Broadway The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s  

Buster McDermott
3k votes 653 voters 42.9k views 33 items

There's nothing quite like a live Broadway musical. But what are the best Broadway musicals from the 80s? From Cats to the Phantom of the Opera, the 1980s produced some the most iconic Broadway musicals known today. This list has been ranked by theater fans to determine the best Broadway musicals from the 1980s. 

The 1980s was an exciting time for musical theater with seasoned composers such as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim redefining Broadway history with hits such as Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Sunday in the Park with George, and Into the Woods. The 80s was about innovation and spectacle, as seen in shows such as Barnum, a raucous, circus-themed show that delighted audiences with hits such as "The Colors of My Life."

Today, we still owe credit to the 1980s for introducing audiences the longest running Broadway show, Cats, a dazzling and revolutionary musical that brought memorable ballads such as "Memory" and a story that won't soon be forgotten.

Still, the 80s also saw its fair share of disasters, such as the musical flop of Carrie. However, the mega-success of shows like Les Miserables, Dreamgirls, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat would win audiences over for decades to come. Some have described the 1980s as the last great era of Broadway that brought some of the best musical theater talent to stardom.

Cast your votes below for the best 1980s Broadway musicals.
list ordered by

1
272 54
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Claude-Michel Schönberg , Jean-Marc Natel , Herbert Kretzmer

2
236 74
The Phantom of the Opera is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Charles Hart , Richard Stilgoe , Andrew Lloyd Webber

3
192 54
Into the Woods is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
James Lapine , Stephen Sondheim

4
125 49
Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Arthur Freed

5
148 84
Cats is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Stilgoe , Andrew Lloyd Webber , Trevor Nunn

6
103 51
Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Tom Eyen , Henry Krieger

7
108 65
Joseph and the Amazing Technic... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Andrew Lloyd Webber , Tim Rice

8
75 39
Sunday in the Park with George is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
James Lapine , Stephen Sondheim

9
72 44
42nd Street is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Mark Bramble , Al Dubin , Harry Warren

10
64 39
La Cage aux Folles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Jerry Herman , Harvey Fierstein

11
72 48
Chess is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Björn Ulvaeus , Benny Andersson , Richard Nelson

12
47 48
Starlight Express is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Don Black , Richard Stilgoe , Andrew Lloyd Webber

13
34 33
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Dean Pitchford , Lawrence D. Cohen

14
32 32
Nine is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Maury Yeston , Arthur Kopit

15
31 33
Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Peter Shaffer

16
29 33
Barnum is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Mark Bramble , Cy Coleman , Michael Stewart

17
28 32
Grand Hotel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
George Forrest , Maury Yeston , Robert Wright

18
6 4
A Funny Thing Happened on the ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Ellis2ca added Burt Shevelove , Larry Gelbart , Stephen Sondheim

19
22 27
Song and Dance is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Maltby, Jr. , Don Black

20
21 26
Torch Song Trilogy is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Harvey Fierstein

21
19 24
City of Angels is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
David Zippel , Larry Gelbart , Cy Coleman

22
18 23
Me and My Girl is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Noel Gay , Douglas Furber , L. Arthur Rose

23
19 26
Baby is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Maltby, Jr. , Sybille Pearson

24
18 26
Rags is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Rags Stephen Schwartz , Joseph Stein , Charles Strouse

25
18 26
Brighton Beach Memoirs is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s

26
14 26
Woman of the Year is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Fred Ebb , John Kander , Peter Stone

27
11 24
My One and Only is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
George Gershwin , Peter Stone , Ira Gershwin

28
9 29
The Rink is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
The Rink Terrence McNally , Fred Ebb , John Kander

29
7 26
Doonesbury is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Elizabeth Swados

30
4 23
Happy New Year is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Happy New Year Burt Shevelove , Cole Porter

31
4 23
The Human Comedy is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
The Human Comedy William Dumaresq , Galt MacDermot

32
4 26
Sarafina is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Mbongeni Ngema , Hugh Masekela

33
3 25
The Amen Corner is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
James Baldwin