Last Updated on 14th March 2017
There are some real classics in this brace of our Top 100 Musicals ever. It’s a real mix of musicals old and new, don’t forget to let us know your thoughts on the vote below.
Currently playing at London’s Savoy Theatre, Dreamgirls has music by Henry Krieger and book by Tom Eyen. Originally devised with the working title of One Night Only, the show caught the eye of Michael Bennett, director and choreographer of A Chorus Line. Dreamgirls opened on Broadway on December 20, 1981 and was nominated for 13 Tony Awards including Best Musical winning six. Twenty-five years later the show has finally premiered in the West End with Glee’s Amber Riley in the lead role. Book tickets for Dreamgirls.
One of the great Broadway musicals, Gypsy has music by Jules Styne, Book by Arthur Laurents and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Gypsy is based loosely on the life of famous burlesque performer Gypsy Rose Lee, and concerns the relationship between Gypsy and what many say is the ultimate showbiz mother. Most recently Imelda Staunton took on the role of Rose, a role which we believe she will reprise on Broadway in 2018.
28. Into The Woods
Recently made into a popular film by Disney, Into The Woods is a musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine that uses Bruno Bettelheim’s The Uses Of Enchantment as its inspiration. Premiering on Broadway on November 5, 1987 it won seven Tony Awards. In the West End the show ran at the Phoenix Theatre with a cast including Julia McKenzie and Imelda Staunton. The film adaptation featured James Cordon, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp.
27. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Way, way back many decades ago before Superstar and Evita began…. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, Joseph began its life as a short 15-minute piece for Colet Court School. Using various styles of music the musical tells the bible story of Joseph and his coat of many colours. The show was expanded and expanded and has been the subject of major productions and Bill Kenwright’s production has toured the UK continually for many years. The show is currently touring the UK with X Factor Winner Joe McElderry donning the coloured coat. Book tickets.
26. Kinky Boots
Based on the 2005 British indie film of the same name, Kinky Boots has music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and book by Hervey Fierstein. The show premiered on Broadway in April 2013 before opening in London in 2015. Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, the show received 13 Tony Award nominations winning six including Best Musical, it also won three Olivier Awards including Best Musical, Best Actor In A Musical and Best Costume Design. Book tickets to Kinky Boots in London.
25. Singin’ In The Rain
Singin’ In The Rain started life as a film starring Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. The music was by Lennie Hayton, Nacio Herb Brown (music) and Arthur Freed (Lyrics) with story by Adolph Green and Betty Comden. The stage musical was adapted from the film opening in the West End with Tommy Steele in 1983 before opening on Broadway in 1985. A typical backstage musical Singin’ In The Rain will forever be linked to Gene Kelly’s iconic celluloid dance routine.
24. Guys And Dolls
With music and lyrics by Frank Loesser and book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, Guys and Dolls is based on the short stories of Damon Runyon. Guys and Dolls premiered on Broadway in 1950 and ran for 1200 performances winning the 1951 Pulitzer Prize For Drama ( a prize that was vetoed because writer Abe Burrows had troubles with the House Un-American Activities Committee). The show won 5 Tony Awards in 1951 including Best Musical, and has since won the 1992 Best Revival Tony Award and Drama Desk Award amongst other awards.
23. Legally Blonde
Adapted from the 2001 film of the same name and the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown, legally Blonde has music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and book by Heather Hach. Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, the show opened on Broadway in April 2007 with a cast that included Laura Bell Bundy, Christian Borle, Andy Karl and Annaleigh Ashford. Legally Blonde opened in the West End starring Sheridan Smith and Duncan James in 2009. Legally Blonde won the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Musical, Best Actress In A Musical, Best Choreographer and Best Supporting Actress In A Musical. A new tour of Legally Blonde will tour the UK in 2017.
22. My Fair Lady
Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady has book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederic Loewe. Opening on Broadway in 1956 with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews the show then opened in the West End in 1958. It has been staged and revived around the world ever since. My Fair Lady won the 1957 Tony Award for Best Musical and 5 other Tony Awards. The film adaptation of the musical featured Harrison and Audrey Hepburn.
21. Jersey Boys
Jersey Boys is the musical that tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. using the hits of the group, Jersey Boys has a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Opening on Broadway in 2005 Jersey Boys won four 2006 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The musical opened in London in 2008 where it won the Olivier Award for Best Musical. Jersey Boys is about to close in the West End and will commence its second UK tour in December 2017.
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