Top 10 Best Broadway Musicals

What is the best musical ever to hit the stage in New York?
The Top Ten
1 Hamilton

This is both my mom's and my favorite musical! I love the character of Angelica, and it's so fun. Beware: The songs will get stuck in your head all day! See you on the other side!

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!

2 Wicked

This popular musical is highly praised for its vocals, but that is about it. The performance by Idina Menzel is nothing short of amazing, but no songs other than "Defying Gravity" are quite memorable. They do, however, succeed in making a clear message. The theme of "perspective being everything" is evident throughout the story, and the whole play blends really well into the conflict of The Wizard of Oz.

The problem is that the show's story is not told in any compelling or unique way through the music or predictably basic characters. There is a lack of suspense and compelling drama that the talented actors and singers unfortunately do not make up for. People still praise it today by calling it amazing, especially in the music. I'm here to say that it could have been, but it fell short with its tasteless plot.

3 Les Misérables

Les Mis is so great! It gives you the 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 favorite, 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 and 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!

4 Phantom of the Opera

I honestly cry every time I watch or listen to it. Erik is such a depressing and relatable character with his pain. Christine is "twisted every way," so to speak, between the two men, and Raoul is... well, Raoul.

It's such a unique musical (and books, and movies) because, unlike most tales, the ugly, downtrodden protagonist (depending on the version, Erik is the protagonist, like in Susan Kay's Phantom and some other versions) doesn't get the girl and ends up dying in most cases. While Erik doesn't die in the musical, he certainly doesn't get a happy ending.

5 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 combines 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?

6 West Side Story

It's a boring show if you watch it for mere entertainment, but knowing its historical background makes the message, which is still relevant today, truly powerful. This romantic tragedy reveals the struggling society in the 1950s, with the Jets struggling to survive on the streets and the Sharks striving to be welcomed in America. It contrasts the hate between the Jets and Sharks with the romance between the two opposing sides.

I admire the show's ability to build on relationships such as Riff and Tony, Chino and Bernardo, and Tony and Maria to make the pain of loss all the more powerful. It is one of the very few shows that leaves you thinking and perhaps tearing up, and not with tears of joy. Yet, with its emotional power, it still manages to entertain the audience throughout with truly unique and extremely catchy musical numbers, excellent choreography, and quirky characters like The Jets. It is a genuine masterpiece and a well-improved modernization of Romeo and Juliet.

7 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 fell in love with it.

Listening to Into the Woods is what got me into musical theater. Personally, I'd say 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).

8 Rent

Such an original storyline, and an amazing score. The songs are amazing, and each one sets the tone for its scene. Jonathan Larson is truly a legend for creating such a work of art. When casting each part, they really found people who were fit for those roles.

I also love how Tracie Thoms was in both the movie and the final performance, and how Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp were also in both the movie and the Broadway show.

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

9 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd is a wild ride of a stage production and makes you feel uneasy, as it is supposed to. Almost all of the songs are bangers, and all the characters are very likable (apart from the judge, but you aren't supposed to like him). Its story is very original and played out nicely.

I am so glad that the Tim Burton 2007 adaptation turned out to be a good film, and I highly recommend it to anyone who really likes musical theatre. It cuts down some of the unimportant songs from the stage production, and the story is a little tighter. Even so, I love both the stage production and the movie.

10 Lion King

I've seen plenty of musicals in my 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.

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.

The Contenders
11 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!

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 Liesl 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.

12 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 one, in my opinion.

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 hilarious, the Tony performances were amazing, everything you want in a perfect musical is there.

13 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!

Grease is just seriously filled with awesome music. It makes you feel good.

Grease is, and always will be, the greatest of all time!

14 Chicago

My third 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).

This is absolutely amazing. Come on, the Cell Block Tango and All That Jazz were the best songs ever.

Saw it, loved it, still love it. And all that jazz.

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. It all comes together into one beautiful and enlightening Broadway musical.

I was in this musical, and it was so much fun! I know it's not the most popular, but it has great music, a great plot, great dancing, and more! It's also really funny. I definitely recommend it.

Why is this not higher? It deserves number one! My favorite musical of all time! Definitely gets my vote!

16 Dear Evan Hansen

I got into Broadway because of "Newsies," and I really love "Newsies," but "Dear Evan Hansen" really kept me hooked.

The characters are amazing, the songs are beautiful, and the story is so unique and original. Ben Platt is literally an angel. He has one of the best voices I've ever heard. The rest of the original cast was amazing too. Their performances were real and emotional.

I never got to see them, but watching clips and listening to the soundtrack on Spotify is going to have to be enough for me. The songs have a lot of emotional power, and I usually break down in tears when I listen to most of them. Especially "For Forever," "Waving Through a Window," and "Words Fail." This one time, I thought that it would be a good idea to listen to some of the songs on my bus, and I actually started crying. Thankfully, I'm a silent crier, so I don't think anyone saw.

"Dear Evan Hansen" is just the best, and it should be higher on this list. And Evan is such an endearing character. He's so sweet, awkward, relatable, and shy, and ugh, I can't. I have a lot more to say, but this is getting pretty long, so that's it!

17 The Music Man
18 Beauty and the Beast

Great story, wonderful songs, interesting characters, a timeless tale.

How is this not higher? This is a classic, kids!

19 Guys & Dolls

This musical is great! Everybody loves a good New York-themed musical, but this one knocks it out of the park. It tells a well-paced, strongly developed story about a gambler falling in love with a mission worker after making a bet. While still utilizing all the silly, entertaining ideas of gambling, it teaches a strong message of redemption.

It manages to stay light-hearted, funny, and enjoyable throughout with its very likable characters, particularly the protagonist, Sky Masterson, and wonderful music. There is not one bad song in this musical. Just listen to "Luck Be a Lady," "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat," or "Guys and Dolls." Overall, it's simple, charming, and will leave you with a smile on your face.

20 Annie

This is the BEST family musical, hands down. (Let alone, a classic musical). Annie is NOT annoying, but it is powerful. From the trumpet solo at the beginning of the overture, to the dance breaks during Easy Street and Smile, and even the cuteness of the orphans, everything about this show is amazing!

And of course, we all know the song Tomorrow.

Classic Musicals 101: WATCH ANNIE!

Annie is such a beautiful masterpiece. The music is so good, with the most iconic ones being well known. If you haven't heard of Annie, that's... kind of sad. Watch it, and experience the life and happiness it brings through its monumental story.

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 believe in themselves, stick up for what they believe in, and follow their hearts, no matter what anyone says.

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

One of my all-time favorites. I love the heroine theme in it. Oh, and the cute dog. To be honest, I didn't like Elle Woods at first. I thought she was a spoiled brat wanting to impress a boy. BUT, I love how she changes into a brave, caring, smart woman. A must-watch with your girls!

22 Spamalot

This is the stupidest and funniest musical I have ever seen. I was not bored for one second.

This is my favorite musical. It's amazing.

I played this in high school and never had such a good time in my life. The music is amazing. The show is great and hilarious if you get the jokes.

23 Ragtime

I just saw this. It's the most heart-wrenching and beautiful play I've ever seen.

24 Hairspray

Hairspray is so iconic! The story is what everyone in the world needs to hear, and the songs are phenomenal!

Why is this not higher? It deserved to be in the top three favorites.

25 Cats

This musical could have been a disaster - turning a book of poems into songs and then adding choreography - but it turned out beautifully. They even added some songs that weren't in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. By far, this musical is my favorite.

HAVE YOU PEOPLE EVEN SEEN CATS? Cats is the whole reason I started acting, dancing, and joining choirs. Hopefully, see you someday while I'm performing this epic musical.

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.

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