Top Ten Best Broadway Musicals

What is the best musical ever to hit the stage in New York

The Top Ten

1 Wicked

It kills me to choose between Wicked and Les Mis, as they are undoubtedly my top two. I think Wicked takes the cake because it combines raw emotion with an incredible display of vocal virtuosity in a way which, I believe, slightly surpasses Les Mis. Additionally, the set and, especially, lighting are an incredible piece of art; it is simple an amazing visual spectacle from start to finish. There a lots of good musicals in the world and find that some theatre geeks write Wicked off because of its "newness" or mainstream popularity, but I really believe that it deserves to be ranked among the best of all time.

I got tickets to this on my birthday last year and I love this musical. I love the characters and the songs are amazing. It is good to see the true story of why she become The wicked witch. She is my favourite character of the musical. My favourite song is defying gravity. If you haven't see this, you need to book some tickets now because this is spectacular. BEST MUSICAL EVER!

Wicked is everything I could ever ask for in a musical. It has the most beautiful score, which accompanies an absolutely perfect story of life, love, and friendship that has you laughing, crying, and standing up and cheering at the end. The heart of Wicked, along with its many lessons about life, will bring you back time and time again.

It's between this and dear Evan Hansen for me, and also pippin. All very good

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2 Hamilton

It is so emotional and the songs are so creative! There are so many of them too, 46 songs! It teaches us so much of our history that we didn't even know. Some of the history they got wrong but it had mostly facts. If you only listen to the music then it may not make sense but it is so addictive. Hamilton makes you cry (Burn), laugh (Cabinet Battle #1), and you always want to sing along (My Shot)! The choreography is amazing and the mix of voices is beautiful. If you haven't seen it or even listened to the music then I'd suggest it, like completely! Hamilton is all my friends and I EVER TALK ABOUT!

ARE YOU SERIOUS, 39? This musical turns the story about an dead old guy into an amazing musical. This musical makes you laugh (You'll Be Back), cry (It's Quiet Uptown), and scream into excitement( ALL OF THEM! ) This should be 1, 2, or 3. The music, story, acting, lighting, and choreography is amazing. Lin-Manuel Miranda is amazing. If you haven't heard of this musical yet, you should definitely listen to it.

Hamilton is the King Of Musicals and one of the voices of theater's angelic trumpets. Everyone around the world sings the songs and do all sorts of skits from the musical. The blockbuster theater song My shot to me tells everyone to be confident in yourself and never give up, and of course especially at schools, the excelling confidence in schools, many people past their history tests or exams. It's spectacular music and art is every piece of a musical you expect. Hamilton is the #1 musical in the world and deserves to be on the top spot.

It is amazing! - B0S5J4M3S

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3 Les Misérables

Les Mis is so great! It's gives you perfect mix of different emotions... happiness, triumph, sadness, anger etc. There are so many great musicals: the lion king, matilda, rent, mamma mia, annie, wicked... but Les Mis beats them all, I'm sorry. There are so many great songs: my personal favourite, the emotional On my Own, the upbeat Master of the House, the desperate I Dreamed a dream, the sad Castle on a Cloud, the glorious Red or Black and so on. There is a whole great cast of characters who bring out different feelings in you and this play is humorous and heart-wrenching at the same time. Overall, I love Les Mis! - samoodle

I absolutely adore Les Mis. As well as taking place in one of the most interesting periods of recent history, the entire story is captivating. This is one of the few things that's made me cry HARD. If you've never seen the play or movie, I urge you not to see the movie, but a live play! While the movie has a wonderful performance by some including Anne Hathaway, it falls short in some aspects. Seeing it live is the only way to see it. - higgsboson2142

Have not seen live but I have the 25 anniversary DVD at home. Everyone (except Nick Jonas-sorry! ) was amazing. The characters in this story are amazing. My favorite is Eponine and it is my dream to play her. I can't even pick a favorite song, I guess it's a tie between One Day More, On My Own, I Dreamed a Dream, Stars, Do You Hear the People Sing, Bring Him Home (the first song I heard from this musical, sung by the amazing Josh Groban), Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, and A Little Fall of Rain.


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4 Phantom of the Opera

It was so emotional! It made me cry. But, I absolutely loved it. :) It's about a man with a scarred face who wears a mask all the time to hide it. He "haunts" this opera house. Nobody knows who he really is, but they fear him. He falls in love with one of the singers, and tries to take her for himself. It's very sad, kind of scary (murders), and beautiful. Just all around wonderful. If you like Sweeney Todd, you'll like this.

My favorite show of all time. Saw it live for my 12th birthday a couple months ago. It will make you cry. I will not spoil the plot for those of you who have not seen it, but it features souring ballads, gorgeous scenery and costumes, and a complicated antihero! What more could you ask for? Listen to the music of the night, everyone!

Although I love many musicals, Phantom of The Opera will always be my #1. It isn't the longest running musical in broadway for no reason! The ending can make you quite sentimental. After seeing it, the songs can get addicting for a while.

AWESOME SAUCE - bruhitsjay46

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5 West Side Story

Boys, Boys, crazy boys... Get real boys.

I love the 1966 movie!

Beautiful. What else can describe WSS? The score is legendary, the dancing is (almost) always great, and the ending may just make you shed a tear or two. If not that, than just listen to 'I have a love' with OBC Carol Lawrence. I think you will get what I mean.

6 Rent

Definitely one of the best musicals of all time! A full Rock Musical, focused arounds AIDS, and gay people! What a show! The writer Johnathon Larson passed away before the show debuted. RIP John Larson. Your legacy will not be forgotton.

I enjoy the soundtrack so much, and I've watched the movie and 2008 filmed version a total of almost 10 times in the past few months. It was one of the first broadway musicals I really enjoyed, after Book of Mormon. I can't wait for the 20th anniversary tour.

I love Wicked, I really do. But RENT is better than Wicked and deserves the top spot. It deserved a better movie. Thank you John.

Seven words. Adam Pascal, Idina Menzel, and Anthony Rapp.

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7 The Sound of Music

This is a classic- can't be beat. I mean, I do admit that Wicked and The Phantom of The Opera were amazing, but The Sound of Music is simply brilliant. Beautiful music known all over the world, fantastic actors and whimsical fun! Unforgettable characters like Liesl, Gretel, and Maria- characters that any child can relate to. If any musical deserves to be Number 1, it's the Sound of Music!

Even though I'm into more complex stuff like Phantom and Les Mis now, this was my first musical and I will always love it.

I love this musical it is very touching it's a story recovery life song and love

Out of any play or musical I've been in, the Sound of Music is probably some of the most fun I've had in my LIFE. Playing Liesel was a dream come true and getting to know all of the cast, especially the little girls who played Marta and Gretl was amazing. The music in the broadway version is just as good as the movie and it is a genius musical none can beat.

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8 Into The Woods

How is this #10? Are you kidding? Into the Woods is quite possibly the best musical EVER. I had watched the movie before, then when I was eleven I listened to the original cast recording and I fell in LOVE WITH IT. Listening to Into the Woods is what got me into musical theater. I'd say that personally, this should at least be in the top five. I suggest that you watch or listen to Into the Woods (not the movie, it's pretty bad compared to the original)

I only saw the movie and liked it. I'd like to see the musical, though you do have to admit that into the woods is said A LOT. My favorite song from there is agony (probably because the two prince dudes were singing this while doing that hilarious scene at the waterfall when they ripped their shirts off). - Anonymousxcxc

If we're talking about movie musicals, then sure, Into the Woods would probably sit somewhere around Number 10, as the movie version was okay, but still not that great. In terms of the original stage version, however, this should be right up there at Number 2, only after Les Mis.

How can someone not like Steven Sondheim? He possibly is the best composer in musical theatre and I find it difficult not to attempt singing each part in the 14 minute long prologue

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9 Newsies

Newsies on the surface might seem like 20 boys doing impressive dance moves and not much else. But it's much more than that. Jack Kelly is one of the most fascinating and best-written characters in the modern Broadway era. His love story with Katherine is definitely not forced, and he himself matches a wonderfully funny and snarky personality with true compassion for the other boys. The score is phenomenal, from rousing anthems like "Carrying the Banner", "World Will Know", "Once and for All", "Brooklyn's Here", "King of New York" and of course "Seize the Day" to beautiful songs like "Something to Believe in", "Letter from the Refuge" and "I Never Planned on You". It was wonderfully written, also features great villains like Pulitzer and Snyder, and is perfectly funny and inspiring. And who can resist good looking guys doing flips for 2 1/2 hours? - alexcousins

I'll be honest: When I first heard the soundtrack, I hated it. I was actually dreading seeing it when my parents said they got tickets. BUT THEN I saw the show, became obsessed, stalked the cast, started a BLOG, and basically became a broadway freak. Obviously I'm a little biased since it was my first broadway show, but I honestly can say with certainty that it is probably the greatest musical of all time, and that means a lot considering I also saw Hamilton.

Newsies was one of the first Broadway shows that I truly remember enjoying. To this day, it is definitely on my top five list of favorite musicals. The dancing is incredible, the storyline is portrayed extremely well by the actors, and it really proves that guys can dance and sing with perfect harmony. It's not just for girls anymore. Wish it could stay a bit longer on Broadway!

Newsies is by far my favorite show. I saw it three times and I was very upset when it closed. It should definitely be higher. It's based on a true story and is simply amazing.

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10 Lion King

I haven't seen many musicals (I think I would also enjoy Wicked a lot if I had watched it), I've only watched children's plays as a kid and The Phantom of the Opera, but I LOVED The Lion King. You can't go wrong with a great movie and a fantastic musical

I've seen plenty of musicals in time, and I adore Wicked, Hamilton, and Les Mis. But Lion King is hands down my favorite, and the musical I think deserves the most praise. The sets, the masks, the props, the costumes, the puppets, everything about the show is beautiful and incredible. Every character is amazing too. My personal favorite characters were Rafiki and Simba. They are both such unique and interesting characters. Plus their voices gave me chills.

Lion King is probably the most amazing shows I've EVER seen hands down. And the music is gorgeous and compelling. - punyraisin

Teasley did LionKing I was chorus

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The Contenders

11 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

My second favorite musical. The characters are amazing (well except for the Judge, he's a creepy old twerp but then again he's supposed to be so...), I love the plot, the music is fantastic, the humor is on point (especially whenever Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney are on stage together), and most importantly I love the gore and violence. I'd go see it over and over again if I could. - Anonymousxcxc

I sing "worst pies in London" when I make a really bad pie

'Have a little priest'... It's bloody (pun intended) amazing.

Very sophisticated music

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12 Chicago

My 3rd favorite musical (behind Wicked and Sweeney Todd). Really funny characters, great songs, interesting plot, and all the inappropriate lingerie clothing for that one creepy pervert in the audience (if you're into that). I'd definitely recommend it, just keep it away from children under the age of 13 (ESPECIALLY little boys). - Anonymousxcxc

This is absolutely amazing. Come on, the cell block tango and all that jazz were the best songs ever

Its such a great musical with great characters, I love the whole idea that the numbers are in Roxie's head, and how everything is a show to her

Chicago for the win

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13 The Book of Mormon

Why is this not higher? This was written by the greatest comedians of all time, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. It took them seven years just to finish it, and the end result is just fantastic. This musical deserves number 1 in my opinion.

The Book of Mormon is hilarious and adds humor to serious subjects. It has been one of my favorites for years. It may not be the best, but it deserves to be higher.

I have never seen the show, but it is sometimes ranked as more successful than hamilton in terms of ticket sales. That has GOT to mean something. The soundtrack is electric and hillarious, the Tony performances were amazing, everything you want in a perfect musical is there.

This is the secund best thing ever I would have piked dear evan hansen but this is still good

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14 Grease

Grease is the best musical. It's timeless. I wasn't even born when it was first shown, but when I watched it several years ago, I loved it!

I don't really like the story (Rizzo is the only character who actually took more than a few minutes to develop) but the songs are awesome.

It's not an accurate representation of high shool life

It should be number 1

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15 Matilda

The songs are really catchy, especially "Revolting Children"; It shows that kids have lives, too, and they're not just slaves. Matilda is also so smart and the characters are so charismatic, and it goes into one beautiful and enlightening Broadway musical.

Why is this not higher?!?!? It deserves #1! My fave musical of all time! Definitely gets my vote!

I saw it in September, really good

very Good

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16 Fiddler on the Roof

It tells a sad tale of how hard it is to let go of traditions. It also has great music that moves the story along which is why it should be higher.

An awesome iconic musical I can't believe it's not higher on the list, it's a sad true story with wonderful music. I know I was tevye in a version of it

Undoubtedly the best musical of all time.


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17 My Fair Lady

Anyone who doesn't think My Fair Lady is the greatest musical of all time hasn't seen it

I could have danced all night

I LOVE THIS - YOUnique253

How is this #20?

18 Guys & Dolls

Love this musical. Especially the instrumentation, but I am extremely biased towards jazz.

This is truly an awesome, classic show in every way.

I love this musical. Very deserving to be on this list.

I love guys and dolls

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19 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

This is a very creative and Biblical musical. It accurately depicts a story from the Bible, but with goofy twists and bazaar music styles for each song.

Anybody else just listen to this musical for Pharaoh's Song? It's the best song in the show.

Any dream will do


20 Ragtime

I just saw this the most heart wrenching and beautiful play I’ve ever seen

21 Legally Blonde: The Musical

How can you not love this show? It defies the stereotypes of blondes and gives young girls a role model; Elle Woods. She teaches young girls to be/believe in yourself, stick up for what you believe in, and follow your heart, no matter what anyone says. - ElleWoods

I always look at this musical as a perfect example of character development. Elle woods starts up as one person and ends pup as someone completely different.

It is amazing and has the best music ever

Let me tell you about our Lord and savior, "Gay or European". - Absolite

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22 Oklahoma

Oh what a beautiful morning

23 Little Shop of Horrors

FEED ME! This is an AWESOME story! I love this one!

Feed me Seymour!

This is perpostersters. Little Shop of Horrors is amazing. It should be in the top ten!


24 Hairspray

This one is also stupid. - Anonymousxcxc

Terrible musical


25 Spring Awakening

This musical is honestly amazing. It has a great soundtrack and sends a controversial message.

The Deaf West production of this made me fall in love with the musical as a whole

26 Annie

Well this one I haven't seen it on Broadway or really much, but it's an okay musical. It's not my favorite, but it's not bad. - Anonymousxcxc

I don't hate it, but God Annie is so annoying.

Favorite musical ever

Not the best BUT ITS EVERYWHERE AND I'm TIRED OF IT - punyraisin

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27 Next to Normal

This show deserves to be in the top 20, at least, but for me it's number 1. The chemistry between the actors and the characters they play is so real, the emotions are so raw. Each song is beautiful and special. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. I only have to hear or see 10 seconds of some songs/scenes and I'm tearing up. This musical is beautiful, it discusses real issues, and doesn't follow any..cliche formula.

How is this not higher? I had to scroll all the way down to the bottom to find my favorite musical! What? Next to Normal is so heart-wrenching, and has AMAZING music! (I'm Alive, I Am The One, and so many other songs)

28 Shrek the Musical

Shrek The Musical is my favorite musical and my dream show to perform in. It is so funny, the plot is phenomenal, and the music covers almost all genres and is BEAUTIFUL. Listen to Who I'd Be for a goosebumps ballad or Morning Person for a fun upbeat song. It is such a good show.

It isn't the best, but it's still quite entertaining. Also, it has a couple of really epic songs, such as I Know It's Today and Who I'd Be.

This was my first Broadway musical I ever saw! I saw it when I was 7 I still love it to this day! Also John Tartaglia made the BEST Pinocchio! But this is one of my favorite musicals.

After getting a chance to be in this show (as Shrek) at my school, I've really grown to appreciate this show more. While it's not the best, it's still a very, very good show with plenty of phenominal roles (Shrek, Fiona, Lord Farquaad, Dragon, Donkey and Gingy)

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29 Beauty and the Beast
30 Miss Saigon

The ending was so unexpected! - listotaku17

Love it! Music is great!

My mom's favorite - Absolite

Heartbreaking.. but in a good way

31 Assassins

An interesting take on the tragic stories of the deaths of presidents and somehow pulls it off

32 Dear Evan Hansen

I started crying during song 1 when I saw it, then never stopped crying until a week later. This musical is really incredible.

Trees the musical?

I love it so much

I fell in love with Jared x Evan... They are so cute together!

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33 Pippin

If you saw the most modern version of this, you'd be blown away. The story is great, the actors are amazing, and the acrobatics are stunning! The show in itself is just so impressive. Deserves a top ten.

34 Chess
35 Cinderella

The music in this is so good. I love In my Own Little Corner.

Impossible things are happening everyday! - punyraisin

36 Dreamgirls

One of the best, brilliant powerful songs and great acting!

37 We Will Rock You
38 Oliver! (1961)

Have you ever watched it? It's the best musical ever, Ice age even used their song, Food Glorious Food

39 Anything Goes

The fact that I had to add this to the list is sad beyond compare, and it should be way up at the top at least 20-25. It is a classic, and no matter which version you listen to, Patto LuPone and Sutton Foster, or whoever, are all amazing. CLASSIC!

40 A Chorus Line

ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY KIDDING ME?! A Chorus Line is a classic, and a PULITZER PRIZE WINNER! Being thirteen, I heard my mom talk about it all the time, so I decided to watch a video of the show. It's incredible! The actors portray their characters perfectly and the dancing is spot on. The musical numbers are a classic as well. definitely should be in the top twenty, if not higher.

41 The Music Man
42 Cats

Every dance, every song, and every character sparkles with something that cannot be anything else but pure, wonderful genius and beauty. The memory WILL live forever.

This is the second longest-running musical all-time and it is at #26!? IT is so fun to watch and perform and it has fantastic songs and dance.

I love Cats. It may not have dialogue but the music is great. I especially love Victoria because she is nice and she is also a great dancer

Songs are great, plot is meh, choreography is amazing

V 4 Comments
43 Heathers: The Musical

Heathers: The Musical is better than the movie in my opinion. The opening song (Beautiful) is a great intro for the story. 'Candy Store' which is sang by Heather Chandler, Heather McNamara and Heather Duke is infectious and easily the best song in the musical with Dead Girl Walking being second. Very charming and funny, great for High School/Young Adult audiences. - Tamaranean

Does NOT in any way deserve to be 43rd. This musical tackles many problems that almost everyone has faced in life, society and its norms, and the love story of two people who don't know the truth about each other yet. While the other musicals higher than this are well thought out and overall a good story, most of the plot is standing right in front of you, and is made for an audience in the 70's or early 80's. I truly believe that so many different yet equally beautiful stories of love and trouble hide in this musical, and deserves to be put way higher on this list.

A great contemporary score and a stellar cast.

The music is good but it wasn't on Broadway. - PianoQueen

44 Jesus Christ Superstar

Why so low?! I still like les mis and wicked better but this deserves at least the top five

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45 Footloose
46 Finding Neverland

Absolutely brilliant! I was fortunate enough to see the Original Broadway Cast, and I've seen it on tour multiple times. No matter how much I watch it, I still laugh and cry every time. The music is gorgeous, and the dancing is incredible. This show needs to go back to Broadway after the tour!

This is hands down the best. Sucks that the first time I saw it was the week it closed.

Beautiful singing, dancing and storyline! Truly perfect!

Unfortunately I never got to see it on Broadway but I love it anyway! The vocals and music is incredibly! From a beautiful story to an amazing cast, FNL is just amazing!

V 2 Comments
47 Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

A masterpiece - gucci

The music is really beautiful. Also JOSH GROBAN, so you know it will be good. - PianoQueen

A masterpiece! best show i’ve ever seen!

48 1776

The Hamilton for people who don't know what Hamilton is. (If you don't know Hamilton there's something wrong here).

I'd rather watch this than Hamilton any day.

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49 Mary Poppins

Why isn't this in the top 10? Mary Poppins is an absolute classic!

I’m in this show and I think it is an excellent show.

50 Urinetown

I liked the soundtrack of this show (Especially Snuff That Girl)

48? This musical has some of my favorite songs ever!

So underrated

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List Stats

1,000 votes
110 listings
9 years, 35 days old

Top Remixes (23)

1. My Fair Lady
2. Fiddler on the Roof
3. Wicked
1. Into The Woods
2. Rent
3. Guys & Dolls
1. Next to Normal
2. Assassins
3. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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