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Off at a gallop


"Ben-Hur: The Musical," the chariot-driven, $9 million production that rode into the Orlando/Orange County Convention on Nov. 12 with the bold promise that it would run for years `Mane Attraction, Nov. 18` ran out of gas last week. Created by a team whose executive producer said he had a "calling" to move to Orlando and stage a spectacle honoring Jesus Christ, the show with a Biblical undercurrent and a cast of about 50 sold as few as 300 tickets for some performances in a 2,600-seat theater. Thousands of free vouchers and two-for-one specials failed to overcome reviews that were impressed by the costly sets, costumes and effects, but generally observed they failed to add up to anything. The curtain dropped on Jan. 16.