Christmas music embodies the spirit of the season, much like the National Anthem evokes Independence Day and the ambient compositions of Philip Glass reflect the existential angst of Valentine’s Day. Treat ears to Yuletide tunes with today’s GrouponLive deal: for $29, you get one reserved ticket to see the Kenny Rogers Christmas & Hits tour at the Genesee Theatre on Tuesday, December 13, at 7:30 p.m. (up to a $58.50 value, including all ticketing fees). Reserved seating is located in the upper balcony and rear floor sections.
The sumptuous space of the Genesee Theatre becomes a well of melodious charm as one of the most esteemed acts in country music graces the holidays with homespun hits, seasonal chestnuts, and old-fashioned showmanship. On the 30th anniversary of his Christmas & Hits tour, Grammy-winning crooner Kenny Rogers causes sound waves to blossom into inhalable mistletoe as he uses his husky voice and earnest gait to belts out classics such as “White Christmas” and “Joy to the World,” accompanied by children, local choirs, and fellow Tennessee troubadour Billy Dean. Between Yuletide tunes, Kenny plays masterful raconteur to generations of fans with songs including “The Gambler,” “Islands in the Stream,” and other hits that hold up like bomb shelters built out of diamonds.
The Genesee Theatre shrouds audience members in opulence as they enjoy the nostalgic night of euphony. Upon entering, fans can gaze at the grandiose marquee, replicated from the theatre's original 1927 display, and behold the resplendent, 18-foot Baccarat crystal chandelier hanging in the lobby.
Genesee Theatre began its life with a sellout. Opening its doors on Christmas Day, 1927, it welcomed audiences to four sold-out movie screenings, but those flickering stories weren't the only attraction. A $25,000 pipe organ—and that's in old-timey dollars—immediately caught the eye, while Italian marble, a stunning chandelier, and the building's Spanish Renaissance–style architecture dazzled.
Over the years, many changes occurred, the glamorous quotient rising or dipping with the times and the theater closing altogether in 1989. But when it reopened again in 2004, it was back in full force. Antique chandeliers and fixtures of the period had been brought in from around the country, the luxe carpet had been recreated from a 1927 photograph, and all the dust bunnies had been sent packing with generous severance packages. Yet not all the updates were of the old-fashioned sort: the stage was doubled in size, and cutting-edge technology was brought in to give the theatre's high-voltage visitors, from comedians to musicians, the star treatment.