When it comes to the best musicals and plays, one word always comes up: Broadway! Located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, Broadway is home to different professional theaters and world-class musicals that make people come back for more.
If you haven’t been to Broadway or watched any of its shows, then you are missing out! What makes musicals special is that it shows the beauty of a live performance through song and dance. Luckily, we have listed the best Broadway musicals and shows to watch and cross off your bucket list!
With different genres to choose from, from comedy to drama to even fantasy, this Broadway Musical list will definitely help you find that perfect musical (or musicals) to watch and enjoy!
Tickets for most broadways shows can be purchased online at Ticketmaster or on the Broadway website.
The Best Broadway Musical List of Shows to See
1. 42nd Street
This is one of Broadway’s most popular timeless classics. 42nd Street is a novel written by Bradford Ropes back in 1932. It made several adaptations, including a 1933 Hollywood film and many Broadway musicals from 1980 to 2017.
It follows the story of several characters: a famous Broadway director who tries to make a successful Broadway show during the Great Depression; and an up-and-coming performer who gets her big break after the lead star of the show got injured.
2. A Chorus Line
A Chorus Line is one of the most successful and longest-running Broadway plays. It made several successful productions worldwide and also won nine Tony Awards.
The story revolves around seventeen Broadway dancers who are auditioning for spots on a chorus line. We get to see a glimpse of the personalities of both the performers and choreographers and the events that led them to become dancers as the play progresses.
3. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Get ready for some laughs in the comedy musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Set in ancient Rome, the play centers on Pseudolus, a slave who wishes to win his freedom by aiding his young master to win the heart of a girl.
The musical won several Tony Awards, which include Best Musical and Best Author (Musical). It also spawned several successful Broadway and West End revivals and a film (which is also successful).
4. A Little Night Music
A Little Night Music is a romantic comedy musical inspired by Smiles of a Summer Night (a 1955 Ingmar Bergman film). It includes the popular song Send in the Clowns, written by Stephen Sondheim. It also garnered a film adaptation in 1977.
The story is about the lives of several couples who are in an entangled romantic relationship with each other.
Aida is a musical originally produced by Walt Disney Theatrical in collaboration with Elton John and Sir Tim Rice. It is also one of the recent musicals created, premiering on Broadway from March 23, 2000, until September 5, 2004. One of the songs in the musical show reached No. 2 in the Adult Contemporary chart by Billboard magazine, titled Written in the Stars.
Set in ancient times during the war between Egypt and Nubia, the story is about star-crossed lovers Radames (an Egyptian captain) and Aida (the Nubian princess). A surprising twist awaits you at the end of the musical that shows true love transcends time!
You might remember Aladdin from the 1992 Disney animated film. But even if you don’t, this is your chance to experience a whole new world of magic in the form of a musical! The story is about a poor young man named Aladdin who gets a magical lamp that contains a genie that grants him three wishes. Filled with magic and romance, you will definitely don’t want to miss this one!
Millions of people worldwide enjoyed the Aladdin musical, and it became the 11th highest-grossing Broadway production of all time as of May 2019.
7. American Utopia
Also recently premiered on Broadway at the Hudson Theater on October 4, 2019 and officially on October 20, closing on February 16, 2020. You can say that the show is both a concert and a musical, as the songs played are from David Byrne’s album of the same name which is about the joy and having us get closer to utopia.
The cast features David Byrne himself, along with other acclaimed musicians as they sing the songs on his album that tell a story about love and getting us closer to utopia which attempts to spread positivity.
Annie is one of the most popular Broadway musicals, which (more often than not) first-timers and regulars have heard at some point and have spawned multiple media sources, including television and movies. With popular songs like “Tomorrow” being played.
The story is about hope and optimism, with Annie (the main protagonist) looking for her parents as she believes she was left in the orphanage by accident. A rich man who adopted her helps her look for her parents by giving a reward, which of course, attracts people claiming to be her parents.
9. Anything Goes
Anything Goes is a romance/comedy musical that premiered on Broadway, 1934. Due to its success, it has made several revivals spanning from 1987 to 2021. “Anything Goes,” “You’re the Top,” and “I Get a Kick Out of You” were among the songs featured in the musical.
The plot of Anything Goes takes place on the ocean liner S. S. American where a young Wall Street broker named Billy stowed away on the ship to be with his love Hope (who is engaged to a wealthy Englishman). Along the ride are Billy’s old friend Reno ( a nightclub singer) and second-rate gangster “Public Enemy Number 13” Moonface Martin help him win Hope’s heart.
10. Beauty and the Beast
If you have watched the 1991 Disney animated film of the same title, you will agree that it is perfect for a musical. Beauty and the Beast premiered on Broadway on April 18, 1994, and was a massive commercial success and well received by audiences. It became Broadway’s tenth longest-running production in history which spanned 13 years (1994 – 2007). It is also a popular choice for both amateur and school productions.
The story revolves around Belle, a country girl looking for something more in her life like the stories she reads in books, and a handsome but spoiled prince who was turned into a beast by a beautiful enchantress (who is posing as an old beggar asking for help).
11. Bells Are Ringing
Another classic rom-com musical, Bells Are Ringing tells the story of Ella, a telephone answering service operator who assumes different identities for her clients (one of whom she falls in love with).
The musical first ran on Broadway in 1956, then on West End in 1957, and finally on Australia in 1958. In 1960, Bells Are Ringing was a film that starred Ella’s original musical actress from 1956, Judy Holliday.
12. Billy Elliot
Be inspired by the coming-of-age musical Billy Elliot, adapted from the British hit movie of the same name. It follows the story of a motherless eleven-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer (much to his father’s disapproval) during the 1984-1985 miners’ strike in England.
Though it is one of the newcomers when it comes to Broadway plays, it enjoyed a successful run, which led to productions in different countries. It also won numerous Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical in multiple categories.
Two New Yorkers (Tommy and Jeff) stumble upon Brigadoon (a mysterious town in Scotland that appears once every 100 years) after getting lost during a game-hunting vacation.
During their stay, Tommy falls in love with one of Brigadoon’s residents, Fiona, and is confronted with a choice: go back to his ordinary life or stay with her in Brigadoon.
Aside from several revivals, the musical gave way to various adaptations: a 1954 movie film, a television film in 1966, and a more recent one (that premiered on July 16, 2021, on Apple TV+) called Schmigadoon!, a musical comedy television series that is a modern story based on the original Brigadoon’s plot.
14. Bye Bye Birdie
If you are looking for an early rock and roll style musical with a touch of comedy and romance, then Bye Bye Birdie is a definite must-watch! It tells the story of songwriter Albert Peterson who finds himself in trouble when Conrad Birdie, a rock and roll superstar who is supposed to record the song he wrote, is drafted into the Army.
The story of Bye Bye Birdie drew inspiration from rock-and-roll superstar Elvis Presley being drafted into the Army back in September 1957 (which is also where the character Conrad Birdie is based from). The name Conrad Birdie is also a wordplay from one of Elvis’ rock ‘n’ roll rivals, Conway Twitty.
Cabaret is a 1966 box office drama musical based on the 1951 Broadway play I Am a Camera by John Van Druten, which was also based on the semi-biographical novel Goodbye to Berlin by writer Christopher Isherwood.
Set in Berlin 1929-1930 during the rise of Nazi power, the story of Cabaret takes us at a cabaret venue called Kit Kat Klub, and revolves between two characters, an American writer named Clifford Bradshaw and an English cabaret performer named Sally Bowles.
Camelot is a dramatic musical that tells the classic story of King Arthur and his founding of Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table. It also shows the tragic love triangle between King Arthur, his wife Queen Guenevere, and Lancelot.
The 1958 novel The Once and Future King was the basis of the story of Camelot, and the musical itself is associated with John F. Kennedy’s administration and legacy.
Following its initial premiere, Camelot enjoyed a series of revivals and foreign productions, as well as a
Candide is a satirical operetta (mix of musical and opera) where idealistic optimism meets a series of unfortunate events. Based on the novella of the same name written by French writer Voltaire in 1759. It became one of the most performed orchestral plays after a successful concert performance by the New York Philharmonic on January 26, 1957.
It stars the main character Candide who believes in the teaching of his teacher Dr. Pangloss that everything that happens, no matter how absurd, is always for the best.
Throughout the story, Candide is plunged into different hardships and events across the globe that leaves him questioning his teacher’s philosophy each time.
Carousel is the second musical made by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein in 1945, adapted from the 1909 play Liliom by Ferenc Molnar. The ending of the original script was deemed too tragic for musical theaters and so was revised to be more hopeful.
The musical drama proved to be an instant hit when it premiered in 1945, giving way to several revivals from 1949 to 2018.
In this dramatic musical, carousel barker Billy Bigelow was given another chance to return to Earth for a day to redeem himself from his widow and daughter after dying from a botched robbery.
For one of the best family-fun musicals to watch, you can never go wrong with Cats! Set in a fantasy world, it tells the tale of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles who come together each year to pick which cat among them will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn. We also get to know each of the Jellicle cats and their quirky personalities and traits. It includes the famed song Memory, which is sung by one of the Jellicle cats.
Cats is the fourth longest-running Broadway show and is also the sixth longest-running on the West End as of 2019. It also influenced a new era of musical theater plays, leading to a shift towards big-budget blockbusters in the Broadway market.
Chicago will take you to the age of jazz, 1928, where two murderers, Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, try to upstage one another inside Cook County Jail for “celebrity” fame and the media spotlight. Based on the play written by Maurine Dallas Watkins from her short stint as a reporter during the 1924 trials of real-life murderers Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner.
The musical will take you into a satirical whirlwind of deception and media sensationalism, accompanied by perfect jazz numbers that you never want to miss!
21. City of Angels
Another great comedy, City of Angels, is a musical where fiction and reality are intertwined together. It also pays homage to the film noir genre of the 1940s.
The story jumps between two sides: the “real world”, where a writer struggles to have his famous detective novel adapted as a movie. And then the “fictional world”, where the characters inside his book act out the events as he writes the script.
With its dazzling music numbers, storytelling, and two-story format (which at times parallel one another), City of Angels gives a unique Broadway experience that separates it from the rest!
22. Come From Away
Come from Away is a musical that depicts the true story of what happened in Gander, a town in Newfoundland, Canada, a week after the 9/11 attacks.
Thirty-eight planes were instructed to land there as part of Canada’s Operation Yellow Ribbon. With over 7000 travelers suddenly stranded in the small town, the people of Gander banded together to accommodate and comfort them in their hour of need.
Through its heartwarming and inspiring story that will tug at your heartstrings, Come from Away is a must-see musical that will leave you and everyone feeling good inside.
Originally called Threes, Company is a 1970 concept musical comedy that revolves around the story of Robert, a bachelor who is unable to fully commit to a steady relationship (much less tie the knot), his five married best friends, and his three girlfriends.
Unlike traditional musicals, Company is composed of short vignettes presented in no specific order of events linked to Robert’s 35th birthday celebration. It is also one of the first musicals to dive into adult themes like marriage and loneliness. More recent adaptations also tweaked some things from the original, like flipping the main character’s gender.
24. Crazy For You
Crazy for You is a romantic comedy musical inspired by the 1930 musical Girl Crazy. It also incorporates musical numbers from several productions like Treasure Girl, A Damsel in Distress, and of course, Girl Crazy.
It follows a New York banker (with a passion for theater dancing) sent to Deadrock, Nevada, to foreclose a property (which turns out to be a theater). After falling in love with the town’s postmistress, he resolves to put on a show to save the theater and win her heart.
25. Damn Yankees!
Damn Yankees is a musical based on Douglass Wallop’s novel “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant.” and is a modern take of the Faustian story. The story’s setting was in the 1950s when the New York Yankees dominated the MLB.
A middle-aged die-hard baseball fan, Joe Boyd, agrees to sell his soul to the devil to save his favorite baseball team, the Washington Senators. Now transformed into a young baseball slugger superstar, he carries the team on a winning spree. But when it’s time for Joe to pay the price for his team’s success, he must now think of a way to outwit the devil in this guaranteed musical hit!
Dreamgirls is a Broadway musical inspired by the success of R&B music and artists such as The Supremes, The Shirelles, and many others. The musical premiered on December 20, 1981, at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway, and tells the story of “The Dreams”, a trio of black singers who became superstars.
Three hopeful black singers from Chicago join forces with a motivated, demanding manager who is desperate to see their—and his—stars rise. Changes are made as their careers take off to ensure their mass appeal to the pop market. But as they chase stardom in the competitive world of show business, what is the price they have to pay to reach the top?
Evita tells the narrative of Eva Peron (nicknamed Evita), an Argentine politician, from her childhood to her rise to prominence, charitable work, and death.
It began as a rock opera concept album released in 1976 and was later produced as a musical, premiering in 1978. The musical also plays some familiar songs, most notably “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina”, which Evita sings at one point in the play.
Falsettos is a sung-through musical consisting of the last two parts of a one-act musical trilogy, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland (the first one being In Trousers).
In March of the Falsettos, enter Marvin, who left his wife to be with Whizzer, his male lover. It explores the impact it had on his family as he tries to include Whizzer in it.
Falsettoland, the second act, delves into family issues as he and his wife prepare for their son’s bar mitzvah. Jewish identity, gender norms, and LGBT life in the late 1970s and early 1980s are central themes in the musical.
29. Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof is a musical based on Sholem Aleichem’s Tevye and his Daughters (also known as Tevye the Dairyman). It takes place in Imperial Russia’s Pale of Settlement around 1905.
The story is about Tevye, a milkman in the town of Anatevka, who tries to keep his Jewish traditions alive as outside forces intrude on his family’s lives. He has to cope with each of his five daughters breaking traditional Jewish customs by getting married for love amidst the tension growing in their village.
Enjoying successful Broadway revivals and worldwide reputation, it has also been a popular choice for academic and community performances.
30. Finian’s Rainbow
Finian, an elderly Irishman, goes to the southern United States with his daughter Sharon to bury a magical pot of gold (which he stole from a leprechaun). He believes that the soils in Fort Knox will make the gold grow more. Og (the leprechaun) pursues them, trying to reclaim his treasure before turning into a human forever. Little do they know that they will be entangled in a land feud between a corrupt US senator and the townspeople of Rainbow Valley, Missitucky.
Fiorello! is a feel-good musical based on Ernest Cuneo’s Life with Fiorello. It is one of the only ten musicals that received the distinguished Pulitzer Prize for Drama (in addition to winning three major theatre awards).
It tells the story of Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia and his efforts to end Tammany Hall’s political machine through reforming city politics. LaGuardia’s ascent to power is a turbulent one, as he tries to maintain a constant positive attitude on life while going through the ups and downs of his career in the civil service.
Follies originated as The Girls Upstairs, a collaboration between Sondheim and book writer James Goldman about a group of young women in a Ziegfeld-style spectacular and the stage-boy Johnnies who courted them. It evolved into Follies, a more complex drama about past and present meeting in many not-so-happy ways, with Hal Prince as the show’s producer and director.
The plot revolves around a reunion of past performers of “Weismann’s Follies,” a musical revue that performed at that theater between World Wars, in a crumbling Broadway theatre that is about to be demolished.
The Broadway production of Follies premiered on April 4, 1971. The musical received 11 Tony Award nominations and won seven of them. The original production, which was the second-most expensive on Broadway at the time, ran for over 500 performances before losing all of its money.
33. Funny Girl
Based on comedian Fanny Brice’s life, career, and relationship with entrepreneur Nick Arnstein, Funny Girl is a fictionalized biography of Fanny Brice made as a musical play. It made its Broadway debut in 1964 and has received eight Tony Award nominations. And then, in 2004, Funny Girl’s original cast recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Set in New York City, the story is told as a flashback, as Fanny Brice reflects on her life with Nick Arnstein as she awaits his return from prison.
Godspell is a musical based on the Gospel of Matthew, told as a series of parables in a modern-day setting. It premiered on May 17, 1971, at an off-Broadway theater, becoming a long-running success since then.
The story takes us to Jesus teaching a group of eight non-Biblical characters through different parables, leading up to Judas’ betrayal, and eventually, His death. Throughout the play, the eight characters begin to change for the better as they understand more of Jesus’ teachings through song and dance.
This musical about American high schoolers is based on the 1978 film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and incorporates music in the 1950s rock ‘n roll style.
Sandy Dumbrowski, the new girl in town, and Danny Zuko, the school’s coolest greaser, enjoy a secret summer relationship – but things are different when they return to school. Sandy tries to negotiate the choppy Rydell High School social seas in order to reclaim Danny’s attention, but Danny is more concerned with upholding his tough-guy image. Finally, the Pink Ladies assist Sandy in regaining control of the Burger Palace Boys’ commander.
36. Guys and Dolls
Guys and Dolls, widely regarded as the perfect musical comedy, debuted on Broadway in 1950 and ran for 1,200 performances. It got almost universally good reviews from critics and won a slew of prizes, including Tonys, Drama Desks, and Olivier Awards.
Guys and Dolls is an unusual romantic comedy set in Damon Runyon’s imaginary New York City. While the authorities are on his tail, Nathan Detroit, a gambler, struggles to come up with the funds to put up the city’s best craps game; meanwhile, his fiancée, Adelaide, a nightclub performer, bemoans the fact that they’ve been engaged for fourteen years. As a result, Nathan goes to fellow gambler Sky Masterson for money, and Sky ends up chasing Sarah Brown, a straight-laced missionary.
Guys and Dolls brings us from Times Square to the cafes of Havana, Cuba, and even into the gutters of New York City, and yet everyone eventually finds their way back to their rightful place.
Gypsy, defined as a “musical fable,” proved to be a rewarding experience for everybody involved, with Laurents’ compact, character-driven writing and Styne’s ability to crank out tunes, and the production came together fast in late 1958, over just a few months. It premiered in May 1959 and ran for over two years, with 702 performances.
Gypsy Rose Lee, the famed striptease artist, and her mother, Rose, the perfect show business mother, are loosely based on their memoirs.
Mama Rose is determined that her younger daughter June have a good career, but once June elopes, Mama focuses all of her attention on her older, less gifted daughter Loise, who eventually becomes Gypsy Rose Lee, a burlesque dancer.
The Broadway premiere of Hadestown, winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical, opened in March 2019 at the Walter Kerr Theatre. It may also be considered the most ambient and raw musical of any of our suggestions. Hadestown is a retelling of the old Greek epic of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in a post-apocalyptic-style New Orleans, with a Tony and Grammy Award-winning score by celebrated singer-songwriter Anas Mitchell that weaves together current American folk, dixieland, jazz, and blues.
It tells the story of Orpheus’ legendary voyage to the underworld to confront Hades and save his fiancée Eurydice. This genre-defying show regularly breaks the fourth wall, and its striking musical number “Why We Build the Wall” even foreshadowed future political events. Its song “Wait for Me” has also become a fan favorite for many Broadway lovers.
The first rock musical to be performed on Broadway, born out of the 1960s sexual revolution and hippie counterculture.
It was only a matter of time until rock music made its way to Broadway in the late 1960s. “Hair” originated in Joseph Papp’s Off-Broadway Public Theater in Greenwich Village, just a few blocks away from the real hippies changing the world in Washington Square.
Despite the fact that “Hair” did not spark the rapid revolution in Broadway music that reviewers had prophesied, it did run for nearly 2,000 performances and marked the beginning of a shift in the musical styles of the Broadway score.
Based on the 1988 John Waters film, this Tony Award-winning Best Musical from 2003 has 1960s-style music.
Tracy Turnblad, a chubby, big-haired adolescent, dreams of dancing on the local teen TV dance show as the story begins in 1962. Her wish was granted when she catches a few dancing moves from her black friend Seaweed, and she becomes an immediate local celebrity. Tracy uses her newfound celebrity to campaign for racial diversity on the show, a hard battle she intends to win.
Our next suggestion, Hamilton, is a global phenomenon that probably doesn’t need an introduction. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s historic game-changer, conceptualized and composed by musical genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, premiered on Broadway in August 2015 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. It exploded into popular culture faster than any of its predecessors. The Grammy and Tony Award-winning Best Musical portrays the narrative of Alexander Hamilton and the Founding Fathers of America using a blend of Hip Hop, R&B, and show tunes, as well as a racially diverse ensemble that mirrors contemporary American society.
Hamilton has been dubbed the most hip history lesson you’ll ever see, with everything from deadly political rivalries to the country’s first sex scandal.
42. Hello Dolly!
Hello, Dolly! by Jerry Herman is a fun musical with a lot of heart and passion. Dolly Levi is a widow, a matchmaker, and a professional meddler—until she realizes that the next match she needs to make is for herself. Hello Dolly! is placed in New York City around the turn of the century. From beginning to end, it’s raucous and amusing. Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Pearl Bailey, Mary Martin, Barbra Streisand, and, latest, Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters have all played Dolly Levi, one of the most powerful and richest starring roles for a woman ever created for the musical theatre.
43. How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying
In this hilariously funny parody of life in the corporate world, big business means big laughs. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, has a thrilling Frank Loesser score that swept Broadway by storm, earning both the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize.
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a certain smash! It’s an irreverent and tuneful romp jam-packed with sneaky, fast, and sharp punches to the funny bone. This production necessitates a huge cast, with numerous roles for a variety of actors and a fantastic opportunity to showcase your male ensemble.
44. In The Heights
We meet the many interesting characters of Washington Heights, a New York City neighborhood on the verge of upheaval, over the course of the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights.
Usnavi, who owns a bodega in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, is dating Vanessa, a beauty salon employee. In the Dominican Republic, where he was born, he hopes to open a bar. Nina is head over heels in love with Benny, a shy young man who has worked for Nina’s parents for years, but her father is opposed to their relationship because he wants Nina to finish her study at Stanford University. Her dad is willing to sell his car-service business in order to avoid going bankrupt to pay for the expensive school. In a numbers game, “Abuela” Claudia, who raised Usnavi after his parents died, wins $96,000.
45. Into the Woods
James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim combine everyone’s greatest storybook characters for a timeless, yet timely, and rare modern masterpiece. Both the text and the score for this Tony Award-winning production are beautiful and moving.
The plot follows a Baker and his wife who want to conceive a child, Cinderella who wants to go to the King’s Festival, and Jack who hopes his cow would give him milk. When the Baker and his wife discover that they are unable to have children due to a Witch’s curse, they embark on a quest to break the curse. Everyone gets their wish, but the consequences of their deeds come back to haunt them later and have terrible consequences.
46. Jersey Boys
The Four Seasons’ amazing rags-to-riches story is told in Jersey Boys.
When Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Massi met, they were merely four New Jersey teenagers singing under street lamps in their working-class neighborhood, scraping for gigs and money. The quartet celebrates the highs and endures the lows that come with fame as they rise to international prominence.
Each member of the group takes a turn telling the narrative of how a scrappy group of guys from New Jersey — and their decades-long friendships — became music legends. Jersey Boys is a big success that features The Four Seasons’ most famous songs while also telling the inspiring story behind the music.
47. Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar is a worldwide musical phenomenon with a cult following. This performance, which will appeal to both theatergoers and concert music aficionados, pays homage to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while presenting a modern, dramatic setting that is both innovative and exciting.
It is set against the backdrop of an amazing series of events in Jesus Christ’s life as seen through Judas’ eyes during the final weeks of his life. The renowned score contains songs like ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him,’ ‘Gethsemane,’ and ‘Superstar,’ which reflect the rock roots that defined a generation.
48. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (often referred to as Joseph) is a musical comedy with very little spoken dialogue and is almost exclusively sung through. It has been staged multiple times due to its family-friendly tale, common themes, and catchy music.
The Biblical account of a young man whose siblings are envious of their father’s love toward him and the gorgeous coat he receives as a gift is musicalized by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. They sell him into slavery in Egypt, informing their father he’s been murdered, but his talent to read dreams makes him valuable to the Pharaoh.
49. Kinky Boots
From the creative dream team of Jerry Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper, and Harvey Fierstein comes Kinky Boots! The musical boasts a stunning new score, jaw-dropping dancing, and an incredibly inspirational plot.
Based on the 2005 British film (which is inspired by a true story), Kinky Boots tells the story of Charlie Price and his determination to save his family’s bankrupt shoe factory. In an unexpected turn of events, he finds inspiration from Lola, a drag queen needing sturdy stilettos. With time running out, Charlie and Lola must design a new line of “kinky boots” that may very well be the one thing that will save the factory.
50. Kiss Me, Kate
Kiss Me, Kate is a brilliant Broadway classic that won the first Tony Award for Best Musical.
The story revolves around Fred Graham and his leading lady, ex-wife Lilli Vanessi and their conflicts on and off-stage in the production of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. It also involves the sub-plot between Lois Lane, who plays Bianca on the show, and her gambler boyfriend Bill, who got in trouble with some gangsters.
Kiss Me, Kate is a brilliant Broadway classic that won the first Tony Award for Best Musical. It has a variety of episodes of mistaken identity, the mob, and comedy routines.
51. Kiss of the Spider Woman: The Musical
A great musical based on Manual Puig’s novel.
Kiss of the Spider Woman is set in a South American jail where dissidents are tortured and killed extrajudicially. It follows two convicts who couldn’t be more different.
The openly homosexual Molina works as a window-dresser and uses fiction and an intense attachment to Aurora, a dazzling star from the golden age of cinema, to escape the harsh reality of imprisonment. As the two draw on one another to withstand awful anguish, enmity turns to kindness, and then to love. The stage is set for romantic tragedy when the jail’s warden (Bert LaBonte) enlists Molina’s help to crack Valentin, threatening him with freedom if he betrays his beloved.
52. La Cage
Based on the film and play of the same name, this is a joyful, funny musical.
Georges is the manager of a drag nightclub in Saint-Tropez, and Albin is his loving companion and the main attraction. Everything is OK until Georges’ son, Jean-Michel, brings his fiancée’s ultra-conservative parents home to see them.
‘La Cage’ is 9 Works Theatrical’s most recent project, as well as the company’s first for 2015. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1983 and went on to win four of the eight prizes it received, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. It has generated several revivals and won further prizes since then, and it’s easy to see why.
53. Legally Blonde the Musical
Legally Blonde The Musical, a brilliantly enjoyable award-winning musical based on the adored film, recounts Elle Woods’ transformation as she battles preconceptions and scandal in pursuit of her aspirations. This musical is so much fun that it should be illegal! It’s action-packed and overflowing with unforgettable songs and dramatic dances.
Elle Woods seemed to be the epitome of success. When her lover Warner dumps her so he may attend Harvard Law School, her life is flipped upside down. Elle brilliantly charms her way into the prestigious law school, determined to get him back. She has conflicts with her classmates, teachers, and her ex while she is there. Elle, on the other hand, rapidly discovers her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world with the help of some new pals.
54. Les Misérables
Les Misérables is one of the most well-known and longest-running musicals in the world.
It depicts the narrative of Jean Valjean, a former convict who spends his life seeking forgiveness. This timeless narrative of connected destinies, set in 19th-century France and the aftermath of the French Revolution, demonstrates the power of compassion and the quiet cruelty of indifference to human misery.
Valjean is pursued by Inspector Javert and the demons of his past as his search for a fresh life takes him into Paris and to the Student Revolution barricades. He realizes the true meaning of love and salvation in the midst of a war for Paris’ soul.
55. Little Me
Little Me is a musical based on the memoir Little Me: The Intimate Memoirs of that Great Star of Stage by Patrick Dennis.
This is a ridiculously hilarious musical. It depicts the story of Belle Poitrine’s ascent to fame and extravagant wealth as a tiny girl from the wrong side of the tracks who, with the help of various willing gentlemen, finds her way to the right side of the tracks. Little Me’s book and lyrics are highly clever, and the play is simple to put on. Little Me fits the bill perfectly for drama groups seeking for something unusual.
A famous musical (originally titled My Best Girl) based on Patrick Dennis’ novel “Auntie Mame” and Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s play “Auntie Mame.”
Mame Dennis’s quirky, bohemian lifestyle is disrupted when she is entrusted with the care of her late brother’s son. Mame, on the other hand, does everything with her own dramatic flair, rather than conforming to any society ideals about kid rearing, money-making, or romance.
Auntie Mame, a film based on the play, was released by Warner Bros. in 1958. Rosalind Russell, who originated the theater role, stars in the film. Russell was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance and won a Golden Globe for it.
57. Mamma Mia
The amusing narrative of a young woman’s hunt for her birth father is told through ABBA’s tunes. On a Greek island paradise, this warm and humorous story develops. A daughter’s search for her father’s identity on the day of her wedding leads three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.
This wonderful narrative of love, laughter, and friendship is propelled forward by the story-telling power of ABBA’s classic songs, creating an unforgettable show. Mamma Mia! features a big cast, nonstop comedy, and explosive dance routines. Any theater will be sure to have a tremendous hit with this one. A woman who is a mother. A daughter, to be precise. There are three possible fathers. You’ll never forget your walk down the aisle!
58. Man of La Mancha
Man of La Mancha is a spectacular, sad, and touching musical based on Cervantes’ epic 17th-century novel Don Quixote. It was one of the first plays to musicalize a piece of historical literature. Man of La Mancha is a play-within-a-play set in the context of the Spanish Inquisition.
Cervantes defends himself at a fake trial for the prisoners while awaiting a hearing with the Inquisition. He plays Alhonso Quiana, a guy who has abandoned his own reality to become Don Quixote De La Mancha in the film. Quixote, with the help of his “squirem,” Sancho Panza, tries to dodge his mortal enemy, the Enchanter, by wooing Aldonza, a serving wench and prostitute whom he mistook for the lady Dulcinea.
59. Mary Poppins
One of the most beloved Disney films of all time is stealing hearts in an entirely new way: as a near-perfect musical! Based on the works of P.L. Travers. Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins delighted Broadway audiences for almost 2,500 performances and won nominations for nine Olivier and seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, for Travers and the famous Walt Disney picture.
Mary Poppins is an enthralling combination of captivating plot, wonderful melodies, gorgeous dance routines, and incredible stagecraft. This presentation is a great way to highlight a powerful, legendary female performer as well as innovative special effects and illusions.
60. Miss Saigon
Miss Saigon is an internationally recognized Broadway production that is a loose adaptation of Giacomo Puccini’s romance opera Madame Butterfly. After Les Mis, this is Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s second musical collaboration.
The sad love tale of an American soldier and a Vietnamese bar girl is told in Miss Saigon. As fate would have it, the lovers would part ways at the end of the Vietnam War, destroying Kim’s “American Dream.”
The whirring of a chopper evacuating the last Americans in Saigon drowned out the heart-breaking shouts of a mob of Vietnamese attempting to enter the embassy, including Kim, in the embassy rooftop scene of the musical.
Despite stopping ten years after its debut, Miss Saigon won three Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards, and was revived in 2017. Miss Saigon is a film for the ages, with a superb combination of romance and drama that will tug at your heartstrings.
61. Moulin Rouge! The Musical
What a great life you’ve created, Moulin Rouge! The musical has toured the globe. The extravagant stage adaptation of Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film premiered in July 2019 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on Broadway, and has since wowed aristocrats and bohemians alike.
The dazzling jukebox musical follows penniless writer Christian (played by Aaron Tveit), who falls in love with the sparkling diamond’ Satine, a beautiful courtesan at the Moulin Rouge nightclub, who must then seduce the distasteful Duke of Monroth and entice him to invest in the Moulin Rouge to save it from financial ruin.
Moulin Rouge! is jam-packed with snatches and versions of over 70 pop songs, as well as stunningly sexy costumes and exquisite settings. The Musical is a great way to spend a date night in New York City. You’ll enjoy your stay at the Moulin Rouge “Come What May.”
62. My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady, based on the 1913 play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, is a musical that sets the bar for all others. It proved to be a popular success in its 1956 Broadway production and has become one of the longest-running musicals on Broadway.
Eliza Doolittle is a flower girl with a distinct Cockney accent. When Professor Henry Higgins attempts to teach her how to talk in a proper ladylike manner, an odd bond blossoms.
63. Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet
Making its Broadway debut in 2016, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 is a sung-through musical based on a part of Tolstoy’s novel, War and Peace. It focuses on the affair between Natasha and Anatole, and Pierre’s search for his life’s purpose.
Natasha Rostova arrives in Moscow to await her fiancé’s return from the battlefield. When she falls under Anatole’s spell, it’s up to Pierre, a family friend going through an existential crisis, to pick up the pieces of her broken reputation. With its innovative score and strong plot, this award-winning musical widens the possibilities for the genre following a highly lauded premiere at Ars Nova in New York City, an Off-Broadway transfer, and a celebrated run on Broadway.
Oklahoma! was the first collaboration between legendary partners Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It set the bar for musical theater in the United States.
It tells the love story between Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a lovely farm girl, set in Western Indian Territory shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. The road to true love isn’t always easy, but there’s little doubt that these two romantics will find a way to make a life together.
65. On the Town
One of Broadway’s timeless classics, On The Town is a comedy musical based on Jerome Robbin’s ballet Fancy Free. It premiered on Broadway in 1944 and introduced popular songs such as “New York, New York”, “Lonely Town”, I Can Cook, Too” and “Some Other Time”.
Set in World War II, the story takes us to three American sailors during their 24-hour shore leave in New York City. As they go around the city in a series of misadventures, they find love in the form of three women: a dancer, a cab driver, and an anthropologist.
66. On the Twentieth Century
This musical comedy is based on three works: the same-named film from 1932, an unpublished play called “Napoleon of Broadway,” and a 1934 film called “Twentieth Century.”
Oscar Jaffee, a theatre producer who has had four consecutive flops, has devised a strategy to resurrect his career and bring a successful show to Broadway, but he must act quickly – as quickly as the train voyage from Chicago to New York. The strategy is straightforward: gather funds, locate a play, and get Hollywood starlet Lily Garland to join the group before the Grand Central Station whistle blows. If he can pull it all together, he might just have a winner on his hands.
67. Once on This Island
The Olivier Award-winning Once on This Island hails from the Tony Award-winning songwriting combination of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. For its Broadway run, this extremely creative and dramatic Caribbean interpretation of the beloved fairy tale The Little Mermaid received eight Tony nominations, including Best Musical, Book, and Score.
The small cast, minimum set requirements, and dynamically sized cast of Once on This Island make it a producer and director’s dream. It has such a strong emotional backbone that it can stand tall on any scale, from the grandest to the smallest.
68. Peter Pan
Adapted from J.M. Peter Pan is one of the most cherished and often performed family favorites of all time, with an outstanding score by Morris “Moose” Charlap and Jule Styne, lyrics by Carolyn Leigh and Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. For 60 years, this Tony Award-winning musical has wowed audiences all over the world.
Late one night, Peter and his mischievous fairy companion Tinkerbell pay a visit to the Darling children’s nursery and, with a sprinkle of pixie dust, embark on a fantastic voyage through the stars that none of them will forget. The passengers face a deadly crocodile, a hostile Indian tribe, a band of bungling pirates, and, of course, the nefarious Captain Hook in this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
69. Porgy and Bees
Porgy and Bess had a cast of classically trained African-American vocalists, which at the time was a bold creative choice. After a lukewarm audience reception, a 1976 Houston Grand Opera performance resurrected it, and it is now one of the most well-known and often performed operas.
Porgy and Bess’ libretto portrays the narrative of Porgy, a crippled black street beggar living in Charleston’s slums. It revolves around his efforts to save Bess from Crown, her abusive and controlling partner, and Sportin’ Life, her drug dealer. The plot of the opera is usually based on the theatrical play.
70. Present Laughter
Present Laughter is a cheerful farce that honors the famed wit and larger-than-life persona of playwright Noel Coward. Actor Garry Essendine, based on Coward himself, is a star of the London stage at the height of his success, worshipped by legions of admirers—perhaps a bit too much. Garry’s fans routinely throw themselves at his feet, pulled in by his charisma and charm, causing mayhem in his home.
Garry is forced to learn how to handle an adoring young woman with stars in her eyes, a deranged young writer obsessed with being in Garry’s presence, his best friend’s wife who is determined to seduce him, his manager, his producer, his secretary, his estranged ex-wife, and an impending mid-life crisis as his 40th birthday looms ever closer in the week leading up to his African tour.
71. Promises, Promises
It is the year 1962, and the setting is New York City. Chuck Baxter is a young, ambitious clerk at Consolidated Life, a New York insurance business. Chuck is anxious to advance in his career, but he is the type of person who goes unnoticed by most others. It’s a formula for catastrophe when you add in a nosy neighbor who thinks Chuck is a womanizing jerk and a vast supply of sleeping medications. The musical, which included a score by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, gave Dionne Warwick two hit singles.
Ragtime is a fascinating epic that captures the American experience at the turn of the twentieth century. It is based on the novel of the same name. Ragtime explores the dialectic paradoxes inherent in American reality, following three disparate families as they pursue the American ideal in the turbulent “melting pot” of turn-of-the-century New York.
This riveting epic grasps the beats of the American experience: the parades, the pushovers, and, of course, the ragtime. Featuring many of the historical figures who built and shaped turn-of-the-century America, this musical sweeps across the diversity of the American experience to create a stirring epic that captures the beats of the American experience: the marches, the cakewalks, and – of course – the ragtime.
Rent is a film about falling in love, discovering your voice, and living for now, set in New York City’s East Village. Rent has become a pop cultural sensation after winning the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. with rocking tunes and a plot that appeals to audiences of all ages.
It is partially based on Puccini’s La Boheme and depicts a year in the life of a group of destitute young artists and musicians attempting to survive and create in New York’s Lower East Side while battling HIV/AIDS.
This is vibrant, passionate, and joyful theatre at its best. Rent’s freedom and flexibility will appeal to regional companies, as it requires little in the way of costuming and sets.
74. Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages is a humorous musical comedy featuring over 25 classic rock anthems performed live by an incredible live band. It’s a jukebox musical based on great rock songs from the 1980s, particularly from the era’s most famous glam metal bands.
The original Broadway production ran for 2,328 performances, making it the 29th-longest running show in Broadway history until it closed on January 18, 2015. Since its Broadway debut in 2009, it has generated numerous replica performances in Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom, as well as multiple touring productions.
75. South Pacific
A classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 novel “Tales of the South Pacific” by James A. Michener.
During WWII, Nellie, a nurse stationed on a Pacific island, falls in love with de Becque, a local planter. She cannot tolerate the scenario when she hears he is a widower with two half-caste children. Meanwhile, Cable develops feelings for Liat, a Polynesian girl. Cable and de Bacque depart on a spy mission together, and the two women wait for their return.
76. Sunday in the Park With George
Sunday in the Park with George, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s breathtaking masterpiece, is based on Georges Seurat’s painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It mixes past and present into stunning, tragic truths about life, love, and the production of art.
Georges Seurat is striving to generate significant work and maintain a relationship with his beloved, Dot, in the days leading up to the completion of his most renowned painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. Seurat’s artistic skill flourishes despite the artistic community’s criticism, as his love fades. A century later, Seurat’s descendant, George, also an artist, is burned out and looking for a new artistic path, but he discovers the answer to his future in the past.
77. Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard, the musical adaptation of the Billy Wilder film, is a story of lost glory and unrealized ambition.
Sunset Boulevard tells a beautiful story about faded splendor and unrealized dreams. Norma Desmond, a silent movie star who was dumped by Hollywood with the introduction of “talkies,” yearns for a return to the big screen. Her glamour has vanished in all but save her imagination. Their passionate and tempestuous romance ends tragically when she meets struggling Hollywood screenwriter Joe Gillis in dramatic circumstances.
78. Sweeny Todd
Stephen Sondheim composed the music and lyrics for this gloomy 1979 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, which is inspired by Christopher Bond’s 1973 drama “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
After being unfairly sentenced to life imprisonment by the unscrupulous Judge Turpin, Sweeney Todd, whose actual identity is Benjamin Barker, resumes work in his barber shop above Mrs. Lovett’s faltering pie store under his new guise. Following his vow of vengeance against the judge who tore his family apart, Todd and Lovett devise a novel scheme that benefits them both while also leading them down a perilous, thrilling path with tragic repercussions.
79. Sweet Charity
Charity Hope Valentine, “a girl who wanted to be loved,” is a taxi dancer, a dancing partner-for-hire at a dingy dance hall in New York City, and the story recounts her amorous triumphs and tribulations. Despite the fact that the job is unappealing, Charity’s hopeful romanticism and unwavering optimism enable her to rise above her surroundings and aspire for a better life. A string of poor romances and even worse guys had previously strung her along and hung her out to dry. Will she finally discover true love when she meets Oscar, a neurotic, introverted actuary who seems to be from another world?
Every audience is destined to fall in love with Charity’s limitless energy as she lives life “happily ever after” in one of the most famous musicals by legendary director/choreographer Bob Fosse and with a laugh-a-minute writing by the brilliant Neil Simon.
80. The Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon, the 2011 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, is without a doubt the most ridiculous show on our list. Since its February 2011 premiere at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, this irreverent comedy has played to sold-out audiences with its unique brand of outrageous humor.
The musical follows two mismatched Mormon guys on a fruitless mission in Uganda, where the locals are more concerned about the local warlord than converting to the Church of Latter Day Saints. It is written by the authors of South Park and Avenue Q.
This one might not be for you if you’re easily offended, but if you enjoy a touch of chutzpah, The Book of Mormon will be exactly up your alley.
81. The Color Purple
The Color Purple is based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel of the same name. It follows Celie, a teenage African-American girl living in Georgia who is handed to an even more abusive husband by her abusive stepfather. Celie spends the majority of her days as a servant in her own home, walled off from those she loves by her husband, but she clings to the hope that she may one day be reunited with her sister Nettie and her children through her stepfather, Adam, and Olivia.
Celie finds methods to survive with life throughout the years. Despite her series of misfortunes, Celie learns that the most important thing is that she is a survivor, and that no matter what happens to her, she will always be alive.
The Color Purple is a story of optimism, a tribute to the healing power of love, and a celebration of life, with a joyful score incorporating jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music, and blues.
82. The King and I
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1952, is based on Margaret Landon’s 1944 novel “Anna and the King of Siam.”
Anna, a widowed British school teacher sent to Siam to train the King’s many children, is at the center of the plot. Though she makes an immediate bond with the students when she arrives, she deals with differences in culture and the headstrong King. Anna eventually bonds with the King by her kindness and tenacity, contributing to shared feelings of social understanding, cultural acceptance, and openness.
83. The Lion King
The Lion King is one of the favorite Disney animated films turned musicals, based on the 1994 film of the same name.
It tells the tale of Simba, son of King Mufasa and is next in line for the throne. After leaving Pride Lands when his father Mufasa died from a wildebeest stampede (plotted by Mufasa’s brother, Scar), Simba, now a young lion, returns to reclaim the throne and take his place as its one true king.
With a perfect mix of comedy, drama, and action, people of all ages will surely enjoy it from start to finish. It also features familiar songs that we got to love from the film, like Can You Feel the Love Tonight.
84. The Music Man
The Music Man is family entertainment at its finest, being wicked, humorous, warm, romantic, and touching in equal measure. Meredith Willson’s six-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy has been delighting audiences since 1957, and it is a family-friendly story that can be enjoyed by all generations.
The Music Man follows Harold Hill, a fast-talking traveling salesman, as he connives the inhabitants of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he swears to assemble – despite the fact that he doesn’t know the difference between a trombone and a treble clef. His attempts to flee town with the money are thwarted when he falls in love with Marian, the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by the time the curtain falls.
85. The Newsies
The musical “Newsies The Musical”, is based on the 1992 musical film Newsies, which was inspired by the real-life New York City Newsboys Strike of 1899. In 1992, Newsies was released as a Disney film musical. The stage version added seven new songs by Menken and Feldman, including “Letter from the Refuge,” a song composed expressly for the tour, and kept several of the songs from the 1992 film, such as “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” “King of New York,” and “Santa Fe”.
Newsies musical had its world premiere at the Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 and then transferred to Broadway in 2012, where it played for over 1,000 performances before touring.
86. The Phantom of the Opera
An Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, The Phantom of the Opera, is about a strange, disfigured man who lives beneath an opera house and becomes enamored with a beautiful soprano named Christine Daaé, whom he teaches the art of opera.
The Phantom has a tragic past that he attempts to hide behind his sinister persona, but to Christine he is a musical angel who she adores. The Phantom’s story is about loneliness, love, and music, all of which are universal topics for many individuals.
The Olivier Award in 1986 and the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1988 are among the honors bestowed upon The Phantom of the Opera. It is still the longest-running show on Broadway.
87. The Producers
The Producers, a funny musical based on the Mel Brooks comedy of the same name, revolves around two theatrical producers who scheme to make money by defrauding investors in a Broadway disaster. When the play unexpectedly proves to be a success, complications arise. The show’s humor is based on ludicrous accents, caricatures of gay people and Nazis, and a slew of entertainment business inside jokes.
The original Broadway production, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, premiered on April 19, 2001, at the St. James Theatre after 33 previews, and ran for 2,502 performances, winning a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It inspired a popular West End production that ran for just over two years, national tours in the United States and the United Kingdom, other productions across the world, and a 2005 film adaptation.
88. The Secret Garden
In this delightful musical by Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s famous Victorian novel, The Secret Garden, blooms again.
When Mary Lennox’s parents die in a cholera epidemic in India, she is taken to her uncle, hermit Archibald Craven, who lives in an elegant, lonely house on the British heath. Mary discovers a solitary, long-suffering collection of souls inside the haunted home on the hill. Mary’s uncle has driven away his surviving loved ones since her aunt Lily’s death, leaving his ill son Colin alone. Colin, sick and hidden in the bowels of the city, carries the burden of his mother’s death on his weak shoulders.
When Mary discovers her Aunt Lily’s hidden garden, which is closed and covered with vines, she is determined to bring it back to its former glory. Surrounded by spirits from the past who both warn and welcome her, Mary begins to peel away the layers of melancholy that blanket the home and the garden, demonstrating the power of “one young girl” who “wants things to grow.”
89. The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s final collaboration, has become a popular play around the world. The Sound of Music follows the story of young postulant Maria Rainer, whose free spirit has problem fitting into the rules and regulations of Nonnberg Abbey. This based on the true story musical , manages to capture a story of growth and hope amidst the horrors of World War II. Maria transforms the Von Trapp family home from one of rigid rules and regulations to one of joy, laughing, and song. She captures the hearts of all seven children as well as their widower father, Captain Von Trapp.
90. The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Two Gentlemen of Verona is a rock musical based on the Shakespeare comedy of the same name, with a script by John Guare and Mel Shapiro, lyrics by Guare, and music by Galt MacDermot.
The Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical were given to the original Broadway production in 1971. In 1973, a London production was staged. In 2005, the piece was resurrected by the Public Theater.
The story of lifelong friends Proteus and Valentine, who leave their rural birthplace to explore life in cosmopolitan Milan, is told in the musical Two Gentlemen of Verona. Valentine falls in love with Sylvia, whose father has forced her to marry the wealthy but unsuitable Thurio against her will, and plans to win her hand. Proteus turns his back on Valentine and Julia, his local sweetheart, and sets his sights on Sylvia. He intends to inform her father of his friend’s plans, get Valentine expelled from Milan, and seize her for himself.
91. The Wiz
This Tony Award-winning “super soul” musical from 1975 retells L. In the backdrop of African-American culture, Frank Baum’s masterpiece “The Wizard of Oz.”
Dorothy, a restless Kansas farm girl anxious to explore more of the world, is taken to a magical world of Munchkins, witches, and a yellow brick road by a tornado. On her travels to the Emerald City to visit the Wizard of Oz, she meets the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion – allies who help her combat the Wicked Witch of the West and eventually discover that there is “no place like home.”
92. West Side Story
West Side Story is a 1957 musical, with a jazzy musical that’s based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet story. It takes place in early twentieth-century New York, against the backdrop of racial gang warfare.
The story revolves with the Sharks, who originated from Puerto Rico, and the Jets, who were born in New York – two competing gangs. Tony (tenor) and Maria (soprano) meet at a dance and fall in love, despite their gang allegiances. Both acts result in a murder.
Opera, musical, jazz, and Latin-American dance music are all represented in the music. One of the most well-known songs from West Side Story is “Something’s Coming”. “Somewhere”, “Maria”, and “Tonight” are among the others.
93. Where’s Charley
What happens when Frank Loesser and George Abbott, two musical theatre legends, adapt one of the most successful farces of all time?
“Where’s Charley?”, is a musical comedy that captures all of the chuckles from the show’s inspiration, the record-breaking play Charlie’s Aunt.
Charley and Jack ask Kitty and Amy to lunch under the supervision of Charley’s aunt, Donna Lucia, but when she fails to show up, he disguises himself as her to allow the girls to come. They have, however, brought along their own chaperone, a man who quickly falls in love with this “aunt.” When they get into additional difficulty, they must think (and change) quickly to get out of it.
Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz focuses on Elphaba and Glinda, the Wicked Witch of the West and the Good Witch of the South, respectively, and their unexpected friendship. Elphaba is portrayed as anything but evil in this precursor to The Wizard of Oz. In a discriminatory society, however, everything that is odd, such as Elphaba’s green skin, is rapidly shunned.
Wicked’s appeal stems from how it was able to rewrite the plot and change Elphaba’s persona, who turns out to be less than wicked, amid allusions to L. The classic story by Frank Baum. The play won three Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards, including Best Musical Show Album in 2005, as a result of their efforts.
Wicked entered the ranks of The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera as a certified Broadway smash in March 2016, with ticket sales topping $1 billion since its premiere in 2003.
95. Wonderful Town
Wonderful Town is a 1953 musical that depicts the story of two sisters who strive to be writers and actresses, respectively, and seek success from their Greenwich Village basement flat. It’s inspired on Fields and Chodorov’s 1940 drama My Sister Eileen, which was influenced by Ruth McKenney’s autobiographical short stories, first published in The New Yorker in the late 1930s and later collected as My Sister Eileen. Only McKenney’s last two stories were used, and they were extensively edited.
Wonderful Town premiered on Broadway in 1953 after a pre-Broadway try-out at the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia. It received five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Actress, and was the subject of three New York City Center performances from 1958 to 1966, as well as a 1955 and 1986 West End production and a 2003 Broadway revival. Although it is a lighter work than Bernstein’s subsequent masterpieces, West Side Story and Candide, none of the songs have achieved the same level of popularity.
. . .
And that wraps up our list of the best Broadway Musical shows! I hope we managed to help you look for that special Broadway show (or at least convince you to watch one). Which of these musicals are you excited to watch and include on your bucket list?
Regardless of the medium used, whether it’s a movie, a song, or a musical, the magic happens when it manages to take you into its world, and that is something that you should definitely experience.
With so many different stories to tell and new emotions to discover, it’s no wonder Broadway will continue to draw people from all over the world into its enchanting arms.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my links, I earn a commission that helps to keep this blog running—at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.
You might Also Enjoy
Foodie Movies Bucket List: 55 Cooking & Food Films You Need to Watch
Hobbies Bucket List: The 100+ Most Popular Types to Try
Board Games Bucket List: 50 of the All Time Best Ones to Play