Culture

The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked

List Rules
Only 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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list ordered by
  • Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz is a sung-through musical based on the novel Les Misérables by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, ...more
  • Hamilton: An American Musical is a sung- and rapped-through musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, inspired by the ...more
  • Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and ...more
  • The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart. Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber wrote the musical's book together. Stilgoe also provided ...more
  • West Side Story
    5
    West Side Story is an American musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, libretto/lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins. It was ...more
  • The Sound of Music is a multiple Tony Award-winning musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von ...more
  • Chicago (Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville) is an American musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Set in Jazz-age Chicago, the musical is based on a 1926 ...more
  • Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905. It is based on Tevye and his ...more
  • The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Walt Disney Animation Studios' animated feature film of the same name with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and book by Roger Allers and Irene ...more
  • Dear Evan Hansen is a musical with music and lyrics by Pasek and Paul, and a book by Steven Levenson. The title character, Evan Hansen, is a high school senior with a social anxiety disorder who ...more
  • The Book of Mormon
    11
    The Book of Mormon is a musical comedy. First staged in 2011, the play is a satirical examination of Mormon beliefs and practices that ultimately endorses the positive power of love and service. The ...more
  • Into the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales, exploring ...more
  • In the Heights is a musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The story is set over the course of three days, involving an ensemble cast of characters ...more
  • Little Shop of Horrors is a comedy horror rock musical, by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh. ...more
  • Hairspray is an American musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on John Waters’s 1988 film of the same name. The ...more
  • Rent is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive ...more
  • My Fair Lady
    17
    My Fair Lady is a musical based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who ...more
  • Mary Poppins is a musical with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (the Sherman Brothers) and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, and a script by ...more
  • Singin' in the Rain is a musical with a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, lyrics by Arthur Freed, and music by Nacio Herb Brown. Adapted from the 1952 movie of the same name, the plot closely ...more
  • A Chorus Line is a musical with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and a book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante. Centred on seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on ...more
  • Newsies The Musical is a Disney Theatrical Productions stage musical based on the 1992 film Newsies, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. The show has ...more
  • Cabaret is a 1966 musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Joe Masteroff, based on John Van Druten's 1951 play I Am a Camera, which was adapted from the short novel Goodbye ...more
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 1979 musical thriller with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. The musical is based on the 1973 play Sweeney Todd, the ...more
  • The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer ...more
  • Beauty and the Beast is a musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton. Adapted from Walt Disney Pictures' Academy Award-winning 1991 animated ...more