The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

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These are the 94 most popular Broadway musicals in history, listed according to their durations on the stage. The longest running Broadway musicals are part of the American musical canon with familiar songs and stories. What are the most popular Broadway shows? From standards like "Cats" and "Les Miserables" to newer hits like "Wicked," these Broadway shows with the most performances are instant classics that are favorites among generations. And, being a theater nerd myself, I hope to see each and every one of these top plays live on stage in my lifetime. So, what are the most famous Broadway musicals of all time?

For more, vote on this list of Stage Musicals That Would Make Great Movies.
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  1. 1

    Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe, Andrew Lloyd Webber Opened on January 26, 1988. Featured its 10,000th performance in 2012.

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  2. 2

    Richard Stilgoe, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Trevor Nunn Opened on October 7, 1982. Closed on September 10, 2000. Featured 7485 performances.

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  3. 3

    Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb, John Kander Opened on November 14, 1996. Featured 7,349 performances.

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  4. 4
    The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    The Lion King Mark Mancina, Elton John, Jay Rifkin Opened on November 13, 1997. Featured 6,943 performances.

  5. 5
    Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Les Misérables Claude-Michel Schönberg, Jean-Marc Natel, Herbert Kretzmer Opened on March 12, 1987. Closed on May 18, 2003. Featured 6680 performances.

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    Kenneth Tynan Opened on September 24, 1976. Closed on August 6, 1989. Featured 5959 performances.

    Opened on June 17, 1969. Closed on August 12, 1972. Featured 1314 performances.

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  7. 7

    Edward Kleban ^! Nicholas Dante ^! Marvin Hamlisch ^! James Kirkwood Jr. Opened on July 25, 1975. Closed on April 28, 1990. Featured 6137 performances.

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  8. 8
    Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Beauty and the Beast Alan Menken ^! Linda Woolverton ^! Howard Ashman ^! Tim Rice Opened on April 18, 1994. Closed on July 29, 2007. Featured 5461 performances.

  9. 9

    Björn Ulvaeus, Catherine Johnson, Benny Andersson Opened on October 18, 2001. Featured 5,287 performances.

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  10. 10

    Jonathan Larson Opened on April 29, 1996. Closed on September 7, 2008. Featured 5123 performances.

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  11. 11
    Wicked is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Wicked Stephen Schwartz, Winnie Holzman Opened on October 30, 2003. Featured 4,470 performances.

  12. 12
    Miss Saigon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Miss Saigon Richard Maltby^! Jr. ^! Claude-Michel Schönberg ^! Alain Boublil Opened on April 11, 1991. Closed on January 28, 2001. Featured 4097 performances.

  13. 13
    Jersey Boys is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Jersey Boys Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice, Bob Crewe Opened on November 6, 2005. Featured 3,612 performances.

  14. 14

    Mark Bramble ^! Al Dubin ^! Harry Warren ^! Michael Stewart Opened on August 25, 1980. Closed on January 8, 1989. Featured 3486 performances.

    Opened on May 2, 2001. Closed on January 2, 2005. Featured 1524 performances.

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  15. 15

    Warren Casey ^! Jim Jacobs Opened on February 14, 1972. Closed on April 13, 1980. Featured 3388 performances.

    Opened on May 11, 1994. Closed on January 25, 1998. Featured 1505 performances.

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  16. 16
    Fiddler on the Roof is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Fiddler on the Roof Sheldon Harnick ^! Jerry Bock ^! Joseph Stein Opened on September 22, 1964. Closed on July 2, 1972. Featured 3242 performances.

  17. 17
    Life with Father is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Life with Father Opened on November 8, 1939. Closed on July 12, 1947. Featured 3224 performances.

  18. 18
    Tobacco Road is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Tobacco Road Opened on December 4, 1933. Closed on May 31, 1941. Featured 3182 performances.

  19. 19
    Hello, Dolly! is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Hello, Dolly! Opened on January 16, 1964. Closed on December 27, 1970. Featured 2844 performances.

  20. 20

    Frederic Loewe ^! Alan Jay Lerner Opened on March 15, 1956. Closed on September 29, 1962. Featured 2717 performances.

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  21. 21
    Hairspray is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Hairspray Scott Wittman, Marc Shaiman, Thomas Meehan Opened on August 16, 2002. Closed on January 4, 2009. Featured 2642 performances.

  22. 22

    Jeff Marx ^! Jeff Whitty ^! Robert Lopez Opened on July 31, 2003. Closed on September 13, 2009. Featured 2534 performances.

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  23. 23

    Mel Brooks ^! Thomas Meehan Opened on April 19, 2001. Closed on April 22, 2007. Featured 2502 performances.

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  24. 24

    Fred Ebb ^! John Kander ^! Joe Masteroff Opened on March 19, 1998. Closed on January 4, 2004. Featured 2377 performances.

    Opened on November 20, 1966. Closed on September 6, 1969. Featured 1165 performances.

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  25. 25

    Martin Charnin ^! Thomas Meehan ^! Charles Strouse Opened on April 21, 1977. Closed on January 2, 1983. Featured 2377 performances.

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  26. 26

    Mitch Leigh ^! Joe Darion ^! Dale Wasserman Opened on November 22, 1965. Closed on June 26, 1971. Featured 2328 performances.

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  27. 27
    Abie's Irish Rose is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Abie's Irish Rose Opened on May 23, 1922. Closed on October 1, 1927. Featured 2327 performances.

  28. 28
    Oklahoma! is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Oklahoma! Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II Opened on March 31, 1943. Closed on May 29, 1948. Featured 2212 performances.

  29. 29

    Mike Stoller, Jack Viertel, Jerry Leiber Opened on March 2, 1995. Closed on January 16, 2000. Featured 2036 performances.

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  30. 30

    Stephen Schwartz, Roger O. Hirson Opened on October 23, 1972. Closed on June 12, 1977. Featured 1944 performances.

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  31. 31

    Richard Rodgers ^! Joshua Logan ^! Oscar Hammerstein II Opened on April 7, 1949. Closed on January 16, 1954. Featured 1925 performances.

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  32. 32

    Bob Randall ^! Stephen Schwartz Opened on May 28, 1974. Closed on December 31, 1978. Featured 1920 performances.

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  33. 33
    Aida is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Aida David Henry Hwang ^! Elton John ^! Linda Woolverton ^! Robert Falls ^! Tim ... Opened on March 23, 2000. Closed on September 5, 2004. Featured 1852 performances.

  34. 34
    Happy Birthday, Gemini is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Happy Birthday, Gemini Opened on May 21, 1977. Closed on September 6, 1981. Featured 1819 performances.

  35. 35

    Ira Levin Opened on February 26, 1978. Closed on June 13, 1982. Featured 1793 performances.

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  36. 36
    Harvey is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Harvey Mary Chase Opened on November 1, 1944. Closed on January 15, 1949. Featured 1775 performances.

  37. 37
    Dancin' is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Dancin' Opened on March 27, 1978. Closed on June 27, 1982. Featured 1774 performances.

  38. 38

    Jerry Herman, Harvey Fierstein Opened on August 21, 1983. Closed on November 15, 1987. Featured 1761 performances.

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  39. 39

    Gerome Ragni, Galt MacDermot, James Rado Opened on April 29, 1968. Closed on July 1, 1972. Featured 1750 performances.

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  40. 40
    The Wiz is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    The Wiz Charlie Smalls ^! William F. Brown Opened on January 5, 1975. Closed on January 28, 1979. Featured 1672 performances.

  41. 41
    Born Yesterday is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Born Yesterday Garson Kanin Opened on February 4, 1946. Closed on December 31, 1949. Featured 1642 performances.

  42. 42

    Richard M. Sherman ^! Robert B. Sherman ^! George Stiles ^! Anthony Drew ... Opened on November 16, 2006. Featured 1637 performances.

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  43. 43
    Crazy for You is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Crazy for You George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Ken Ludwig Opened on February 19, 1992. Closed on January 7, 1996. Featured 1622 performances.

  44. 44

    Richard Maltby, Jr., Murray Horwitz Opened on May 9, 1978. Closed on February 21, 1982. Featured 1604 performances.

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  45. 45
    The Best Little Whorehouse in ... is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Carol Hall, Larry L. King, Peter Masterson Opened on June 19, 1978. Closed on March 27, 1982. Featured 1584 performances.

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    Spamalot is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Spamalot Neil Innes, John Du Prez, Eric Idle Opened on March 17, 2005. Closed on January 11, 2009. Featured 1575 performances.

  47. 47
    Mary, Mary is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    Mary, Mary Opened on March 8, 1961. Closed on December 12, 1964. Featured 1572 performances.

  48. 48

    Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice Opened on September 25, 1979. Closed on June 26, 1983. Featured 1567 performances.

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  49. 49
    The Voice of the Turtle is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

    The Voice of the Turtle Opened on December 8, 1943. Closed on January 3, 1948. Featured 1557 performances.

  50. 50

    Frank Wildhorn ^! Leslie Bricusse ^! Steve Cuden Opened on April 28, 1997. Closed on January 7, 2001. Featured 1543 performances.

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