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.
Characters: Jean Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Éponine, Monsieur ThénardierLes Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz is a sung-through musical based on... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Erik, Christine Daaé, Carlotta, Viscount Raoul de Chagny, Madame GiryThe Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Rapunzel, Snow White, Princess Aurora, Cinderella, Big Bad WolfInto the Woods is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James... more on Wikipedia
- 4Singin' in the Rain is a musical with a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, lyrics by... more on Wikipedia14477
Characters: Effie White, Deena Jones, C. C. White, James Early, Curtis TaylorDreamgirls is a Broadway musical, with music by Henry Krieger and lyrics and book by Tom Eyen.... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Rum Tum Tugger, Jellylorum, Bombalurina, Old Deuteronomy, Bustopher JonesCats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical... more on Wikipedia
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatAndrew Lloyd Webber , Tim Rice
Characters: Potiphar, Potiphar's Wife, Joseph, Pharaoh, ReubenJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical or operetta with lyrics by Tim Rice... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Billy Webster, Yvonne, Nurse, Bob Greenberg, Charles RedmondSunday in the Park with George is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Pat Denning, Billy Lawlor, Julian Marsh, Abner Dillon, Mac42nd Street is an American musical with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble, lyrics by... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Florence, Molokov, The American, Svetlana, The RussianChess is a musical with music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of the pop group ABBA,... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Madame Renaud, Albin, Jean-Michel, Jacob, FrancisLa Cage aux Folles (French pronunciation: [la kaʒ o fɔl]) is a musical with a book by Harvey... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Salieri, Count Orsini-Rosenberg, Katerina Cavalieri, Constanze MozartAmadeus is a play by Peter Shaffer, which gives a highly fictionalized account of the lives of... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Miles Gloriosus, Senex, Hero, Marcus Lycus, PhiliaA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Elizaveta Grushinskaya, Baron Felix Von Gaigern, Flaemmchen, Erik, Hermann PreysingGrand Hotel is a musical with a book by Luther Davis and music and lyrics by Robert Wright and... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Carrie White, Margaret White, Chris Hargensen, Sue Snell, Tommy RossCarrie: The Musical is a musical with a book by Lawrence D. Cohen, lyrics by Dean Pitchford,... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Alaura Kingsley, Mallory Kingsley, Stone, Avril, BobbiCity of Angels is a musical comedy with music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by David Zippel, and book... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Pearl the Observation Car, Ashley the Smoking Car, Flat-Top the Brick Truck, Dustin the Big Hopper, Buffy the Buffet CarStarlight Express is a rock musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Richard Stilgoe and Arlene... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Guido Contini, Carla, Claudia Jenssen, Saraghina, Luisa ContiniNine is a musical, initially created and written by Maury Yeston as a class-project in Lehman... more on Wikipedia
RagsStephen Schwartz , Joseph Stein
Characters: Saul, Bella Cohen, Nathan Hershkowitz, Ben, DavidRags is a musical with a book by Joseph Stein, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and music by... more on Wikipedia
Characters: Sir John Tremayne, Sally Smith, Herbert Parchester, Lady Jacqueline Carstone, Lord Jasper TringMe and My Girl is a musical with music by Noel Gay and its original book and lyrics by Douglas... more on Wikipedia
Characters: General Tom Thumb, James Anthony Bailey, Phineas Taylor Barnum, Jenny Lind, CharityBarnum is a musical with a book by Mark Bramble, lyrics by Michael Stewart, and music by Cy... more on Wikipedia
- 22Baby is a musical with a book by Sybille Pearson, based on a story developed with Susan... more on Wikipedia2032
- 23Song and Dance is a musical comprising two acts, one told entirely in "Song" and one entirely... more on Wikipedia2134
Characters: Arnold Beckoff, Alan Simon, David, Mrs. Beckoff, LaurelTorch Song Trilogy is a collection of three plays by Harvey Fierstein rendered in three acts:... more on Wikipedia
- 25The Rink is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and music by John... more on Wikipedia1630
The RinkTerrence McNally , Fred Ebb