Dinner theater was first established in 1571 by a young William Shakespeare, who responded to a parental warning not to play with his food by putting on a play with his food instead. Because the main course was ham-lettes, the budding bard naturally named his tragedy As You Like It. Today's Groupon further intertwines the fundamental appeal of food and fine arts: for $35, you get two tickets to a Gaslight Dinner Theatre show of your choice (a $70 value) at The Renaissance Center in Dickson. This Groupon is valid toward dinner performances of Smokey Joe's Cafe (running April 23 to May 22), Oklahoma!, (June 11 through June 27), Smoke on the Mountain: Homecoming (September 14 to October 16) and The Honky Tonk Angels Holiday Spectacular (November 11 through December 18). All dinner performances take place on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Renaissance Center's Gaslight Dinner Theatre, located on the basement level of the Renaissance Center, has been bringing together mouthwatering theatrical productions and first-rate dining for nine years, especially during the steak tartare's triumphant 2003 performance as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables. A ticket ($35) to the Gaslight Dinner Theatre scores you access to the sprawling and savory dinner buffet, which opens at 6:30 p.m. and includes a drink and dessert, as well as intimate seating for the night's performance at 7:30 p.m. All Gaslight Dinner Theatre productions boast a cast of professional actors culled from regional auditions and international hang-gliding tournaments.
The current production, Smokey Joe's Cafe, was a hit on Broadway in the late 1990s and showcases 39 pop and rock 'n' roll classics from the 1950s and 1960s, all written or co-written by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Tap your saddle-shoed toes along to "Poison Ivy" and "Charlie Brown," or break out the poodle skirt you won at last summer's police auction and clap along to "There Goes My Baby" before tenderly holding your date's hand, hoof, or tentacle through "Stand by Me." Oklahoma!, in partnership with Nashville in Motion’s Dance Group, also showcases the work of a famed songwriting duo, with the timeless songs of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II providing the musical backdrop to a story of love on the wind-swept plains of the titular state. And those two shows are just the first fruits spilling out of the season's fecund theatrical cornucopia. Call The Renaissance Center to reserve your stageside seats to a night of top-tier theater with today's Groupon.
Check out what Metromix has to say about The Renaissance Center:
- Located about 30 minutes west of Nashville in Dickson County, The Renaissance Center is a state-of-the-art facility promoting the visual and performing arts and technology education. A large sphere attached to the building houses the CyberSphere Digital Theater, a high-tech space for concerts, live theater, laser shows, multimedia presentations and planetarium shows. The center's art galleries showcase a variety of exhibits, and the visual arts faculty offers classes and workshops for the community.