Last Updated on 25th January 2023
Over the past few months, we’ve invited you to take part in our first poll to choose the Top 100 Greatest Musicals. Tens of thousands of votes were made and the competition was fierce. Votes came in from musical lovers around the globe, some of you were extremely specific even going down to the productions you liked. In many cases, just a single vote separated each show.
Did your favourites make the Top 100? Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below.
100. Fun Home
Fun Home is a relatively new show on the musical theatre scene. Adapted by Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron from Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel of the same name, Fun Home was nominated for twelve 2015 Tony Awards, winning five including Best Musical.
Elisabeth is one of the most successful German-language musicals of all time. The musical is the story of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, with book/lyrics by Michael Kunze and music by Sylvester Levay. Translated into seven languages, the musical has played around the world including tours of Japan, Korea, China and cities across Europe. It has no less than 6 cast albums!
98. The Wizard Of Oz
Released as a film in 1939, The film was not an initial success although it did win Academy Awards for Best Song (Over The Rainbow) and Best Score (Herbert Slothart). It has grown in stature since that time with numerous theatrical re-releases, and several stage productions, the most recent of which was presented by Andrew Lloyd Webber at the London Palladium. This production also featured new songs by Lloyd Webber.
97. Sunny Afternoon
The musical that tells the story of English rock band The Kinks, Sunny Afternoon started life at the Hampstead Theatre before transferring to London’s West End. The show features music and lyrics by Ray Davies and a book by Joe Penhall, drawing on many of the songs that make The Kinks famous including Lola, Waterloo Sunset, You Really Got Me and the show’s title song Sunny Afternoon. Sunny Afternoon won Best New Musical and Outstanding Achievement in Music at the 2015 Olivier Awards.
Book tickets for Sunny Afternoon In London
Book Tickets for the Sunny Afternoon UK Tour
96. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory (Stage Production)
The new addition of a stage version of Roald Dahl’s children’s classic Charlie And The Chocolate Factory pushed the Gene Wilder movie version of the musical by Bricusse and Newley, out of the Top 100 by just a few votes. The stage adaptation which is currently playing in the West End, and opens on Broadway in 2017, features a score by Marc Shaiman and Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman with a book by David Greig. The production opened in London in 2013 starring Douglas Hodge.
Book now for Charlie And The Chocolate Factory in London
95. Anything Goes
The classic Broadway musical Anything Goes features a score by Cole Porter, original book by Guy Bolton and P G Wodehouse with heavy revisions by Howard Linsday and Russel Crouse. Concerning itself with the madcap antics about a transatlantic ocean liner headed to London from New York, Anything Goes has been revived multiple times since its 1934 debut, it has been filmed twice and continues to be a favourite of school and community groups around the world. It has also won the Tony award for Best Revival of a musical TWICE!
94. Merrily We Roll Along
Merrily We Roll Along features music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by George Furth. It is based on the 1934 Kaufman and Hart play of the same name. Renown as being a Broadway flop when it first opened running only 68 performances, the show was reworked for various productions in the USA and the UK gathering a fan base that continues to love the show and its score. Telling the story of three friends from 1957 to 1976, the show was branded difficult to understand due to the fact that it was told moving backwards in time. Fans of the show might appreciate this clip we discovered which features Sondheim himself in a song from the show.
93. Hedwig And The Angry Inch
Opening Off-Broadway in 1998, Hedwig and The Angry Inch is the story of a genderqueer East German singer named Hedwig, who assumes a female personal following a botched sex change operation, undertaken in the hopes of fleeing East Germany. With a book by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, the show was presented around the world before finally making it to Broadway in 2014 in a production which saw the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Darren Criss, Andrew Rannells, Michael C Hall and Taye Diggs take on the iconic role of Hedwig. It is hoped that the West End may yet see this production which won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Revival Of A Musical.
92. Mack And Mabel.
Mack and Mabel is a musical based on Mack Sennett (creator of the Keystone Cops) and his leading lady Mabel Normand with a book by Michael Stewart and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. The original Broadway Broadway which closed after eight weeks is the stuff of legend and starred Bernadette Peters and Robert Preston. It received eight Tony Award nominations but failed to win any. Many will perhaps be familiar with songs from the show thanks to British Ice Skating duo Torvill and Dean who used the score as inspiration for the 1984 Olympics where they won the Gold medal.
91. Show Boat
Proclaimed as a watershed moment in musical theatre history, Show Boat (originally staged in 1927) with a score by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, based on Edna Ferber’s novel, was the first time that the music worked together with the play driving the story, rather than being a review. It’s themes of racial prejudice and tragic enduring love and its score that included songs like Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man, Make Believe and Ol’Man River made it a hit that continues to entertain audiences today.
Were these amongst your favourites voted for?
Please let us know your thoughts below!