New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

NOTE: NJ Stage is not affiliated with this event. For ticket info, please contact the venue directly.

"Magic Tree House Showtime With Shakespeare" - A New Hip Hop Musical
To Come To NJPAC

originally published: 03/29/2019

"Magic Tree House Showtime With Shakespeare" - A New Hip Hop Musical To Come To NJPAC

(NEWARK, NJ) -- “Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare,” a new hip hop adventure for young audiences, embarks on a 13-city tour beginning March 11 in Las Vegas and concluding on May 31 at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). 

Presented by NJPAC Productions on Tour, the story of a time-traveling brother and sister who find themselves onstage in London’s Globe Theatre is based on “Stage Fright on a Summer Night,” book No. 25 in the popular Magic Tree House series created by New York Times best-selling author Mary Pope Osborne.   

This original family show reunites the Arts Center for the second time with the creative team behind Magic Tree House on stage. In 2012, “A Good Night for Ghosts” (No. 42 in the series) inspired the co-production of “A Night in New Orleans,” a successful, jazz-flavored touring musical about young trumpeter Louis Armstrong.

“Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare,” directed by Janeece Freeman Clark, features music and additional lyrics by Randy Courts and book and lyrics by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne, who is the husband of Mary Pope Osborne and a longtime collaborator on stage versions of her work. It was developed in partnership with George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick.

“We’re honored to partner with Mary and Will, as well as George Street Playhouse, on this important production,” said David Rodriguez, NJPAC’s Executive Vice President and Executive Producer. “Through ‘Showtime with Shakespeare,’ the Arts Center is expanding not just its programming, but its programming for young people on a national scale, beyond the four walls of the theater.”

The article continues after this ad


“An adaptation of ‘Stage Fright’ is a great choice,” said Will Osborne, who noted that Shakespeare’s rhymes lend themselves naturally to a hip hop treatment. “We hope this show will encourage kids to create their own stories, poems, songs and shows, and explore the magic of language – and have fun doing it.”

Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House books have sold over 130 million copies throughout the world and have been translated into more than 30 languages.

In the series, sibling heroes Jack and Annie are whisked away through time via their backyard hideaway – guided by curiosity and an enchanted book. On this particular journey, they land in Elizabethan England, where they meet the great William Shakespeare and help him raise the curtain on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Along the way, they encounter Dan the Dancing Bear and learn that the meaning of a “bear garden” is much more sinister than it sounds. Dozens of roles are performed by “Showtime with Shakespeare’s” diverse, seven-member cast.

The tour for “Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare” follows. Plans are under way for an expanded circuit during the 2019-2020 season:

  • Las Vegas, Nev., March 11-14, Smith Center

  • Albuquerque, N.M., March 19, University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall

  • Mesa, Ariz., March 21 and 22, Mesa Arts Center’s Piper Repertory Theater

  • Abilene, Texas, March 30, Paramount Theatre

  • Paducah, Ky., April 9, Carson Center

  • Indianapolis, Ind., April 11, Butler Arts Center’s Clowes Memorial Hall

  • Wilmington, Del., May 19, The Grand Opera House’s Copeland Hall

  • Purchase, N.Y., May 20, SUNY Purchase’s Recital Hall

  • Concord, N.H., May 21, Capitol Center for the Arts’ Chubb Theatre

  • Buffalo, N.Y., May 23, Shea’s 710 Theatre

  • New Bedford, Mass., May 28, Zeiterion Performing Arts Center

  • Newark, N.J., May 30 (school groups) and 31, New Jersey Performing Arts Center

At NJPAC, “Showtime with Shakespeare” takes place at 7 p.m. in the Victoria Theater. Tickets are $25 through, 1-888-GO-NJPAC (466-5722) or the box office at One Center St. in Newark.


About NJPAC Productions on Tour

“Magic Tree House: Showtime with Shakespeare” is the latest attraction of NJPAC Productions on Tour, which brings exciting, original theatrical works to cities here and aboard. Its properties include the national tour of “Jazz in the Key of Ellison,” a multimedia tribute to African-American writer and scholar Ralph Ellison and his remarkable collection of jazz recordings; “Carefree: Dancin’ with Fred & Ginger,” a song-and-dance salute to America’s favorite ballroom duo, and “The Hip Hop Nutcracker,” which recently concluded a 28-city tour and is slated for broadcast on public television stations in 2019.

About George Street Playhouse - Under the leadership of Artistic Director David Saint since 1998, George Street Playhouse is a nationally recognized theatre, presenting an acclaimed mainstage season while providing an artistic home for established and emerging theatre artists. Founded in 1974, the Playhouse has been represented by numerous productions both on and off Broadway – recent productions include “The Toxic Avenger” (which won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical), Anne Meara’s “Down the Garden Paths,” the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Drama League-nominated production of “The Spitfire Grill,” and the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play “Proof” by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays. In addition to its mainstage season, GSP’s Touring Theatre features issue-oriented productions and tours to hundreds of schools in the tri-state area and beyond, and are seen by more than 35,000 students annually.

NJPAC is located at One Center Street in Newark, New Jersey.

More Articles You Might Like

The Simon & Garfunkel Story Comes To The Basie On January 23
The Simon & Garfunkel Story Comes To The Basie On January 23
Dreamcatcher To Hold Junior Summer Theatre Program In July
Dreamcatcher To Hold Junior Summer Theatre Program In July
Inside The 2019 Princeton Festival
Inside The 2019 Princeton Festival
"Magic Tree House Showtime With Shakespeare" - A New Hip Hop Musical To Come To NJPAC
"Magic Tree House Showtime With Shakespeare" - A New Hip Hop Musical To Come To NJPAC
State Theatre New Jersey presents  John Leguizamo’s  Latin History for Morons
State Theatre New Jersey presents John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons
McCarter Theatre Closes Out Season With "Skylight" by David Hare
McCarter Theatre Closes Out Season With "Skylight" by David Hare

Event calendar
Saturday, May 25, 2019


Betty Who @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

SNAIL MAIL @ Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

The Bomb Digz @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 6:30pm

Will Wood's HEAD @ Art Tank, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

Music In The Valley Series @ Middle Valley Community Center, Long Valley - 7:30pm

Atlantic Wind Ensemble @ Great Auditorium , Ocean Grove - 8:00pm

Popa Chubby @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm


Heisenberg @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

Surfing My DNA @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 3:00pm and 8:00pm


Comedian Mike Delamont @ Avenel Performing Arts Center, Avenel - 8:00pm

Mike Marino ft. Jon Bramnick, NJs Funniest Lawyer @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

View all events


For more on our awards, click here

New Jersey Stage © 2019 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 |

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.