20 Popular Broadway musicals

Are you planning a visit to the iconic theater district in New York City? Broadway has been the birthplace of many renowned actors and creatives, making it a landmark in its own right since the 18th Century. If you’re wondering which Broadway shows to catch, we have compiled a list of the best and most popular musicals currently showcasing in theaters. Whether you’re a fan of musicals or classic plays, there’s something for everyone on Broadway. Here are 20 popular Broadway musicals you don’t want to miss:

1. The Phantom of the Opera

Let’s start with one of Broadway’s greatest love stories, “The Phantom of the Opera.” This iconic musical, based on Gaston Leroux’s 1910 horror novel, debuted on Broadway in 1988 and has become the longest-standing performance in Broadway history. The tale revolves around The Phantom, a mysterious figure who resides in the shadows of the Paris Opera House and falls in love with a soprano singer. With its elaborate stage design, beautiful costumes, and captivating music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, “The Phantom of the Opera” has won seven Tony Awards and is a must-see Broadway experience.

2. Wicked

Next up is “Wicked,” a spellbinding musical that takes inspiration from Gregory Maguire’s book, “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.” Since its Broadway debut in 2003, “Wicked” has captivated audiences with its imaginative retelling of the story before Dorothy and the gang. It explores the friendship between the Wicked Witch of the West and the Good Witch of the South and the events that unfold when they are pitted against each other. With its witty and lighthearted storytelling, “Wicked” has won numerous awards and is suitable for the whole family.

3. Hamilton

“One of the most groundbreaking Broadway shows of all time is “Hamilton.” This musical took the theater industry by storm when it premiered in 2015. “Hamilton” tells the story of America’s Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton, but with a twist. The entire narrative is brought to life through hip-hop, R&B, and soul music, breaking away from traditional Broadway ballads. Created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the production received critical acclaim and numerous accolades, including Grammy and Tony Awards. “Hamilton” offers a fresh and exciting take on American history.

4. The Lion King

Since its premiere in 1997, “The Lion King” has been a beloved Broadway production for audiences of all ages. Based on the award-winning Disney film, the musical follows Simba’s journey from banishment to reclaiming his rightful place as king. With its emotionally charged soundtrack and breathtaking puppetry work, “The Lion King” continues to capture the hearts of both young and old. The show features songs sung in different African languages, adding to its cultural richness. Prepare to be enchanted by this Tony Award-winning musical.

5. The Book of Mormon

For those seeking a hilarious and irreverent Broadway experience, “The Book of Mormon” is the perfect choice. This unique musical comedy, created by the minds behind South Park and Avenue Q, follows two Latter Day Saint missionaries as they travel to Uganda to spread their religious teachings. The show satirically tackles themes of social, political, cultural, and economic issues while delivering catchy songs that will have you humming long after the performance. “The Book of Mormon” has received critical acclaim and multiple awards, including Tonys and a Grammy.

6. Chicago The Musical

“Chicago The Musical” is a global phenomenon that has been tearing up stages and screens since its first performance in 1975. Set in the roaring 20s, the show centers around two rival vaudevillian murderesses locked up in the Cook County Jail. Their plan? To make a hot return to showbiz with a bang. With its jazz-inspired numbers, raunchy lyrics, and tap-dancing moves, “Chicago” has become the second longest-running musical on Broadway. The original play was written in 1926 and has since seen multiple revivals featuring some of the biggest stars in theater and entertainment.

7. Aladdin

If you’re looking for a magical and immersive experience, “Aladdin” is the Broadway show for you. Based on Disney’s animated blockbuster, the musical takes audiences on a journey to Agrabah, where a boy named Aladdin falls in love with Princess Jasmine. With stunning art deco set design, lavish costumes adorned with thousands of Swarovski crystals, and breathtaking special effects, “Aladdin” is a visual spectacle. The show features all the beloved songs from the 1992 film, along with additional new songs created specifically for the Broadway adaptation. Prepare to be enchanted by this magical production.

8. Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Renowned for its tear-jerking performances and iconic love ballads, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” brings the vibrant world of Paris in the 1900s to the Broadway stage. Based on the love story between a writer named Christian and a cabaret actress named Satine, the show captures the bohemian nights, artists, and love of the era. With its extravagant sets, stunning costumes, and a lineup of iconic ballad mashups, “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” is a spectacular extravaganza. Since its opening in 2019, the show has received multiple awards, including Tonys for Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, and more..

9. Hadestown

Step into the captivating world of “Hadestown,” a musical that premiered off-Broadway in 2016 before making its way to Broadway in 2019. This musical genius takes inspiration from characters in ancient Greek mythology, focusing on the love story of Orpheus and Eurydice and the mythical tale of King Hades and his wife Persephone. With its ambient stage setting, excellent lighting design, and talented cast, “Hadestown” creates a bone-chilling yet enthralling experience. It’s important to note that the show’s dark theme may not be suitable for young children.

10. MJ The Musical

Fans of Michael Jackson will be thrilled to experience “MJ The Musical,” a tribute to the King of Pop and his iconic music. The show recreates the making of Michael Jackson’s 1992 Dangerous World Tour, showcasing his signature dance moves and chart-topping hits. With a talented cast and creative team, including Tony-winning director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, “MJ The Musical” captures the spirit of Michael Jackson’s music and legacy. The show received three Tony Awards for Best Choreography, Best Sound Design, and Best Lighting Design.

11. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” continues the beloved wizarding world of Harry Potter on stage. This two-part play follows Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s adventures as adults and introduces new characters to the magical world.

12. Funny Girl

“Funny Girl” tells the story of Fanny Brice, a performer from New York’s Lower East Side who dreams of a career on stage. This classic musical features memorable songs and showcases the talents of its leading actress.

13. SIX

“SIX” is a modern musical that reimagines the lives of Henry VIII’s six wives as a pop girl group. With its catchy tunes and empowering storytelling, this show has gained popularity and critical acclaim.

14. Beetlejuice

“Beetlejuice” brings the comedic and eerie world of Tim Burton’s film to Broadway. Follow the hilarious and haunting story of a teenager named Lydia as she encounters a demon named Beetlejuice.

15. Death of a Salesman

“Death of a Salesman” is a classic play that explores the American Dream and the meaning of life. This powerful drama has seen multiple revivals on Broadway, each showcasing the talents of its cast.

16. Leopoldstadt

“Leopoldstadt” takes audiences on a journey through Vienna’s Jewish quarter and delves into the lives of a Jewish family during the 20th century. This emotional play captures the struggles and resilience of the characters.

17. Some Like It Hot!

“Some Like It Hot!” is a musical comedy based on the iconic 1959 film. Set during Prohibition, it tells the story of two musicians on the run who join an all-female band, leading to hilarious escapades.

18. Ohio State Murders

“Ohio State Murders” is a thought-provoking play that explores the history of violence against African American women. This powerful production addresses themes of racism, identity, and trauma.

19. Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations

“Ain’t Too Proud” celebrates the music and journey of the legendary R&B group, The Temptations. This jukebox musical features their greatest hits and tells the story of their rise to fame.

20. The Music Man

“The Music Man” is a classic musical set in small-town America in the early 20th century. Follow the charismatic con man Harold Hill as he tries to swindle the townspeople with his grand plans for a boys’ band.

These 20 popular Broadway musicals offer a wide range of genres, themes, and storytelling styles. Whether you’re a fan of classic tales, pop culture favorites, or thought-provoking dramas, there’s something for everyone on Broadway. Don’t miss the chance to experience the magic of live theater in the heart of New York City.

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.

Email Adam@MarkMeets.com

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