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The Best Broadway Shows for Kids

Updated October 8, 2019 4.8k votes 394 voters 20.9k views39 items

 

From tiny tots to high schoolers, kids of all ages will enjoy these great Broadway musicals. While many are running on Broadway currently, the rest will most likely be produced again in revivals so parents should be sure to keep an eye both on Broadway and this list of the best Broadway shows for kids.

A large portion of the Broadway shows kids will love are musicals. After all, what child can resist singing along with their favorite characters? Shows like The Lion King are familiar to kids already and the elaborate sets and colorful dance numbers will hold their interest for the duration of the show.

Other exciting Broadway productions might be more appropriate for older children. Hairspray, based on the film of the same name, touches on the subject of social inequalities, a subject that junior high and high school students can appreciate and relate to. Of course, the show is also fun - the music is memorable, as are the characters, so older kids are sure to not only enjoy this Broadway show but also learn more about the history of the American social landscape.

On this list, readers will find all of the greatest Broadway shows for children, including those that have been produced recently and those that were originally staged long ago. Vote up the best Broadway shows for kids below and see where the shows your kids love rank! Then check out our list of the best musical movies for kids.

 

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    The Lion King

    Mark Mancina, Elton John

    CharactersScar, Simba, Mufasa, Pumbaa, Nala

    The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Walt Disney Animation Studios' animated feature film of the same name with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and book by Roger Allers and Irene...  more
  • 2
    144
    32

    Beauty and the Beast

    Alan Menken, Linda Woolverton

    CharactersBelle, Gaston, Beast, Babette, Wardrobe

    Beauty and the Beast is a musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton. Adapted from Walt Disney Pictures' Academy Award-winning 1991 animated...  more
  • 3
    111
    32

    The Sound of Music

    Richard Rodgers, Russel Crouse

    CharactersFraulein Maria, Louisa von Trapp, Marta von Trapp, Gretl von Trapp, Kurt von Trapp

    The Sound of Music is a multiple Tony Award-winning musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von...  more

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    #8 of 66 The Best Tony Award Winning Musicals#1 of 12 The Best Musicals by Rodgers and Hammerstein

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    113
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    Wicked

    Stephen Schwartz, Winnie Holzman

    CharactersWicked Witch of the West, The Wizard, Glinda the Good Witch, Boq, Doctor Dillamond

    Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman. It is based on the 1995 Gregory Maguire novel Wicked: The Life and...  more

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    144
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    Mary Poppins

    Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman

    CharactersMary Poppins, Michael Banks, Jane Banks, Bert, George Banks

    Mary Poppins is a musical with music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (the Sherman Brothers) and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, and a script by...  more

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    134
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    Peter Pan

    Carolyn Leigh, Adolph Green

    CharactersCaptain Hook, Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, Mr. Smee

    Peter Pan is a musical adaptation of J. M. Barrie's 1904 play Peter Pan and Barrie's own novelization of it, Peter and Wendy. The music is mostly by Mark "Moose" Charlap, with additional music by...  more
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    124
    58

    The Little Mermaid

    Alan Menken, Howard Ashman

    CharactersAriel, Ursula, Prince Eric, Flounder, Sebastian

    The Little Mermaid is a stage musical produced by Disney Theatrical, based on the animated 1989 Disney film of the same name and the classic story of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen about a...  more
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    93
    37

    Matilda the Musical

    Dennis Kelly, Tim Minchin

    CharactersMatilda Wormwood, Harry Wormwood, Michael Wormwood, Zinnia Wormwood, Amanda Thripp

    Matilda the Musical is a stage musical based on the 1988 children's novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. It was adapted by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. The musical's narrative...  more
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    83
    29

    Newsies

    Alan Menken, Harvey Fierstein
  • 10

    CharactersSnoopy, Charlie Brown, Lucy van Pelt, Patty, Sally Brown

    You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a 1967 musical comedy with music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in his comic strip Peanuts. The...  more
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    131
    76

    Annie

    Martin Charnin, Thomas Meehan

    CharactersAnnie, Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, Miss Agatha Hannigan, Daniel Francis "Rooster" Hannigan, Lily St. Regis

    Annie is a Broadway musical based upon the popular Harold Gray comic strip Little Orphan Annie, with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and the book by Thomas Meehan. The original...  more

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    Every Song in Annie, Ranked by Singability#9 of 35 The Best Broadway Musicals of the '70s

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    108
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    Cinderella

    Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers
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    89
    41

    Hairspray

    Scott Wittman, Marc Shaiman

    CharactersVelma Von Tussle, Edna Turnblad, Little Inez, Seaweed J Stupps, Motormouth Maybelle

    Hairspray is an American musical with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, based on John Waters’s 1988 film of the same name. The...  more
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    78
    42

    Mamma Mia!

    Björn Ulvaeus, Catherine Johnson

    CharactersRosie, Sophie, Harry Bright, Sam Carmichael, Bill Austin

    Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. The title of...  more
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    63
    35

    The Addams Family

    Andrew Lippa
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    50
    28

    Pinocchio

    Jerome Coopersmith, Mary Rodgers
  • 17
    66
    50

    Cats

    Richard Stilgoe, Andrew Lloyd Webber

    CharactersRum Tum Tugger, Jellylorum, Bombalurina, Old Deuteronomy, Bustopher Jones

    Cats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, and produced by Cameron Mackintosh. The musical tells the story of a tribe of cats...  more

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    Every Song in Cats, Ranked by Singability#4 of 87 The Most Popular Broadway Musicals of All Time

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    49
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    The Music Man

    Franklin Lacey, Meredith Willson

    CharactersHarold Hill, Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn, Marcellus Washburn, Mayor George Shinn, Marian Paroo

    The Music Man is a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Meredith Willson, based on a story by Willson and Franklin Lacey. The plot concerns con man Harold Hill, who poses as a boys' band organizer...  more

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    #5 of 9 The Musicals You're Most Excited To See In 2020#71 of 101 The Best Books With Man in the Title

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    50
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    White Christmas

    Irvin Berlin, David Ives
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    50
    41

    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

    Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice

    CharactersPotiphar, Potiphar's Wife, Joseph, Pharaoh, Reuben

    Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is a musical or operetta with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The story is based on the "coat of many colors" story of Joseph from...  more

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    #7 of 33 The Best Broadway Musicals of the 80s#12 of 29 The Very Best Sung-Through Musicals

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    CharactersGrinch, Cindy Lou Who, Max the Dog, Grandma Who

    Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, or simply How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical, is a seasonal musical adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!....  more
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    43
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    Tarzan of the Apes

    David Henry Hwang, Phil Collins
    Tarzan of the Apes is a novel written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first in a series of books about the title character Tarzan. It was first published in the pulp magazine All-Story Magazine in...  more

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    #83 of 156 The Greatest American Novels#161 of 1,236 The Best Novels Ever Written

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    94
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    Shrek the Musical

    Jeanine Tesori, David Lindsay-Abaire
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    40
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    Bye Bye Birdie

    Charles Strouse, Michael Stewart

    CharactersConrad Birdie, Kim McAfee, Rose Alvarez, Albert F. Peterson, Hugo Peabody

    Bye Bye Birdie is a stage musical with a book by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse. Originally titled Let's Go Steady, Bye Bye Birdie is set in 1958. The story was...  more
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    37
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    Billy Elliot the Musical

    Elton John, Lee Hall

    CharactersBilly Elliot, Debbie Wilkinson, Tony Elliot, Mr. Braithwaite, George Watson

    Billy Elliot the Musical is a musical based on the 2000 film Billy Elliot. The music is by Elton John, and the book and lyrics are by Lee Hall, who wrote the film's screenplay. The plot revolves...  more