The best Broadway musicals include a mix of classic musicals like Chicago and new favorites, like Wicked. For decades, Broadway hits have been charming theatre audiences with memorable performances and enchanting music scores.
Here are my top picks of the best Broadway shows ever produced:
1. The Phantom of the Opera
As the longest-running show in the history of Broadway, The Phantom of the Opera officially opened in 1988 at the Majestic Theatre. Based on the French novel, the musical revolves around an opera ghost and the ingénue he mentors. I have been a fan of this epic musical due to its flawless execution and timeless score. I don’t think there is any other Broadway play that has depicted a quintessential love triangle better than this one.
Broadway's second-longest musical opened in 1996 on the Great White Way. The play found its home at the Ambassador Theatre, where it first opened in 2003. The award-winning musical impresses audiences with its Bob Fosse-inspired choreography and a chic aesthetic.
The Broadway hit focuses on Roxie Hart, the housewife-turned-murderess, and Velma Kelly, her fellow inmate. The satire narrates the story of these two women as they embark on a mission to take advantage of their notoriety. Chicago also brings light to our criminal justice system’s corrupt ways. With its engaging plot and the critically acclaimed score by Kander & Ebb, the musical ranks among the top-grossing Broadway shows of all time. Considering its popularity, Chicago may beat The Phantom of the Opera in the near future.
The first Hamilton to hit Broadway was in the year 1917. The play lasted 80 shows. However, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the man behind the revival of the show, reinvented this magical musical to give minorities a voice. While Miranda did not base his version on the 1917 play, he took inspiration from a book by Ron Chernow.
The purpose of the musical is to attain a perspective of how our society would look if minorities received fair and equal treatment. The fabulous musical continues to pull crowds, especially young individuals. Did I mention Hamilton won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2016 and the Grammy Award for best musical theater album for the same year? Wow!
4. Moulin Rouge
When Baz Luhrmann's iconic 2001 movie, Moulin Rouge, came to Broadway, I was thrilled to witness it, like the rest of the audiences who gave a warm reception to the musical. The musical is a magical celebration of truth, beauty, and freedom. The Broadway show offers a glimpse of a world where aristocrats and Bohemians rub elbows and revel in luxury. The play is the recipient of 14 Tony award nominations, including the Best Musical, and bagged the 2020 Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical.
5. Lion King
Much to my delight, the Circle of Life continues to go round and round on Broadway. Ever since this Disney movie roared onto the Broadway stage in 1997, the show is receiving rave reviews from critics and audiences. With flawless direction from Julie Taymor and its Tony Award-winning costumes, the Lion King demands respect and attention from viewers. My personal favorites from the movie are the African rhythms as well as the memorable songs by Tim Rice and Elton John.
All music enthusiasts love the bewitching musical scores of these Broadway hits. I love delighting my audiences with popular songs from these hit Broadway shows. If you love Broadway musicals and can’t have enough of their soundtracks, listen to my wonderful collection of music on my album, “Yesterday Once More”