Hip-Hop Take on Cinderalla Works for Kids and Parents

Play Runs until May 25 in Bethesda Theater

Psalmayene 24, also known as Gregory Morrison, is the playwright and director of “Cinderella: The Remix,” a child friendly Hip-Hop play currently playing at the Imagination Stage in Bethesda, Md.

“Cinderella: The Remix” takes a twist on the traditional Cinderella story where Cinderella is not allowed to DJ in Hip-Hop Hollywood because she is a female. Her stepmom, Bad Ma’amajama, and step brother, Chocolate Ice, make her do all of the chores. She lives in the basement. The basement is her sanctuary where she secretly makes “super fresh crazy hot fly beautiful” beats. When one of the hottest artists in Hip-Hop Hollywood, J. Prince, holds auditions, Cinderella finds a way to audition despite the fact that she is a girl with the help of her friend Chin Chilla and fairy godmother, Hoperah.

With fun songs, beats and jokes that even parents can enjoy, this is a show for the entire family.

Safiyyah Haqq, mother of a 10-year-old daughter, said that she enjoyed it.

“The overall message to be yourself that her friend Chin Chilla told her which came from the original story was good,” Haqq said. “Then in the end the message of equality for all, not just women, but then her friend Chin Chilla who was all so different. That can send a message for not just black people or girls or boys, but right now that’s gay rights. I thought that was good.”

She also said that she thinks that overall the show is child appropriate but yet kept the parents engaged.

The music playlist featured songs such as “Hollywood Swinging” by Kool & the Gang and “Supersonic” by J.J. Fad that the parents recognized. And references to Oprah and other notable celebrities kept the parents interested without going over the youngsters’ heads. “Cinderella: The Remix” is playing in the Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre at the Imagination Stage in Bethesda throughout the month of May.

“Cinderella: The Remix” completes Psalmayene 24’s Hip-Hop Children’s Trilogy following “Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth” in 2009 and “P. Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical” in 2012.

Psalmayene 24 is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., and now resides in the Washington area. Recognized as one of the pioneers of Hip-Hop theater, Psalmayene is an actor himself appearing in HBO’s “The Wire.”

The Imagination Stage is a not-for-profit organization that produces theatre and arts education programs that nurture, challenge and empower young people of all abilities. It receives funding from private and individual donors. For the production of “Cinderella: The Remix,” the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Imagination Stage a $25,000 grant.

“Cinderella: The Remix” playing through May 25 at Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Ave., Bethesda. Call 301-280-1660 or visit www.imaginationstage.org.