Jacqueline Nalett brings to the stage her experience of living in Fifth Ward in Tales from the Nickel, an autobiographical dance/theatre concert. Nalett revisits her teen years in "The Nickel" (the nickname its residents have given to Fifth Ward) through storytelling, video, rap, soul, gospel and big band music, and, most of all, through dance.
Stories, ranging from comedic to horrific, are played out against a backdrop of two contrasting worlds represented through music - the inner world of Nalett's apartment, with her mother's favorite Big Band music, and the world outside - "The Nickel" - a predominantly poor African-American neighborhood with its rap, gospel and soul music.
Tales from the Nickel opens with video that chronicles the family's route from getting evicted and spending three days on the street, to taking a train to Maryland to stay with grandma, to getting kicked out and returning to Houston where they were homeless for a year, eventually ending up in a shelter in Fifth Ward. Dance tells stories of "The Nickel." Erica Henderson dances a solo with text and gospel music accompaniment. Henderson portrays an elderly neighbor, Mrs. Willie Mae, who, after the death of her husband, lived alone and helped the Nalett family.
Tales from the Nickel features songs by Too Short, LL Cool J, Me'Lisa Morgan, Peggy Lee and Glenn Miller.