Broadway shows have been entertaining audiences for over a century. From classical opera to contemporary musicals, Broadway has given us some of the greatest performances in history. With so many brilliant shows that have hit the stage over the years, it’s difficult to quantify which ones deserve the top spot. Nevertheless, here is a list of the 10 best Broadway shows of all time.
1. The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera is a musical that debuted in 1986 and has become one of the most successful shows of all time. The music is composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the lyrics are written by Charles Hart. The show has won many awards, including seven Tony Awards, and is still playing on Broadway today, with over 13,000 performances.
2. Les Miserables
Les Misérables is a musical based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo. The show debuted in 1985 and has been running for over three decades, making it the longest-running musical in the world. The show has won many awards, including eight Tony Awards.
Wicked is a musical that debuted in 2003 and is based on the book by Gregory Maguire. The music and lyrics are written by Stephen Schwartz, and the show has won three Tony Awards. The show explores the story of the unlikely friendship between two witches from the Land of Oz, and their adventures before Dorothy arrives.
Cats is a musical that debuted in 1981 and is based on a book of poems by T.S. Eliot. The music is composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the show won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show follows a tribe of cats, The Jellicle Cats, as they gather for the annual Jellicle Ball, where one cat will be chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn.
5. The Lion King
The Lion King is a musical that debuted in 1997 and is based on the Disney movie of the same name. The show has won six Tony Awards and is still running on Broadway today. The show follows the story of Simba, a young lion prince, as he navigates his way to becoming king of the Pride Lands.
Hamilton is a musical that debuted in 2015 and has become one of the most successful shows in recent history. The music, lyrics, and book were all written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the show has won 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States.
7. West Side Story
West Side Story is a musical that debuted in 1957 and is a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The music is composed by Leonard Bernstein and the lyrics are written by Stephen Sondheim. The show won two Tony Awards and was made into a movie in 1961.
Chicago is a musical that debuted in 1975 and is based on the play of the same name by Maurine Dallas Watkins. The music is composed by John Kander and the lyrics are written by Fred Ebb. The show has won six Tony Awards and follows the story of two women, Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, who are on trial for murder.
9. A Chorus Line
A Chorus Line is a musical that debuted in 1975 and is about 17 dancers auditioning for eight spots in a chorus line. The music is composed by Marvin Hamlisch and the lyrics are written by Edward Kleban. The show has won nine Tony Awards and was the longest-running show on Broadway until Cats surpassed it in 1997.
10. The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical that debuted in 1959 and is based on the true story of the von Trapp family. The music is composed by Richard Rodgers and the lyrics are written by Oscar Hammerstein II. The show won five Tony Awards and was made into a movie in 1965.
In conclusion, these 10 Broadway shows are the best of the best for a reason. They have resonated with audiences for decades and continue to be beloved to this day. Whether you’re a die-hard theater fan or just looking to experience the magic of Broadway for the first time, these shows are the perfect place to start.