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The Most Popular Broadway Musicals of All Time

Updated February 21, 2020 2.1m views87 items

These are 80+ of the 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 that people hum to themselves or sing out loud, featuring stories generations know and love. Each of these productions has been performed at least 1,000 times in New York's famous Broadway theaters.

So what are the most popular Broadway shows? From well-known classic shows like Les Misérables and Cats to newer hits like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, these famous musicals with the most performances still gain new fans each year. Many of them are still running to this day, such as The Phantom of the Opera, which has been performed on Broadway more times than any other production. Among the top 20 most performed shows list below, there are iconic examples of the best of the form and major works from some of the best musical theater writers, choreographers, and performers of all time.

The biggest Broadway shows have toured America and the world alike, with long runs in London's West End and the Chicago Theatre District. Others have been adapted into live TV events. And there are plenty more that would make great movies if only someone would take a shot. This list features only musicals, so you won't find any of your favorite Neil Simon plays or more recent non-musical hits. So, what are the greatest Broadway musicals of all time? Check out the list below for your answer.

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  • 1
    The Phantom of the Opera

    Opened on January 26, 1988. Has featured more than 13,000 performances as of the start of 2020.

  • 2
    Chicago

    Opened on November 14, 1996. Has featured more than 9,600 performances as of the start of 2020.

  • 3
    The Lion King

    Opened on November 13, 1997. Has featured more than 9,200 performances as of the start of 2020.

  • 4
    Cats

    Opened on October 7, 1982. Closed on September 10, 2000. Featured 7,485 performances.

  • 5
    Wicked

    Opened on October 30, 2003. Has featured more than 6,700 performances as of the start of 2020.

  • 6
    Les Misérables

    Opened on March 12, 1987. Closed on May 18, 2003. Featured 6680 performances.

  • 7
    A Chorus Line

    Opened on July 25, 1975. Closed on April 28, 1990. Featured 6,137 performances.

  • 8
    Oh! Calcutta!

    Opened on September 24, 1976. Closed on August 6, 1989. Revival featured 5,959 performances.

    Opened on June 17, 1969. Closed on August 12, 1972. Original run featured 1,314 performances.

  • 9
    Mamma Mia!

    Opened on October 18, 2001. Closed September 12, 2015. Featured 5,758 performances.

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  • 10
    Beauty and the Beast

    Opened on April 18, 1994. Closed on July 29, 2007. Featured 5,461 performances.

  • 11
    Rent

    Opened on April 29, 1996. Closed on September 7, 2008. Featured 5,123 performances.

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  • 12
    Jersey Boys

    Opened on November 6, 2005. Closed on January 15, 2017. Featured 4,642 performances.

  • 13
    Miss Saigon

    Opened on April 11, 1991. Closed on January 28, 2001. Featured 4,092 performances.

  • 14
    The Book of Mormon

    The Book of Mormon

    Opened on March 24, 2011. Has featured more than 3,600 performances as of the start of 2020.

  • 15
    42nd Street

    Opened on August 25, 1980. Closed on January 8, 1989. Original run featured 3,486 performances.

    Opened on May 2, 2001. Closed on January 2, 2005. Revival featured 1,524 performances.

  • 16
    Grease

    Opened on February 14, 1972. Closed on April 13, 1980. Original run featured 3,388 performances.

    Opened on May 11, 1994. Closed on January 25, 1998. Revival featured 1,505 performances.

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  • 17
    Fiddler on the Roof

    Opened on September 22, 1964. Closed on July 2, 1972. Featured 3,242 performances.

  • 18
    Hello, Dolly!

    Opened on January 16, 1964. Closed on December 27, 1970. Featured 2,844 performances.

  • 19
    My Fair Lady

    My Fair Lady

    Opened on March 15, 1956. Closed on September 29, 1962. Featured 2,717 performances.

  • 20
    Hairspray

    Opened on August 16, 2002. Closed on January 4, 2009. Featured 2,642 performances.

  • 21
    Mary Poppins

    Opened on November 16, 2006. Closed on March 3, 2013. Featured 2,619 performances.

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  • 22
    Avenue Q

    Avenue Q

    Opened on July 31, 2003. Closed on September 13, 2009. Featured 2,534 performances.

  • 23
    Kinky Boots

    Opened on April 4, 2013. Closed on April 7, 2019. Featured 2,505 performances.

  • 24
    The Producers

    Opened on April 19, 2001. Closed on April 22, 2007. Featured 2,502 performances.

  • 25
    Aladdin

    Opened on March 20, 2014. Has featured more than 2,400 performances as of the start of 2020.