26.6k voters

The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked

Updated February 15, 2021 308.2k votes 26.6k voters 393.7k views191 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.
  • Hamilton1
    Hamilton: An American Musical is a sung- and rapped-through musical about the life of American...  more
  • Wicked2


    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
  • Les Misérables3

    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
  • Dear Evan Hansen4

    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
  • The Phantom of the Opera5

    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

    More The Phantom of the Opera 

    #4 of 26 The Best Broadway Shows Right Now#4 of 29 The Very Best Sung-Through Musicals

  • The Sound of Music6

    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
  • Newsies7


    Alan Menken , Jack Feldman
    Newsies The Musical is a Disney Theatrical Productions stage musical based on the 1992 film...  more
  • West Side Story8

    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
  • The Lion King9

    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
  • Singin' in the Rain10

    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
  • Chicago11


    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

    More Chicago 

    #2 of 87 The Most Popular Broadway Musicals of All Time#5 of 65 The Best Tony Award Winning Musicals

  • In the Heights12

    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
  • Mary Poppins13

    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

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    #9 of 71 The Best Musicals Based on Movies#6 of 9 All The Broadway Musicals Based On Disney Movies, Ranked

  • Waitress14
    Waitress is a musical with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, and a book by Jessie Nelson....  more
  • Into the Woods15

    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

    More Into the Woods 

    #3 of 33 The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s#7 of 38 The Best Plays Based on Books

  • Miss Saigon16

    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
  • The Book of Mormon17

    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


    Every Song In 'The Book Of Mormon,' Ranked By Singability#3 of 49 Stage Musicals That Would Make Great Movies

  • Little Shop of Horrors18

    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
  • Legally Blonde19

    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
  • Beauty and the Beast20

    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
  • 21


    Scott Benson , Bernard Abrams

    CharactersHeather Chan

  • My Fair Lady22

    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


    #2 of 15 The Best Short Stage Monologues#7 of 15 The Best Stage Monologues For Men

  • A Chorus Line23

    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
  • Fiddler on the Roof24

    Fiddler on the Roof

    Sheldon Harnick , Jerry Bock

    CharactersTevye, Chava, Lazar Wolf, Tzeitel, Golde

    Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book...  more
  • Hairspray25


    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