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 up your favorite musicals, and vote down the ones that were disappointing. 

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  • Hamilton
    1
    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
  • Les Misérables
    2
    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
  • Wicked
    3
    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
  • Come from Away is a musical with book, music and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. It is set in the week following the September 11 attacks and tells the true story of what transpired when 38 ...more
  • Dear Evan Hansen
    5
    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
  • In the Heights
    6
    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
  • 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
  • West Side Story
    8
    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 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
  • The Lion King
    10
    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
  • Waitress
    11
    Waitress is a musical with music and lyrics by Sara Bareilles, and a book by Jessie Nelson. Based on the 2007 film of the same name, written by Adrienne Shelly, the musical tells the story of Jenna ...more
  • Chicago
    12
    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
  • The Book of Mormon
    13
    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
    14
    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
  • The Rocky Horror Show is a musical with music, lyrics and a book by Richard O'Brien. A humorous tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the late 1940s through to the early 1970s, the ...more
  • Newsies
    16
    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
  • 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
  • Mary Poppins
    18
    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
  • Hairspray
    20
    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
  • 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
  • Rent
    22
    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
  • A Chorus Line
    23
    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
  • Miss Saigon
    24
    Miss Saigon is a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. It is based on Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, and similarly tells the ...more
  • Legally Blonde
    25
    Legally Blonde is a musical with music and lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and book by Heather Hach. The story is based on the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown and the 2001 film of ...more