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The Best Tony Award Winning Musicals

Updated April 14, 2021 8.7k votes 920 voters 25.6k views

List RulesBest musicals to have won a Tony Award for Best Musical, not just any award.

This list ranks the greatest musicals that have won the Tony Award for Best Musical, though many of these Broadway musicals have garnered multiple additional Tony Awards in other categories as well. Broadway musicals that’ve been honored with the Best Musical award include many that are instantly recognizable by fans around the world, including My Fair Lady and Annie. Thanks to their accolades and their recognizability, each musical on this list deserves a spot as one the best Tony Award winning musicals.

The Tony Awards were introduced in 1947, but it wasn’t until 1949 that the Best Musical category was introduced. That year, the show many people consider to be one of the greatest Broadway musicals of all time took the award: Kiss Me, Kate, based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and with music by Cole Porter. Since then, many amazing Broadway musicals have been handed the award, including Kinky Boots, which debuted on Broadway in 2013.

With so many great Broadway musicals, however, it isn’t always easy to choose the winner of the Tony each year. That was certainly the case in 1960, when The Sound of Music and Fiorello! tied for the top spot. Both Tony Award winning productions were so popular that they’ve subsequently been staged on Broadway multiple times, earning them each a spot on this list of the best Broadway musicals that have won the Tony.

This list contains all of the greatest winners of the Tony for Best Musical. If you’ve yet to see a few of these productions, don’t worry, they’re so popular that they’re sure to make it back to Broadway, and this list includes videos from these top Broadway musicals. Vote up the best Broadway musicals on the list below.

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  • 1
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    Les Misérables

    Claude-Michel Schönberg, Jean-Marc Natel

    CharactersJean Valjean, Javert, Fantine, Éponine, Monsieur Thénardier

    Les Misérables, colloquially known as Les Mis or Les Miz is a sung-through musical based on the novel Les Misérables by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg,...  more
  • 2
    275
    124

    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
  • 3
    242
    110

    The Phantom of the Opera

    Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe

    CharactersErik, Christine Daaé, Carlotta, Viscount Raoul de Chagny, Madame Giry

    The Phantom of the Opera is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Charles Hart. Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber wrote the musical's book together. Stilgoe also provided...  more

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  • 4
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    Rent

    Jonathan Larson

    CharactersMimi Marquez, Angel Dumott Schunard, Joanne Jefferson, Maureen Johnson, Tom Collins

    Rent is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive...  more

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  • 5
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    Chicago

    Bob Fosse , Fred Ebb

    CharactersVelma Kelly, Billy Flynn, Roxie Hart, Amos Hart, Matron "Mama" Morton

    Chicago (Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville) is an American musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Set in Jazz-age Chicago, the musical is based on a 1926...  more

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  • 6
    180
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    The Book of Mormon

    Matt Stone, Trey Parker

    CharactersArnold Cunningham, Kevin Price, Nabulungi, General Butt-Fucking Naked, Elder McKinley

    The Book of Mormon is a musical comedy. First staged in 2011, the play is a satirical examination of Mormon beliefs and practices that ultimately endorses the positive power of love and service. The...  more
  • 7
    115
    56

    Cabaret

    Fred Ebb, John Kander

    CharactersFräulein Schneider, Sally Bowles, Fraulein Kost, Emcee, Clifford Bradshaw

    Cabaret is a 1966 musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and book by Joe Masteroff, based on John Van Druten's 1951 play I Am a Camera, which was adapted from the short novel Goodbye...  more
  • 8
    185
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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
  • 9
    145
    76

    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
  • 10
    174
    57

    Spring Awakening

    Steven Sater, Duncan Sheik

    CharactersOtto, Martha, Anna, Thea, Wendla Bergmann

    Spring Awakening is a rock musical with music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater. It is based on the German play Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind. Set in late-19th century...  more
  • 11
    128
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    CharactersSweeney Todd, Judge Turpin, Adolfo Pirelli, Mrs. Lovett, Tobias Ragg

    Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 1979 musical thriller with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. The musical is based on the 1973 play Sweeney Todd, the...  more
  • 12
    121
    69

    Newsies

    Alan Menken , Jack Feldman
    Newsies The Musical is a Disney Theatrical Productions stage musical based on the 1992 film Newsies, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. The show has...  more
  • 13
    123
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    Fiddler on the Roof

    Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock

    CharactersTevye, Chava, Lazar Wolf, Tzeitel, Golde

    Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905. It is based on Tevye and his...  more
  • 14
    110
    66

    In the Heights

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes

    CharactersClaudia, Graffiti Pete, Camila Rosario, Benny, Kevin Rosario

    In the Heights is a musical with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The story is set over the course of three days, involving an ensemble cast of characters...  more
  • 15
    Hamilton: An American Musical is a sung- and rapped-through musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, with music, lyrics and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, inspired by the...  more
  • 16
    80
    57

    Avenue Q

    Jeff Marx, Jeff Whitty

    CharactersTrekkie Monster, Princeton, Mrs.Thistletwat, Christmas Eve, Nicky

    Avenue Q is an American musical in two acts, conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, who wrote the music and lyrics. The book was written by Jeff Whitty and the show was directed by Jason Moore....  more
  • 17
    102
    61

    A Chorus Line

    Edward Kleban, Nicholas Dante

    CharactersZach, Sheila Bryant, Greg Gardner, Mike Costa, Don Kerr

    A Chorus Line is a musical with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and a book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante. Centred on seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on...  more
  • 18
    127
    82

    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
  • 19
    Dear Evan Hansen is a musical with music and lyrics by Pasek and Paul, and a book by Steven Levenson. The title character, Evan Hansen, is a high school senior with a social anxiety disorder who...  more
  • 20
    70
    36

    Sunset Boulevard

    Christopher Hampton, Don Black

    CharactersNorma Desmond, Joe Gillis, Betty Schaefer, Artie Green, Max Von Mayerling

    Sunset Boulevard is a musical with book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Based on Billy Wilder's Academy Award-winning 1950 film of the same title,...  more

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  • 21
    94
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    My Fair Lady

    Frederic Loewe, Alan Jay Lerner

    CharactersEliza Doolittle, Professor Henry Higgins, Alfred Doolittle, Mrs Higgins, Mrs. Pearce

    My Fair Lady is a musical based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who...  more

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  • 22
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    Evita

    Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice

    CharactersChe Guevara, Eva Perón, Juan Perón, Perón's Mistress, Agustín Magaldi

    Evita is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón....  more
  • 23
    72
    50

    The King and I

    Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II

    CharactersKing Mongkut, Anna Leonowens, Louis Leonowens, Tuptim, The Kralahome

    The King and I is the fifth musical by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II. It is based on Margaret Landon's novel, Anna and the King of Siam (1944), which is in...  more

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    Every Song in The King and I, Ranked by Singability#4 of 12 The Best Musicals by Rodgers and Hammerstein

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    Miss Saigon

    Richard Maltby, Jr.

    CharactersChristopher Scott, Kim, John Thomas, Tam, Gigi Van Tranh

    Miss Saigon is a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. It is based on Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, and similarly tells the...  more
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    77
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    The Producers

    Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan

    CharactersCarmen Ghia, Roger De Bris, Leo Bloom, Franz Liebkind, Max Bialystock

    The Producers is a musical adapted by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan from Brooks' 1968 film of the same name, with lyrics written by Brooks and music composed by Brooks and arranged by Glen Kelly and...  more
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List Rules: Best musicals to have won a Tony Award for Best Musical, not just any award.