Culture

The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s 

Buster McDermott
Updated October 13, 2018 4k votes 880 voters 52.7k 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
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
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
Into the Woods is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
James Lapine , Stephen Sondheim
4
Cats is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Stilgoe , Andrew Lloyd Webber , Trevor Nunn
5
Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Arthur Freed
6
Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Tom Eyen , Henry Krieger
7
Joseph and the Amazing T... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Andrew Lloyd Webber , Tim Rice
8
Sunday in the Park with ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
James Lapine , Stephen Sondheim
9
42nd Street is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Mark Bramble , Al Dubin , Harry Warren
10
Chess is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Björn Ulvaeus , Benny Andersson , Richard Nelson
11
La Cage aux Folles is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Jerry Herman , Harvey Fierstein
12
Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Peter Shaffer
13
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
Grand Hotel is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
George Forrest , Maury Yeston , Robert Wright
15
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Dean Pitchford , Lawrence D. Cohen
16
City of Angels is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
David Zippel , Larry Gelbart , Cy Coleman
17
A Funny Thing Happened o... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Ellis2ca added Burt Shevelove , Larry Gelbart , Stephen Sondheim
18
Nine is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Maury Yeston , Arthur Kopit
19
Barnum is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Mark Bramble , Cy Coleman , Michael Stewart
20
Rags is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Rags Stephen Schwartz , Joseph Stein , Charles Strouse
21
Me and My Girl is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Noel Gay , Douglas Furber , L. Arthur Rose
22
Song and Dance is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Maltby, Jr. , Don Black
23
Torch Song Trilogy is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Harvey Fierstein
24
Baby is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s
Richard Maltby, Jr. , Sybille Pearson
25
Brighton Beach Memoirs ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s