Psalmayene 24's Contemporary Pinocchio Tale, P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical, Returns Sept. 29

By Michael Gioia
September 29, 2012

P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical, a contemporary take on the classic story of Pinocchio by hip-hop theatre artist Psalmayene 24, returns to Maryland's Imagination Stage for a three-week engagement. The production kicks off the company's 2012-13 season Sept. 29.



Psalmayene 24 also directs the production and stars in the title role. He is joined by choreographer Paige Hernandez as the Graffiti Fairy, James Johnson as G.Petto, Jacob Yeh as Fox Madoff and Katy Carkuff as Cat Burgler. Performances continue through Oct. 18.

A special performance will be held Oct. 12 at 7 PM, featuring an "Old School Dance Party" on stage following the show. Nick "tha 1da" Hernandez, composer of P.Nokio, will be on hand as the evening's DJ.

Here's how Imagination Stage describes the show: "G.Petto is an ingenious designer of computer games who works for the evil Machine Master. One day he discovers that his new character, P.Nokio, can escape the computer! G.Petto is delighted at the prospect of having a “son.” With the help of the Graffiti Fairy, he sets out to teach P.Nokio how to become a real boy by attending the Old School and studying the art of rhyme. Unfortunately, P.Nokio is tempted by The Way of Fun and Trouble and The Land of Fools. He finds himself in the company of con artists and in a tangle of lies that endanger his newfound father. To save G.Petto from Machine Master, P.Nokio must wise up, keep it real and learn that words and truth are the mightiest weapons of all."

Other members of the creative team include Nick Hernandez (sound design and original composition), Ethan Sinnott (set design), Kendra Rai (costume design) and Andrew Griffin (lighting design).

The company's season will also feature Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Seussical (Nov. 14, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013); Anime Momotrao, adapted from the traditional Japanese folktale (Jan. 30-March 10, 2013); Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, adapted by David Wood (April 3-May 26, 2013); Dahl's The Magic Finger, adapted by Wood (April 12-May 24, 2013); and Peter Pan and Wendy, a musical by Alyn Cardarelli and Steve Goers (June 26-Aug. 11, 2013).

Imagination Stage is located at 4908 Auburn Avenue in Bethesda, MD. For more information and tickets, call (301) 280-1660 or visit ImaginationStage.org.