The Music of Dolly Parton

Saturday, Apr. 27 | 8:00pm ET (7:00pm CT)


The Acorn celebrates American Country Music Legend (and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer) Dolly Parton with local musicians Meagan Francis, Nikki Gauthier, Meredith George and Abbie Thomas singing hits from Parton’s five decade career. Vocalists will be joined by the Chesterton, Indiana bluegrass band, Watershed Ramblers – Alex Gottschlich (guitar/vocals), Ian Soto (mandolin/vocals) and Daniel Cole Dailey (double bass/vocals).

The Acorn is hosting a Community Book Drive in celebration of the life and legacy of Dolly Parton! Bring a book to The Acorn throughout the month of April and receive a Dolly Parton themed gift. Bring a book to The Acorn the night of The Music of Dolly Parton on April 27 for $3 off our specialty drink for the night - the Wine to 5! Books should be new and chosen for children of any age - infants through teens! Books will be distributed to River Valley Schools.

Dolly Parton is an American singer-songwriter, musician, actress, philanthropist, and businesswoman, perhaps most well known for her decades-long career in country music. With a career spanning over fifty years, Parton has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, making her one of the best-selling female artists of all time.

Dolly Parton has had 25 singles reach no. 1 on the Billboard country music charts, a record for a female artist (tied with Reba McEntire). She has 44 career Top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career-charted singles over the past 40 years. She has composed over 3,000 songs, including "I Will Always Love You" (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper, and an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), "Jolene," "Coat of Many Colors," and "9 to 5."

The country music legend has received 11 Grammy Awards out of 50 nominations, including the Lifetime Achievement Award; ten Country Music Association Awards, including Entertainer of the Year and is one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year Award. Among her many other awards, Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2005, she received the National Medal of Arts and in 2022, she was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a nomination she had initially declined but ultimately accepted.

Outside of her work in the music industry, Parton has founded a number of charitable and philanthropic organizations, chief among them is the Dollywood Foundation, which manages a number of projects to bring education and poverty relief to East Tennessee where she grew up.

About the Artists:

Meagan FrancisMeagan Francis
Meagan Francis became part of the SWMI music community nearly ten years ago, performing in a musical on the Twin City Players stage. Since then, Meagan has played both supporting and leading roles in a variety of productions for TCP and Lake Michigan College, as well as concerts at the Livery and in the Southwest Michigan Symphony Opera's RESPECT show. While Covid put Meagan's love of performing temporarily on the shelf, she's excited to be back on stage at one of her favorite venues, celebrating an artist who was a staple while she was growing up, and who still continues to inspire her life today. During the day, Meagan is a writer, podcaster, and mom of five kids ages 15-26. You can find her online at meaganfrancis.com.

Nikki GauthierNikki Gauthier
Nikki Gauthier came to music early in life taking piano lessons at her grandma’s side. While she loved to perform in her family’s living room, Nikki didn’t seek the spotlight, opting to play the piano instead for her high school’s choir. She didn’t embrace the stage until 2017, when, early in her forties, she performed at a local open mic. Nikki’s performance credits now include Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s RESPECT concert, Krasl Art Fair Block Party, The Livery, Box Factory for the Arts, Benton Harbor Art Hop and BHAA’s Arts in the Park series, along with our own Acorn stage. You will often find Nikki performing under the name Dirty Sally.

Meredith GeorgeMeredith George
Meredith George has been performing in and around the SWMI area for the past 10 years. Originally hailing from Annapolis Maryland she moved here in 2013 with her husband Jason and cat Bones after graduating from Belmont University in Nashville. After a brief hiatus she found her way back on stage through The Livery’s Open Stage in the Benton Harbor Arts District. Through this community of supportive artists and friends she found an outlet for her musical passions. You can see her in musical theatre, rock & jazz tribute shows but mainly performing in the local female powerhouse trio The Backups. Portraying artists such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Alanis Morsett, Pat Benatar and Anne Wilson her range is ever growing. When she’s not onstage you can find her slinging bottles at her boutique wine shoppe, St Joe Wine Shoppe in The Market at 301 Main Street.

Abbie ThomasAbbie Thomas
Fresh off of her 2023 JMA Artist of the Year award at The Grand Ole Opry, Abbie Thomas is a rising singer songwriter who is gaining international attention and nominations for live performances, lyricism and visual content. Mixing genre-bending arrangements with soulful vocals and hints of Blues, Jazz, and a vibe from the songwriters of the ‘70s, she is currently touring regionally; most recently opening for Clint Black, Laine Hardy, and Girl Named Tom.

Influenced by artists such as Carole King, Lauryn Hill, John Mayer and Ella Fitzgerald, versatility has her playing throughout Midwest USA in acoustic listening rooms to clubs with her full backing band, recently dubbed ‘The Crazy Hearts;’ who were just nominated for a 2023 Hollywood Independent Music Award for Best Live Performance for Thomas’s original, “Try.” You can listen to Thomas's original music on all major streaming platforms.

Watershed RamblersWatershed Ramblers
Hailing from Chesterton, IN, the Watershed Ramblers consist of core members Alex Gottschlich (guitar/vocals), Ian Soto (mandolin/vocals) and Daniel Cole Dailey (double bass/vocals). The Ramblers, drawn from a diverse group of influences such as Bill Monroe, Tony Rice, The Grateful Dead and Jonathan Davis, are an acoustic outfit that plays a mix of traditional/modern bluegrass, folk/contemporary rock and a slew of original music. Known for fast paced tempos and train-like grooves, the Ramblers bring the energy with their "Dunegrass" style of music, a combination of not-so-traditional music being played in a semi-traditional fashion.

The Watershed Ramblers formed in the fall of 2022 as some friends gathered in the basement of guitarist Alex "Gooch" Gottschlich to explore the world of bluegrass. Over the last year, the Ramblers have honed their craft through countless performances at local venues, music festivals as well as hosting their own events in and out of Northwest Indiana. Their live shows are a celebration of music camaraderie, with each member contributing their expertise to create an immersive experience for the audience. Whether it's a foot-stomping hoedown or a soulful ballad, the Rambler's performances are a journey through the heart and soul of american roots music.

Constantly continuing to evolve and explore new musical territories, the Watershed Ramblers remain true to their roots, drawing inspiration from the rich heritage that has shaped American music for generations. With a passion for storytelling and commitment to preserving traditions of the past, the Ramblers are a musical force to be reckoned with, promising a journey through the heartland with every note they play. Be on the lookout for the first official musical release from the Watershed Ramblers in Spring of 2024!


RESERVED SEATING DONATION option includes a $25 tax-deductible donation to The Acorn and guarantees you a seat with optimal sightlines. $25 Donation per ticket holder in your group.

Turn your show experience into a memorable stay! The Loft at The Acorn offers a spacious, industrial-chic apartment above The Acorn theater. Click here for photos and rental information.


Box Office opens at 4:00pm ET
Starts 8:00pm, doors open 7:00pm

Artistry, Up Close

The intimate, acoustically-rich Acorn environment encourages interaction between the artists and audience.

About The Acorn Center for the Performing Arts

The Acorn brings great known performers and amazing new ones to southwest Michigan.  Located in the historic featherbone factory, The Acorn’s friendly staff and volunteers, and an acoustically rich sound system combine for memorable experiences. We’re located in Three Oaks, Michigan …  just over an hour from downtown Chicago and 30 minutes from South Bend, IN.

The Acorn, a nonprofit organization, annually hosts a singer songwriter competition and a Spectacular Tournament of Playwrights. Our Open Mic nights showcase a variety of strong talent and our educational workshops include songwriting and master classes in performance.

The Acorn’s Mission

To offer a broad range of high-quality arts and education programming that nurtures cultural experience, participation and community engagement among residents and visitors of all ages and enhances the economic vitality of the region.

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