It's 1904. Twelve-year-old Orphelia Bruce dreams of being a musical star -- and she has the talent to make her dream come true. Her biggest obstacle is Momma, who forbids her to perform anywhere but at church in tiny Calico Creek, Missouri. When Orphelia's idol, Madame Meritta, comes to town with her traveling minstrel show, Orphelia runs away with the troupe, hoping to perform at the St. Louis World's Fair! On the road, Orphelia learns about show business -- and uncovers haunting secrets about her family's past.