came to town last year with his post-Pistols band Public Image Limited, Lydon was unabashed about his money-making ventures that seem to undermine his punk credibility. Starring "JCS" would probably fall in that category, too. "Shilling for butter is a lot less harmful and denigrating than dealing with a record company," he said when asked about a Country Life Butter commercial he made.  

Lydon was his usual unholy self at a press conference promoting the new touring production in New York two weeks ago. He threw bananas at members of the press there and tried to give an impromptu Q&A, which was unplugged by the show’s producers. He did give them this quote: “I’m here to sing with the King of the Jews. Who could ask for anything more?"

Boyd and Williams recently appeared sans Lydon on "Good Morning America" to offer a preview of the music, which can be viewed here.

[Photos: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP; file]