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.
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  1. 1
    + 115
    - 16

    Claude-Michel Schönberg ^! Jean-Marc Natel ^! Herbert Kretzmer ^!

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  2. 2
    + 104
    - 21

    Charles Hart ^! Richard Stilgoe ^! Andrew Lloyd Webber

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  3. 3
    + 72
    - 22

    James Lapine ^! Stephen Sondheim

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  4. 4
    + 46
    - 10
    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. 5
    + 68
    - 30

    Richard Stilgoe, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Trevor Nunn

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  6. 6
    + 38
    - 11

    Björn Ulvaeus ^! Benny Andersson ^! Richard Nelson ^! Tim Rice

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  7. 7
    + 43
    - 15

    Tom Eyen ^! Henry Krieger

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  8. 8
    + 54
    - 24
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  9. 9
    + 34
    - 11

    Jerry Herman ^! Harvey Fierstein

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  10. 10
    + 32
    - 17

    Mark Bramble ^! Al Dubin ^! Harry Warren ^! Michael Stewart

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  11. 11
    + 28
    - 18

    James Lapine ^! Stephen Sondheim

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  12. 12
    + 17
    - 13

    Peter Shaffer

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  13. 13
    + 12
    - 8

    David Zippel ^! Larry Gelbart ^! Cy Coleman

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  14. 14
    + 16
    - 13

    Mark Bramble, Cy Coleman, Michael Stewart

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  15. 15
    + 24
    - 22

    Don Black, Richard Stilgoe, Andrew Lloyd Webber

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  16. 16
    + 14
    - 12

    Maury Yeston ^! Arthur Kopit

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  17. 17
    + 16
    - 15

    George Forrest ^! Maury Yeston ^! Robert Wright ^! Luther Davis

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  18. 18
    + 9
    - 8

    Noel Gay ^! Douglas Furber ^! L. Arthur Rose

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  19. 19
    + 12
    - 14

    Richard Maltby^! Jr. ^! Don Black ^! Andrew Lloyd Webber

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  20. 20
    + 9
    - 12

    Harvey Fierstein

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  21. 21
    + 11
    - 15
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  22. 22
    + 7
    - 12
    Rags is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s

    Rags Stephen Schwartz ^! Joseph Stein ^! Charles Strouse

  23. 23
    + 7
    - 12
    Baby is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s

    Baby Richard Maltby^! Jr. ^! Sybille Pearson ^! David Shire

  24. 24
    + 10
    - 17

    Dean Pitchford ^! Lawrence D. Cohen

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  25. 25
    + 7
    - 14

    Fred Ebb ^! John Kander ^! Peter Stone

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  26. 26
    + 6
    - 13

    Elizabeth Swados

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  27. 27
    + 6
    - 13

    George Gershwin ^! Peter Stone ^! Ira Gershwin ^! Timothy S. Mayer

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  28. 28
    + 4
    - 11
    The Human Comedy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s

    The Human Comedy William Dumaresq ^! Galt MacDermot

  29. 29
    + 5
    - 14
    The Rink is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s

    The Rink Terrence McNally ^! Fred Ebb ^! John Kander

  30. 30
    + 3
    - 12

    James Baldwin

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  31. 31
    + 2
    - 12
    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. 32
    + 1
    - 14

    Mbongeni Ngema ^! Hugh Masekela

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33 +

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