history The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

Constance Bennet
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These are the 94 most popular Broadway musicals in history, listed according to their durations on the stage. The longest running Broadway musicals are part of the American musical canon with familiar songs and stories. What are the most popular Broadway shows? From standards like "Cats" and "Les Miserables" to newer hits like "Wicked," these Broadway shows with the most performances are instant classics that are favorites among generations. And, being a theater nerd myself, I hope to see each and every one of these top plays live on stage in my lifetime. So, what are the most famous Broadway musicals of all time?

For more, vote on this list of Stage Musicals That Would Make Great Movies.
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51
Barefoot in the Park is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Barefoot in the Park Opened on October 23, 1963. Closed on June 25, 1967. Featured 1530 performances. Barefoot in the Park is a romantic comedy by Neil Simon. The play premiered on Broadway in 1963 and starred Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley. The play was made into a film in 1967, also ...more

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Dreamgirls is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Dreamgirls Opened on December 20, 1981. Closed on August 11, 1985. Featured 1521 performances. Dreamgirls is a Broadway musical, with music by Henry Krieger and lyrics and book by Tom Eyen. Based upon the show business aspirations and successes of R&B acts such as The Supremes, The ...more

53
Mame is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Mame Opened on May 24, 1966. Closed on January 3, 1970. Featured 1508 performances. 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

54
Same Time, Next Year is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Same Time, Next Year Opened on March 14, 1975. Closed on September 3, 1978. Featured 1453 performances.

55
Arsenic and Old Lace is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Arsenic and Old Lace Opened on January 10, 1941. Closed on June 17, 1944. Featured 1444 performances. Arsenic and Old Lace is a play by the American playwright Joseph Kesselring, written in 1939. It has become best known through the film adaptation starring Cary Grant and directed by Frank ...more

56
The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
The Sound of Music Opened on November 16, 1959. Closed on June 15, 1963. Featured 1443 performances. 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 ...more

57
Me and My Girl is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Me and My Girl Opened on August 10, 1986. Closed on December 31, 1989. Featured 1420 performances. Me and My Girl is a musical with music by Noel Gay and its original book and lyrics by Douglas Furber and L. Arthur Rose. The musical is set in the late 1930s and tells the story of an ...more

58
How to Succeed in Business Wit... is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying Opened on October 14, 1961. Closed on March 6, 1965. Featured 1417 performances. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a musical by Frank Loesser and book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, and Willie Gilbert, based on Shepherd Mead's 1952 book of the same name. ...more

59
Hellzapoppin is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Hellzapoppin Opened on September 22, 1938. Closed on December 17, 1941. Featured 1404 performances. Hellzapoppin is a musical revue written by the comedy team of Olsen and Johnson, consisting of John "Ole" Olsen and Harold "Chic" Johnson, with music and lyrics by Sammy Fain ...more

60
The Music Man is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
The Music Man Opened on December 19, 1957. Closed on April 15, 1961. Featured 1375 performances. 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 ...more

61
Funny Girl is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Funny Girl Opened on March 26, 1964. Closed on July 1, 1967. Featured 1348 performances. Funny Girl is a 1968 romantic musical film directed by William Wyler. The screenplay by Isobel Lennart was adapted from her book for the stage musical of the same title. It is loosely based on ...more

62
Mummenschanz is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Mummenschanz Opened on March 30, 1977. Closed on April 20, 1980. Featured 1326 performances.

63
Movin' Out is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Movin' Out Opened on October 24, 2002. Closed on December 11, 2005. Featured 1303 performances. Movin' Out is a jukebox musical featuring the songs of Billy Joel. Conceived by Twyla Tharp, the musical tells the story of a generation of American youth growing up on Long Island during the ...more

64
Brighton Beach Memoirs is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Brighton Beach Memoirs Opened on March 27, 1983. Closed on May 11, 1986. Featured 1299 performances. Brighton Beach Memoirs is a semi-autobiographical play by Neil Simon, the first chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy. It precedes Biloxi Blues and Broadway Bound.

65
Angel Street is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Angel Street Opened on December 5, 1941. Closed on December 30, 1944. Featured 1295 performances.

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Lightnin' is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Lightnin' Opened on August 26, 1918. Closed on August 27, 1921. Featured 1291 performances.

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Promises, Promises is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Promises, Promises Opened on December 1, 1968. Closed on January 1, 1972. Featured 1281 performances.

68
The King and I is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
The King and I Opened on March 29, 1951. Closed on March 20, 1954. Featured 1246 performances.

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Cactus Flower is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Cactus Flower Opened on December 8, 1965. Closed on November 23, 1968. Featured 1234 performances. Cactus Flower is a farce by Abe Burrows. It played for years on Broadway before being adapted by I.A.L. Diamond into a 1969 feature film directed by Gene Saks. Based on the play Fleur de cactus ...more

70
Sleuth is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Sleuth Opened on November 12, 1970. Closed on October 13, 1973. Featured 1222 performances. Sleuth is a 1970 play written by Anthony Shaffer. The play is set in the Wiltshire manor house of Andrew Wyke, an immensely successful mystery writer. Wyke's home reflects his obsession with the ...more

71
Torch Song Trilogy is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Torch Song Trilogy Opened on June 10, 1982. Closed on May 19, 1985. Featured 1222 performances. Torch Song Trilogy is a collection of three plays by Harvey Fierstein rendered in three acts: International Stud, Fugue in a Nursery, and Widows and Children First! The story centers on Arnold ...more

72
1776 is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
1776 Opened on March 16, 1969. Closed on February 13, 1972. Featured 1217 performances. 1776 is a musical with music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards and a book by Peter Stone. The story is based on the events surrounding the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It dramatizes ...more

73
Equus is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Equus Opened on October 24, 1974. Closed on October 2, 1977. Featured 1209 performances. Equus is a play by Peter Shaffer written in 1973, telling the story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has a pathological religious fascination with horses. Shaffer was ...more

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Sugar Babies is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Sugar Babies Opened on October 8, 1979. Closed on August 28, 1982. Featured 1208 performances.

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Guys and Dolls is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Guys and Dolls

Opened on November 24, 1950. Closed on November 28, 1953. Featured 1200 performances.

Opened on April 14, 1992. Closed on January 8, 1995. Featured 1143 performances.
Guys and Dolls is a musical with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. It is based on "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood ...more

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Amadeus is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Amadeus Opened on December 17, 1980. Closed on October 16, 1983. Featured 1181 performances. Amadeus is a play by Peter Shaffer, which gives a highly fictionalized account of the lives of the composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri. First performed in 1979, Amadeus was ...more

77
Mister Roberts is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Mister Roberts Opened on February 18, 1948. Closed on January 6, 1951. Featured 1157 performances. Mister Roberts is a 1955 American CinemaScope comedy-drama film directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy, and starring Henry Fonda as Mister Roberts, James Cagney as Captain Morton, William Powell ...more

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Annie Get Your Gun is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Annie Get Your Gun

Opened on May 16, 1946. Closed on February 12, 1949. Featured 1147 performances.

Opened on March 4, 1999. Closed on September 1, 2001. Featured 1045 performances.
Annie Get Your Gun is a musical with lyrics and music by Irving Berlin and a book by Dorothy Fields and her brother Herbert Fields. The story is a fictionalized version of the life of Annie ...more

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The Seven Year Itch is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
The Seven Year Itch Opened on November 20, 1952. Closed on August 13, 1955. Featured 1141 performances.

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The 25th Annual Putnam County ... is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Opened on May 2, 2005. Closed on January 20, 2008. Featured 1136 performances. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a long one-act musical comedy conceived by Rebecca Feldman with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin and additional material ...more

81
Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in '... is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk Opened on April 25, 1996. Closed on January 10, 1999. Featured 1135 performances.

82
Butterflies Are Free is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Butterflies Are Free Opened on October 21, 1969. Closed on July 2, 1972. Featured 1128 performances. Butterflies Are Free is a 1972 film based on the play by Leonard Gershe. The 1972 film was produced by M.J. Frankovich, released by Columbia Pictures, directed by Milton Katselas and adapted for ...more

83
Pins and Needles is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Pins and Needles Opened on November 27, 1937. Closed on June 22, 1940. Featured 1108 performances. Pins and Needles is a musical revue with a book by Arthur Arent, Marc Blitzstein, Emmanuel Eisenberg, Charles Friedman, David Gregory, Joseph Schrank, Arnold B. Horwitt, John Latouche, and ...more

84
Plaza Suite is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Plaza Suite Opened on February 14, 1968. Closed on October 3, 1970. Featured 1097 performances. Plaza Suite is a comedy play by Neil Simon.

85
Fosse is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Fosse Opened on January 14, 1999. Closed on August 25, 2001. Featured 1093 performances. Fosse is a three-act musical revue showcasing the choreography of Bob Fosse. The musical was conceived by Richard Maltby, Jr, Chet Walker, and Ann Reinking.

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In the Heights is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
In the Heights Opened on March 30, 2008. Featured 1088 performances. 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 ...more

87
They're Playing Our Song is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
They're Playing Our Song Opened on February 11, 1979. Closed on September 6, 1981. Featured 1082 performances. They're Playing Our Song is a musical with a book by Neil Simon, lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, and music by Marvin Hamlisch. In a story based on the real-life relationship of Hamlisch and Sager, ...more

88
Kiss Me, Kate is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Kiss Me, Kate Opened on December 30, 1948. Closed on July 28, 1951. Featured 1077 performances.

89
Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope Opened on April 19, 1972. Closed on October 27, 1974. Featured 1065 performances.

90
The Pajama Game is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
The Pajama Game Opened on May 13, 1954. Closed on November 24, 1956. Featured 1063 performances. The Pajama Game is a musical based on the novel 7½ Cents by Richard Bissell. The book is by George Abbott and Richard Bissell; the music and lyrics are by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. ...more

91
Shenandoah is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Shenandoah Opened on January 7, 1975. Closed on August 7, 1977. Featured 1050 performances. Shenandoah is a musical that was written in 1974 with music by Gary Geld, lyrics by Peter Udell, and a book by Udell, Philip Rose and James Lee Barrett, based on Barrett's original screenplay ...more

92
The Teahouse of the August Moo... is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
The Teahouse of the August Moon Opened on October 15, 1953. Closed on March 24, 1956. Featured 1027 performances. The Teahouse of the August Moon is a 1956 American comedy film satirizing the U.S. occupation and Americanization of the island of Okinawa following the end of World War II in 1945. The motion ...more

93
Damn Yankees is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Damn Yankees Opened on May 5, 1955. Closed on October 12, 1957. Featured 1019 performances. Damn Yankees is a musical comedy with a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story is a modern retelling of the Faust legend set ...more

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Grand Hotel is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
Grand Hotel Opened on November 12, 1989. Closed on April 25, 1992. Featured 1017 performances. Grand Hotel is a musical with a book by Luther Davis and music and lyrics by Robert Wright and George Forrest, with additional lyrics and music by Maury Yeston. Based on the 1929 Vicki Baum ...more