Broadway The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s  

Buster McDermott
2.9k votes 629 voters 41.8k 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
263 52
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
229 69
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
185 52
Into the Woods is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
James Lapine , Stephen Sondheim

4
122 46
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
101 47
Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Tom Eyen , Henry Krieger

6
144 81
Cats is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Stilgoe , Andrew Lloyd Webber , Trevor Nunn

7
107 62
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
70 37
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 40
42nd Street is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Mark Bramble , Al Dubin , Harry Warren

10
61 37
La Cage aux Folles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Jerry Herman , Harvey Fierstein

11
70 46
Chess is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Björn Ulvaeus , Benny Andersson , Richard Nelson

12
32 29
Nine is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Maury Yeston , Arthur Kopit

13
45 45
Starlight Express is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Don Black , Richard Stilgoe , Andrew Lloyd Webber

14
30 30
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Dean Pitchford , Lawrence D. Cohen

15
29 30
Barnum is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Mark Bramble , Cy Coleman , Michael Stewart

16
29 30
Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Peter Shaffer

17
27 30
Grand Hotel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
George Forrest , Maury Yeston , Robert Wright

18
19 21
City of Angels is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
David Zippel , Larry Gelbart , Cy Coleman

19
4 2
A Funny Thing Happened on the ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Ellis2ca added Burt Shevelove , Larry Gelbart , Stephen Sondheim

20
21 25
Song and Dance is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Maltby, Jr. , Don Black

21
19 23
Baby is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Maltby, Jr. , Sybille Pearson

22
17 22
Rags is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Rags Stephen Schwartz , Joseph Stein , Charles Strouse

23
16 21
Me and My Girl is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Noel Gay , Douglas Furber , L. Arthur Rose

24
18 24
Torch Song Trilogy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Harvey Fierstein

25
17 24
Brighton Beach Memoirs is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s

26
13 23
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 21
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 26
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 24
Doonesbury is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Elizabeth Swados

30
4 21
The Human Comedy is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
The Human Comedy William Dumaresq , Galt MacDermot

31
4 21
Happy New Year is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Happy New Year Burt Shevelove , Cole Porter

32
4 24
Sarafina is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Mbongeni Ngema , Hugh Masekela

33
3 23
The Amen Corner is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
James Baldwin