There’s a lesson to be learned from the “premature” closing of the Lord of the Rings stage musical in Toronto. It’s not an artistic lesson, although trying to compress three hefty books into one evening of theatre might not have been the wisest move. It isn’t a purely financial lesson, even though the show’s production costs were so high that every performance had to sell out for it to be a success. And it’s only partly connected to the political question of whether taxpayer money should be pumped into big-budget musical extravaganzas. No, this lesson has to do with something else — the power of brands. Or, more accurately, the impotence of some brands. [More]