New Steve Dorff, John Bettis, and Rick Hawkins Musical, SAY GOODNIGHT Will Workshop & Premiere at WaterTower Theatre

New Steve Dorff, John Bettis, and Rick Hawkins Musical, SAY GOODNIGHT Will Workshop & Premiere at WaterTower Theatre

Addison (TX) – Shane Peterman, Producing Artistic Director has announced that WaterTower Theatre is continuing our dedication to the development of new Music Theatre works with a workshop of a new musical SAY GOODNIGHT by Steve Dorff, John Bettis, and Rick Hawkins. This season marks the 28th for WaterTower Theatre, and the fourth season programmed by Producing Artistic Director Shane Peterman and Associate Producer Elizabeth Kensek.

“Say Goodnight,” is an original musical based on the legend and love story of the famous comedy couple, George Burns and Gracie Allen as imagined by with music by Grammy Award nominee, Steve Dorff (“Every Which Way But Loose,” Celine Dion’s “Miracle,” Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years”), lyrics by Grammy nominee, John Bettis (George Strait’s “Heartland” and Madonna’s “Crazy for You”), and book by Emmy winning Rick Hawkins (The Carol Burnett Show, and The Love Boat). This workshop will be directed by Producing Artistic Director, Shane Peterman and music directed by Eric Forte Leach (Broadway: Come From Away, Nat. Tour: Flashdance: The Musical, Elf: The Musical). Joining the WTT team on this new work, are collaborators: Casting Consultant Stephen DeAngelis and Line Producer Erica Harkins. WaterTower Theatre is excited to welcome this legendary story to Addison, TX and bring George Burns and Gracie Allen to the stage.

“Say Goodnight” reveals the heart-warming backstage romance between the endearing and enduring comedy team of George Burns and Gracie Allen, whose decades-long success in vaudeville, radio, films, and television was paralleled with the triumphs and tragedies of one of Hollywood’s most powerful love stories. With a score that will have you tapping your toes and dabbing your eyes, it’s a truly American story of children of immigrants, driven to assimilate and achieve, who found in one another the love of their life and their secret to success.

The story of “Say Goodnight” tells the story of the life and times of George Burns and Gracie Allen. The talented George Burns is to be played by Sean Burns, (NYC: Love Around the Block, Nat. Tour: Hello Dolly, Jersey Boys, Peter Pan 360). Alison Whitehurst (Nat. Tour: Beautiful, NYC: Born For This: the Bebe Winans Story) is set to play the devoted Gracie Allen. The cast is rounded out by Averie Bishop, Micah Brooks, Katie Moyes Williams, Justin Prince, Mary Kim, Myiesha J. Duff, and Aaron White.

WaterTower Theatre is excited to welcome composer Steve Dorff. Newly inducted into the prestigious Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in New York, Steve Dorff's career as a songwriter spans five decades and includes more than forty BMI awards, twenty Top 10 hits, twelve No. 1 hits, and an American Music Award. The Grammy and Emmy-nominated songwriter and composer has had songs recorded by more than four hundred artists from all genres of music, as well as twenty-eight movie scores and countless theme songs and placements on TV series. He has had #1 Records across 4 decades.

Dorff's songs have been recorded by iconic artists such as Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Kenny Rogers, Anne Murray, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Dusty Springfield and countless others. A few chart hits include Rogers’ “Through the Years,” Murray’s “I Just Fall in Love Again,” Strait’s “I Cross My Heart,” and Eddie Rabbitt’s “Every Which Way But Loose”—the title track from Clint Eastwood’s 1978 film. Dorff has composed TV music for shows such as Murphy Brown, Growing Pains, Murder She Wrote, Columbo, Reba, Spenser: For Hire, Just the Ten of Us, and The Singing Bee. His film contributions include songs and scores for Pure Country, Bronco Billy, Rocky IV, Tin Cup and Honky Tonk Man. Branching into stage productions, he wrote the music for the theatre production, Josephine. Dorff published the 2017 memoir, I Wrote That One Too...A Life in Songwriting from Willie to Whitney, and he enjoys performing his best-loved songs at venues across the country.

Watertower Theatre also welcomes John Gregory Bettis. John Bettis was originally part of the band Spectrum, which also featured Richard and Karen Carpenter. He wrote the lyrics for "Top of the World", a hit for both Lynn Anderson and The Carpenters. He wrote several more hits for The Carpenters, including "Only Yesterday", "Goodbye to Love" and "Yesterday Once More". He later wrote hits for other artists including Madonna ("Crazy for You"), Michael Jackson ("Human Nature"), The Pointer Sisters ("Slow Hand"), Conway Twitty ("Slow Hand"), Diana Ross ("When You Tell Me That You Love Me"), Jennifer Warnes ("Nights Are Forever"), Peabo Bryson ("Can You Stop the Rain"), George Strait ("Heartland"), Juice Newton ("Heart of the Night"), Ronnie Milsap ("Only One Love in My Life"), Barbara Mandrell ("One of a Kind Pair of Fools"), 38 Special ("Like No Other Night"), New Kids on the Block ("If You Go Away"), Donna Summer ("The Woman in Me"), Barbra Streisand ("Sweet Forgiveness"), Whitney Houston ("One Moment in Time")

He has been nominated four times and won two Emmy Awards for his work in television. His first Emmy was for the theme to the 1988 Summer Olympics co-written with Albert Hammond, and his second win was for "Where There is Hope" from Guiding Light. Bettis has written the themes for many long-running TV series. With Steve Dorff, he wrote the theme to “Growing Pains”, “Just the Ten of Us” and “My Sister Sam”. With George Tipton, he wrote the themes to “Empty Nest” and “Nurses”. He was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar for “Promise Me You'll Remember” from “The Godfather Part III”. His work in film also includes: “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier”, “Body Rock”, “The Last Boy Scout”, “Twilight Zone: The Movie”, “The Lonely Guy”, “Legend”, “Vision Quest”, “Supergirl”, “The Men's Club”, “Pure Country”, “Nothing in Common”, “Cocktail”, “8 Seconds”, “Cobra”, “Back to the Beach”, “Oh, God! You Devil”, “December Boys”, “Curly Sue” and “Say Anything”. In theatre, Bettis has provided lyrics for the musicals Lunch (tour 1994); Svengali (1992); The Last Session (L.A. Drama critics Award, Best Musical Score 1998); Say Goodnight (1999); Pure Country (2008) and most recently Josephine (2011). Bettis has nearly 800 song credits in the ASCAP database. In 2011, Bettis was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Rounding out this team of creative powerhouses, Rick Hawkins is the writer for Say Goodnight. Rick Hawkins is an Emmy-winning screenwriter, whose decades-long career in Hollywood includes twenty-four consecutive seasons of success as a television executive producer, head writer, studio executive, and international media consultant. Beginning with The Carol Burnett Show, where his now iconic “Went With the Wind” sketch contains the longest sustained laugh in television history, Hawkins went on to pen the ABC telefilm, The Love Boat, which piloted the long running series. Hawkins’ writing credits include landmark variety series, top rated sitcoms and dramas, for which he has earned seven Emmy Award nominations and five WGA Award nominations.

Hawkins has written the book for several musicals, including the Lunch, which had its West Coast premiere in January of 2014. Hawkins has served as lecturer and teacher at the University of California Los Angeles and the University of Moscow, as well as the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Warner Brothers Comedy Writing workshops. He has developed week-long screenwriting courses for gifted high school students through US Performing Arts Camps and instructs summer courses at Stanford University, Georgetown University, Pepperdine University and UCLA. He is currently serving as a Senior Teaching Artist and Director of Screenwriting in the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

This team is excited to bring the magic of vaudeville and the legend of George Burns and Gracie Allen to the stage. “Say Goodnight” is being presented via Actors’ Equity Association’s 29 Hour Reading guidance on the Terry Martin Mainstage at WaterTower Theatre on October 7th at 8:00pm. Tickets are free and available by invite only.

For more information on WaterTower Theatre, visit us online at or call the Box Office at 972.450.6232.