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The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked

Updated July 29, 2020 302.7k votes 25.3k voters 375.8k views197 items

List RulesOnly staged musicals.

List of the best musicals to ever run on stage, whether on Broadway, the West End, or in smaller fringe theaters around the world. The greatest musicals combine music, dancing, amazing stories, and top casts to take the viewer out of a theatre and into a world they never imagined.

The best Broadway musicals are a cross-section of classic musicals like Les Miserables (now an Oscar winning movie) and Cats as well as new favorites like The Book of Mormon and Wicked. Their casts feature some of the best stars on Broadway from throughout the years, and they are all worthy of more than one viewing. The best thing about musical theater, of course, is that it's never the same show twice.

What are the top Broadway musicals? What are the best musical theater shows? Which shows are the greatest musicals ever to be on stage? That's for all you musical theater fans to decide!

Vote on your favorite musicals and if your favorite Broadway musical show isn't on the list, add it so others can discover a best new Broadway musical to see.
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  • 1
    Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    10,763
    3,686
    Hamilton: An American Musical is a sung- and rapped-through musical about the life of American... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Wicked is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    7,502
    3,047

    Wicked

    Stephen Schwartz , Winnie Holzman

    CharactersWicked Witch of the West, The Wizard, Glinda the Good Witch, Boq, Doctor Dillamond

    Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    8,394
    3,697

    Les Misérables

    Claude-Michel Schönberg , Jean-Marc Natel

    CharactersJean Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Éponine, Monsieur Thénardier

    Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz is a sung-through musical based on... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Dear Evan Hansen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    4,927
    1,451

    Dear Evan Hansen

    Pasek and Paul

    CharactersEvan Hansen, Heidi Hansen, Cynthia Murphy, Larry Murphy, Connor Murphy

    Dear Evan Hansen is a musical with music and lyrics by Pasek and Paul, and a book by Steven... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    4,460
    2,433

    The Sound of Music

    Richard Rodgers , Russel Crouse

    CharactersFraulein Maria, Louisa von Trapp, Marta von Trapp, Gretl von Trapp, Kurt von Trapp

    The Sound of Music is a multiple Tony Award-winning musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Newsies is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    2,747
    1,307

    Newsies

    Alan Menken , Jack Feldman
    Newsies The Musical is a Disney Theatrical Productions stage musical based on the 1992 film... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    In the Heights is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    2,362
    890

    In the Heights

    Lin-Manuel Miranda , Quiara Alegría Hudes

    CharactersClaudia, Graffiti Pete, Camila Rosario, Benny, Kevin Rosario

    In the Heights is a musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a book by Quiara... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    4,795
    2,686

    The Lion King

    Mark Mancina , Elton John

    CharactersScar, Simba, Mufasa, Pumbaa, Nala

    The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Walt Disney Animation Studios' animated feature... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Chicago is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    3,928
    2,196

    Chicago

    Bob Fosse , Fred Ebb

    CharactersVelma Kelly, Billy Flynn, Roxie Hart, Amos Hart, Matron "Mama" Morton

    Chicago (Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville) is an American musical with music by John Kander,... more on Wikipedia

    More Chicago 

    #2 of 87 The Most Popular Broadway Musicals of All Time#8 of 71 The Best Musicals Based on Movies

  • 10
    Little Shop of Horrors is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    2,629
    1,438

    Little Shop of Horrors

    Alan Menken , Howard Ashman

    CharactersOrin Scrivello, DDS, Seymour Krelborn, Audrey II, Crystal

    Little Shop of Horrors is a comedy horror rock musical, by composer Alan Menken and writer... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    6,737
    3,839

    The Phantom of the Opera

    Charles Hart , Richard Stilgoe

    CharactersErik, Christine Daaé, Carlotta, Viscount Raoul de Chagny, Madame Giry

    The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    1,714
    798

    Singin' in the Rain

    Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed
    Singin' in the Rain is a musical with a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, lyrics by... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Waitress is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    1,527
    601
    Waitress is a musical with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, and a book by Jessie Nelson.... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    2,131
    1,072

    Mary Poppins

    Richard M. Sherman , Robert B. Sherman

    CharactersMary Poppins, Michael Banks, Jane Banks, Bert, George Banks

    Mary Poppins is a musical with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    2,304
    1,272

    Beauty and the Beast

    Alan Menken , Linda Woolverton

    CharactersBelle, Gaston, Beast, Babette, Wardrobe

    Beauty and the Beast is a musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    The Music Man is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    1,701
    927

    The Music Man

    Franklin Lacey , Meredith Willson

    CharactersHarold Hill, Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn, Marcellus Washburn, Mayor George Shinn, Marian Paroo

    The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Into the Woods is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    3,552
    2,034

    Into the Woods

    James Lapine , Stephen Sondheim

    CharactersRapunzel, Snow White, Princess Aurora, Cinderella, Big Bad Wolf

    Into the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James... more on Wikipedia

    More Into the Woods 

    #3 of 33 The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s#17 of 45 The Greatest Musicals That Started Off-Broadway

  • 18
    Miss Saigon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    1,949
    973

    Miss Saigon

    Richard Maltby, Jr.

    CharactersChristopher Scott, Kim, John Thomas, Tam, Gigi Van Tranh

    Miss Saigon is a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    My Fair Lady is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    2,465
    1,377

    My Fair Lady

    Frederic Loewe , Alan Jay Lerner

    CharactersEliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins, Alfred Doolittle, Mrs Higgins, Mrs. Pearce

    My Fair Lady is a musical based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    The Book of Mormon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    4,498
    2,600

    The Book of Mormon

    Matt Stone , Trey Parker

    CharactersArnold Cunningham, Kevin Price, Nabulungi, General Butt-Fucking Naked, Elder McKinley

    The Book of Mormon is a musical comedy. First staged in 2011, the play is a satirical... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    West Side Story is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    4,619
    2,698

    West Side Story

    Leonard Bernstein , Arthur Laurents

    CharactersMaria, Tony, Anita, A-rab, Bernardo

    West Side Story is an American musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard... more on Wikipedia

    More 

    #6 of 29 The Very Best Sung-Through Musicals#4 of 49 The Best Grammy-Nominated Musical Theater Albums of the 1980s

  • 22
    Legally Blonde is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    1,330
    587

    Legally Blonde

    Heather Hach , Laurence O'Keefe

    CharactersElle Woods, Professor Callahan, Serena McGuire, Paulette Bonafonté, Margot

    Legally Blonde is a musical with music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Heathers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    1,483
    629

    Heathers

    Scott Benson , Bernard Abrams

    CharactersHeather Chan

  • 24
    A Chorus Line is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    2,228
    1,271

    A Chorus Line

    Edward Kleban , Nicholas Dante

    CharactersZach, Sheila Bryant, Greg Gardner, Mike Costa, Don Kerr

    A Chorus Line is a musical with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and a book... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Hairspray is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked
    3,183
    1,848

    Hairspray

    Scott Wittman , Marc Shaiman

    CharactersVelma Von Tussle, Edna Turnblad, Little Inez, Seaweed J Stupps, Motormouth Maybelle

    Hairspray is an American musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and... more on Wikipedia
Musicals / PlaysArtBroadwaypoll