From Chicago to The Lion King, the '90s saw a number of hit musicals that were popular with theater audiences. While going to the theater has always been (and still is) considered to be pretty high-brow, many 1990s musicals introduced fun, accessible elements like rock music and youthful themes that appealed to a younger generation. Think back– which '90s musicals do you think take the cake for being the best of the decade? This list has been ranked by hundreds of theater fans like you, so don't let them down! Vote for your choices of the best 1990s Broadway musicals.
By the '90s, musical theater began fading away into obscurity. Though Broadway had once reigned supreme, it was now struggling to remain relevant amidst rapidly changing times, combined with rising ticket costs and low attendance. Still, the 1990s saw its fair share of Broadway hits that stuck out among the loyal theater fans. The shows were modernized and often tackled weighty topics such as in the successful show, Rent, a rock musical about a group of young artists in New York dealing with the realities of HIV/AIDS. Though the show started off-Broadway, it eventually found its place and gained critical acclaim, winning a Tony Award for Best Musical. Rent would continue on Broadway for 12 years, until 2008, after more than 5,000 performances.
The '90s was also a time of the "corporate musical," elaborate stage efforts produced with a massive amount of money from corporate sponsorship in order to win over the box office. Such shows included Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. Though the shows were much loved by audiences, the real magic of musical theater through experimentation, emotion, and true talent was lost to impressive, yet sterile, shows.What are the top Broadway musicals from the 1990s? But what were the most popular Broadway musicals of the '90s? Cast your votes below and see how your fellow theater fans voted!
- 1Jonathan Larson
- 2Bob Fosse , Fred Ebb
- 3Mark Mancina , Elton John
- 4Alan Menken , Linda Woolverton
- 5Richard Maltby, Jr.
- 6Charles Hart , Don Black
- 7Terrence McNally , Stephen Flaherty
- 8Marsha Norman , Jule Styne
- 9Cy Coleman , Ira Gasman
- 10David Zippel , Marvin Hamlisch
- 11Blake Edwards , Frank Wildhorn
- 12Warren Casey , Jim Jacobs
- 13Marsha Norman , Lucy Simon
- 14Christopher Hampton , Don Black
- 15James Lapine , William Finn
- 16Frank Wildhorn , Leslie Bricusse
- 17Eric Carmen , Sammy Hagar
- 18Stephen Flaherty , Lynn Ahrens
- 19Jason Robert Brown , Alfred Uhry
- 20Bob Fosse , Fred Ebb
- 21Maury Yeston and Peter StoneMaury Yeston and Peter Stone
- 22George Gershwin , Ira Gershwin
- 23David Zippel , Larry Gelbart
My Favorite YearStephen Flaherty , Lynn Ahrens
- 25Des McAnuff , Pete Townshend