musicals / plays The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s  

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There's nothing quite like a live Broadway musical. But what are the best Broadway musicals from the 80s? From Cats to the Phantom of the Opera, the 1980s produced some the most iconic Broadway musicals known today. This list has been ranked by theater fans to determine the best Broadway musicals from the 1980s. 

The 1980s was an exciting time for musical theater with seasoned composers such as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim redefining Broadway history with hits such as Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods. The 80s was about innovation and spectacle, as seen in shows such as Barnum, a raucous, circus-themed show that delighted audiences with hits such as "The Colors of My Life."

Today, we still owe credit to the 1980s for introducing audiences the longest running Broadway show, Cats, a dazzling and revolutionary musical that brought memorable ballads such as "Memory" and a story that won't soon be forgotten.

Still, the 80s also saw its fair share of disasters, such as the musical flop of Carrie. However, the mega-success of shows like Les Miserables, Dreamgirls, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat would win audiences over for decades to come. Some have described the 1980s as the last great era of Broadway that brought some of the best musical theater talent to stardom.

Cast your votes below for the best 1980s Broadway musicals.
list ordered by

1
+ - 157 29
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Les Misérables Claude-Michel Schönberg , Jean-Marc Natel , Herbert Kretzmer

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2
+ - 141 36
The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
The Phantom of the Opera Charles Hart , Richard Stilgoe , Andrew Lloyd Webber

3
+ - 112 29
Into the Woods is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Into the Woods James Lapine , Stephen Sondheim

4
+ - 72 24
Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Singin' in the Rain Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Arthur Freed

5
+ - 92 46
Cats is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Cats Richard Stilgoe , Andrew Lloyd Webber , Trevor Nunn

6
+ - 71 31
Joseph and the Amazing Technic... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Andrew Lloyd Webber , Tim Rice

7
+ - 64 27
Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Dreamgirls Tom Eyen ^! Henry Krieger

8
+ - 49 22
Chess is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Chess Björn Ulvaeus ^! Benny Andersson ^! Richard Nelson ^! Tim Rice

9
+ - 45 19
La Cage aux Folles is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
La Cage aux Folles Jerry Herman , Harvey Fierstein

10
+ - 47 25
42nd Street is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
42nd Street Mark Bramble , Al Dubin , Harry Warren

11
+ - 39 22
Sunday in the Park with George is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Sunday in the Park with George James Lapine , Stephen Sondheim

12
+ - 22 16
Nine is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Nine Maury Yeston , Arthur Kopit

13
+ - 22 19
Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Amadeus Peter Shaffer

14
+ - 21 18
Grand Hotel is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Grand Hotel George Forrest ^! Maury Yeston ^! Robert Wright ^! Luther Davis

15
+ - 31 29
Starlight Express is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Starlight Express Don Black , Richard Stilgoe , Andrew Lloyd Webber

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16
+ - 20 18
Barnum is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Barnum Mark Bramble , Cy Coleman , Michael Stewart

17
+ - 14 13
City of Angels is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
City of Angels David Zippel , Larry Gelbart , Cy Coleman

18
+ - 14 14
Torch Song Trilogy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Torch Song Trilogy Harvey Fierstein

19
+ - 13 13
Baby is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Baby Richard Maltby^! Jr. ^! Sybille Pearson ^! David Shire

20
+ - 12 12
Me and My Girl is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Me and My Girl Noel Gay ^! Douglas Furber ^! L. Arthur Rose

21
+ - 17 18
Song and Dance is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Song and Dance Richard Maltby^! Jr. ^! Don Black ^! Andrew Lloyd Webber

22
+ - 15 17
Brighton Beach Memoirs is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s

23
+ - 12 14
Rags is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Rags Stephen Schwartz ^! Joseph Stein ^! Charles Strouse

24
+ - 16 21
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Carrie Dean Pitchford ^! Lawrence D. Cohen

25
+ - 10 16
Woman of the Year is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Woman of the Year Fred Ebb ^! John Kander ^! Peter Stone

26
+ - 8 14
My One and Only is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
My One and Only George Gershwin ^! Peter Stone ^! Ira Gershwin ^! Timothy S. Mayer

27
+ - 7 16
The Rink is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
The Rink Terrence McNally ^! Fred Ebb ^! John Kander

28
+ - 6 16
Doonesbury is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Doonesbury Elizabeth Swados

29
+ - 4 14
The Human Comedy is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
The Human Comedy William Dumaresq ^! Galt MacDermot

30
+ - 3 16
The Amen Corner is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
The Amen Corner James Baldwin

31
+ - 2 15
Happy New Year is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Happy New Year Burt Shevelove ^! Cole Porter

32
+ - 2 16
Sarafina is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Sarafina Mbongeni Ngema ^! Hugh Masekela