Broadway The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s  

Buster McDermott
3.1k votes 675 voters 44k 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
282 58
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
246 77
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
198 57
Into the Woods is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
James Lapine , Stephen Sondheim

4
127 52
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
106 52
Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Tom Eyen , Henry Krieger

6
154 88
Cats is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Stilgoe , Andrew Lloyd Webber , Trevor Nunn

7
112 67
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
76 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
74 45
42nd Street is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Mark Bramble , Al Dubin , Harry Warren

10
66 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 49
Chess is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Björn Ulvaeus , Benny Andersson , Richard Nelson

12
37 36
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Dean Pitchford , Lawrence D. Cohen

13
48 50
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
33 33
Nine is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Maury Yeston , Arthur Kopit

15
32 34
Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Peter Shaffer

16
30 32
Grand Hotel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
George Forrest , Maury Yeston , Robert Wright

17
7 4
A Funny Thing Happened on the ... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Ellis2ca added Burt Shevelove , Larry Gelbart , Stephen Sondheim

18
29 34
Barnum is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Mark Bramble , Cy Coleman , Michael Stewart

19
23 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
20 24
City of Angels is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
David Zippel , Larry Gelbart , Cy Coleman

21
22 27
Torch Song Trilogy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Harvey Fierstein

22
19 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
20 26
Baby is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Maltby, Jr. , Sybille Pearson

24
19 26
Brighton Beach Memoirs is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s

25
18 26
Rags is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Rags Stephen Schwartz , Joseph Stein , Charles Strouse