On December 1 – 18, Powerstories Theatre is excited to bring back to stage its original holiday musical, written by Fran Powers, with music/lyrics by Terez Hartmann. This year guests can enjoy the live musical worldwide on December 10 and 17 via two special live-stream events.
A seasonal tradition, Raising Twelve on a Nickel and a Prayer is Fran’s true story, a musical spanning three Christmas seasons, beginning in 1950 and closing in 1966. It follows the love story, adventures, and trials and tribulations of Betty, who dreams of having 12 children, and Harold, her Navy sailor husband.
The story shows the struggles of living on a military paycheck, broken promises, a cross-country train adventure, and a bleak Christmas when Betty raises their children alone in a new city while Harold is at sea. Later, when their dream of having their twelfth child is about to be realized, they receive news that could forever change their lives.
The performance is exceptionally touching as the connection between the two leads, Betty and Harold is authentic. Married couple Lisa and Omar Negron are cast to play Powers's parents in the play.
"I lived this Christmas story of being raised in a large family," said Powers. "It was filled with adventures, hardships, and dreams coming true."
Directed by Powers, the family-friendly musical of sharing love and kindness, even to mean-hearted people, has a large cast of children and adults featuring the Negrons, Leyla-Jade Curbelo as Donna Taylor, Samantha Bollinger as Mary Taylor, Chloe Tort as Liz Taylor, Kaia Wickstrom as Fran Taylor, Calvin Crespo as David Taylor, Elijah Santo as John Taylor, Bella Lemmons as Rose Taylor, Ruthie Quillian as Judy Taylor, Hannah Bergman as Royale Martingnoni, Zachary Chacon and Tito Mercado as sailors, and Nini Abdoney and Madison Pulica as dining customers.
Raising Twelve on a Nickel and a Prayer tells the story of Betty believing when there is no reason she should. It's about keeping your chin up, even in potentially dangerous circumstances, and Christmas dinner assembled from what's left in the fridge.
Above all, the story is about Betty's strength, determination, and the power of prayer. It's a feel-good message about believing in a dream despite naysayers. With all ingredients needed to become a seasonal classic: romance, family, drama, comedy, heart, and keeping faith despite impossible odds, Raising Twelve on a Nickel and a Prayer has become a beloved holiday musical tradition at Powerstories that you don’t want to miss.
For military families separated during the holidays, Powers has a special gift.
"With every live-stream ticket you purchase, we will make a ticket link donation to a local military family missing their loved ones this holiday season," said Powers.
Performing this musical is especially poignant this year as it will be the last musical on the Powerstories stage on Kennedy Boulevard. In mid-2023, the theatre and the other business in the shopping center are scheduled to be demolished. Out-of-state developers have plans approved by the city to convert the space into an eight-story apartment high-rise. Powers’ plans to expand and change the location of the theatre space are in the preliminary stages.
“The message of resilience in the musical is literally life imitating art. We want our last musical in this space to be a special holiday memory for everyone in the show and in the audience.”
Raising Twelve on a Nickel and a Prayer is a limited family-friendly holiday engagement on December 1-18, with live-stream available December 10 and 17. Tickets are $30 and $25 for students, seniors, and the military. Powerstories is partnering with Arts4All Florida, a nonprofit organization that promotes the accomplishments of artists with disabilities. Twelve works by these local artists will be featured online and on the lobby art wall during the musical. Get holiday tickets or gift certificates at https://bit.ly/3SpnopH. To view their 2023 Season of Strong Women, visit powerstories.com. Powerstories Theatre is sponsored by Arts Council Hillsborough County, and Hillsborough County.