The announcement comes on to turn off all mobile phones and enjoy tonight’s performance. The lights go down and the conductor strikes up the orchestra as the curtain rises. The moment you’ve been eagerly waiting for has finally arrived, as your eyes light up watching the gleaming stage in front of you.
My first taste of Broadway was a performance of Cabaret – which probably wasn’t the best introduction to the stage for an eight year old. Nonetheless, I was hooked and my loyalty to the world of musical theatre was no longer a dress rehearsal – it was show time.
Having seen countless theatrical productions on Broadway, in the West End and via travelling productions, I’ve become accustomed to a certain standard. On the West End stage, I can pick out who is putting on an “American” accent, which chorus dancer is half a count off, which singer fully went for the high note and who in the audience is trying to sneak a picture of the immaculate stage for Instagram bragging rights.
As much as I’m a fan of the theatre, I unfortunately can’t say I compare to the ‘superfans’ who have attended London’s West End shows hundreds of times. When interviewed by TimeOut, these three fans have spent endless hours, unknown amounts of money, and the utmost dedication to watching their favourite productions on stage. Some may call it crazy, I think it’s amazing – and would probably do the same if I had the time and money.
But before you’re quick to judge, aren’t we all musical theatre superfans? After all, what this comes down to is loyalty towards a ‘brand’ that we love, admire and trust in. Some may be loyal to watching a fabulous cast strut around a stage in sky high ‘Kinky Boots’ while others prefer exclusive hotel booking deals, VIP room upgrades and point based loyalty schemes for free nights around the world.
A few notable companies who are taking the stage in the tourism and hospitality industry include Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, InterContinental Hotel Group and Marriott/Starwood. Marriott, who covers over 4,000 hotels globally, will combine loyalty programmes with Starwood Preferred Guest in 2018. This loyalty program merge will surely appeal to more than a few ‘superfans’ who exclusively stay at their properties, and will continue to do so. Their loyalty guests have certain standards, know what to expect, and trust that they can experience the same great brands, no matter where they are in the world. Loyalty program membership stats have continued to increase each year, proving that consumers who are loyal to a favourite brand will spend extra money and put in extra mileage to experience a good night’s sleep.
While you may be watching a different cast during the matinee from the evening performance, the songs are still sure to tug on your heart strings, and the choreography will move you in your seat. A hotel in the heart of Hawaii, surrounded with swim up bars and white sand beaches will still provide you with the same reliable service, comfortable sleeps and accommodating amenities as it would in the heart of the business district in Lower Manhattan.
So put down the knitting, the book and the broom, it’s time for a holiday – whether you’re loyal to a play, a coffee shop, an airline or hotel – life is a cabaret!