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The Best Musicals by Jerry Herman

Updated December 14, 2017 227 votes 41 voters13 items

List RulesVote up the best Jerry Herman musicals!

Jerry Herman musicals are some of the most endearing theater productions of all time, so this list largely speaks for itself. Herman lent his talents to so many iconic Broadway shows, composing and writing songs that impacted musical theater in every aspect.

Many of the best Jerry Herman musicals and plays have enjoyed multiple revivals. Perhaps the most famous of all musicals by Herman is Hello, Dolly! This blockbuster musical debuted on Broadway in 1964, with Carol Channing starring as matchmaker Dolly Levi.  Some of the most famous actresses of all time later played the role, including Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, Ethel Merman, and, most recently, Bette Midler in 2017.

It’s hard to name just one top Jerry Herman musical, though. Herman also composed and wrote songs for Mame, La Cage aux Folles, and Milk and Honey. During his decades long career, Herman was nominated for, or won, seven Tony Awards and two Grammy Awards, solidifying his legacy as one of the greatest composers of musical theater.

This list of top Jerry Herman plays is astounding. Be sure to vote for all the best shows!

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  • 1
    Hello, Dolly! is a musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, based on Thornton Wilder's 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers, which Wilder revised and retitled The...  more
  • 2
    La Cage aux Folles (French pronunciation: ​[la kaʒ o fɔl]) is a musical with a book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman. Based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean...  more
  • 3
    23
    5
    Mame is a musical with the book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Originally titled My Best Girl, it is based on the 1955 novel Auntie Mame by Patrick...  more
  • 4
    14
    2

    Dear World

    Dear World is a Broadway musical with a book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. With its opening, Herman became the first composer-lyricist in history to have...  more
  • 5
    16
    11

    Milk and Honey

    Milk and Honey is a musical with a book by Don Appell and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. The story centers on a busload of lonely American widows hoping to catch husbands while touring Israel and...  more
  • 6
    9
    6

    Miss Spectacular

    Miss Spectacular is an unproduced musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and additional lyrics by Steve Lawrence and Michael Feinstein. Its plot focuses on a girl from the Midwest who heads to...  more
  • 7
    Mack and Mabel is a musical with a book by Michael Stewart and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. The plot involves the tumultuous romantic relationship between Hollywood director Mack Sennett and...  more
  • 8
    9
    9

    Showtune

    Showtune is an internationally popular Off Broadway musical revue celebrating the words and music of Broadway composer Jerry Herman. Its title was inspired by Herman's autobiography of the same...  more
  • 9
    2
    2

    The Grand Tour

    The Grand Tour is a musical with a book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Based on S. N. Behrman's play Jacobowsky and the Colonel, the story concerns an...  more
  • 10
    2
    2

    Ben Franklin in Paris

    Ben Franklin in Paris is a musical with a book and lyrics by Sidney Michaels, and music by Mark Sandrich, Jr. with two songs contributed by Jerry Herman....  more
  • 11
    2
    2

    Jerry’s Girls

    Jerry's Girls is a 1985 theatrical production of the play based on the songs of composer/lyricist Jerry Herman....
  • 12
    5
    2

    Parade

    Parade is an off-Broadway revue with book, music, and lyrics by Jerry Herman, produced by Lawrence Kasha that opened originally at the Showplace in New York and moved to the Players Theatre Players...  more
  • 13
    2
    4

    Madame Aphrodite