How Drag Queens are Unlocking the Future of Customer Experience

When it comes to producing satisfied customers they need to walk out of the experience feeling that they got their money’s worth. Any less and they will feel cheated. And if they feel that they received MORE than their money’s worth – well, that is the best position you could ask for!

la cage

As theatre ticket prices rise across the globe, productions have to look for new ways to engage customers and give them more bang-for-their-buck. Of course high quality entertainment on stage during the performance is an important part of the night but the surrounding experience is equally as important.

One Man, Two Guvnors has a skiffle band playing on stage as soon as they audience walk into the theatre. Once allows audience members to order drinks at the bar which is on stage. Legally Blonde had a variety of cut-outs where you could put your head on Elle, Warner or Emmett’s body. And King Kong has a photographer who takes photos of attendees at each performance which are then uploaded on Facebook to be tagged and shared around audience’s social networks. But there is one show that does this better than any other . . .

The 2010 Broadway revival of La Cage Aux Folles. Or La Cage as they Broadway revival production preferred to go by.

If you were going to La Cage, you didn’t even need to step into the theatre to start getting your money’s worth. The action literally started on the street.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, La Cage is set in a Saint-Tropez nightclub featuring drag entertainment and follows the exploits of as two pairs of future in-laws meet. One pair is the owner of the nightclub, Georges and Albin, the other pair is their son’s fiancée’s ultra-conservative parents. This is crucial to the pre-show entertainment.

Strutting their stuff up and down the pavement as patrons mill around the doors waiting to get into the theatre are the bunch of 7 foot (in heels) drag queens from the show. They wander throughout the crowds, interacting with the patrons and making jokes that you probably wouldn’t want any children under 18 to hear. But it is still in the name of fun!

However, what it does is start the performance from the moment the doors open half an hour before the curtain rises. That’s an extra half hour of entertainment on top of the two and a half hour show – i.e. MUCH MORE bang for your buck.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Anybody walking past the theatre is involved in the entertainment. I didn’t have tickets to see the show but I remember being included in the pre-show experience as I bought a program from the program seller. And that is a glowing advertisement for future ticket purchases!