Last Updated on 14th March 2017
Welcome to our latest instalment of results from our Top 100 Greatest Musicals of all time poll. There are a few new entries and some bona fide classics in this part of the list. Congratulations to all those who are listed in our roll call of truly great musicals.
Did your favourites make the Top 100? Don’t forget to let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Based on the 2001 Dreamworks film, which in turn was based on the 1990 Book by William Steig, Shrek is a musical with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. The original Broadway production opened in 2088 running for twelve months and a re-vamped West End production ran from June 2011 to February 2013 before touring. The Broadway production was nominated for 8 Tony Awards winning one for Best Costume Design.
69. A Chorus Line
The ultimate showbiz musical, the idea for A Chorus Line came from Director / Choreographer Michael Bennett, who spent a lot of time with musical theatre performers recording their stories which were then woven into the story of dancers auditioning for a show. With music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and book by James Kirkwood Jr and Nicholas Dante, A Chorus Line started life at New York’s Public Theatre before transferring to Broadway. Hailed by many as the show that literally saved Broadway, it would run for 6137 performances becoming the longest-running production in Broadway history at that time. A Chorus Line was nominated for twelve Tony Awards, winning nine including Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score. It also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1976 and the Olivier Award for Best Musical.
68. Sunday In The Park With George
With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, Sunday In The Park with George is based around a fictionalised Seurat during the period in which he painted A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte, with the second half imagining a descendant of Seurat’s facing modern artistic pressures. The Broadway musical opened in 1984 winning numerous Drama Desk Awards, The Pulitzer Prize For Drama and two Tony Awards (Scenic and Lighting Design). The 1991 National Theatre production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical and Best Actor In A Musical for Philip Quast. Its score includes Move On, Putting It Together and Finishing The Hat.
Based on Harold Gray’s comic strip Little Orphan Annie, Annie the musical opened in 1977 with music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, and book by Thomas Meehan. The original Broadway production ran for six years winning the Tony Award for best musical. It has become a worldwide favourite and has been produced numerous times, and filmed several times. The musical’s songs It’s A Hard Knock Life and Tomorrow have been reinterpreted in several styles.
66. Jekyll and Hyde
Based on Robert Louise Stevenson’s novel, Jekyll and Hyde has a score by Frank Wildhorn, book by Leslie Bricusse and lyrics by Frank Wildhorn, Leslie Bricusse and Steve Cuden. The musical has been staged across American, on Broadway, undertaken two tours of the United Kingdom and multiple concert versions. Perhaps the best recording of the piece is an early concept recording that featured Anthony Warlow and Linda Eder released in 1994.
65. The Last Five Years
Jason Robert Brown’s first listing in the countdown is for the musical that launched him as a major musical theatre talent. The Last Five Years premiered in 2001. It tells the story of a five year relationship between novelist Jamie Wellerstein and actresds Cathy Hiatt. The show is notable for its unique structure where Cathy’s story is stold in reverse chronoligical order and Jamie’s is told chronologically. The characters only interact during a wedding song in the middle when their timelines instersect. Originally featuring Norbert Leo Butz and Lauren Kennedy, Sherie Rene Scott took over the role when the show was presented Off Broadway. A film with Jeremy Jordan and Anna Kendrick was released in 2015. The show will be directed by Jason Robert Brown laster this year at London’s St James Theatre starring Jonathan Bailey and Samantha Barks.
64. The Bodyguard
The Bodyguard is a stage musical based on the 1992 film of the same name which featured Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. Written by Alexander Dinelaris, the musical incorporates many of Houston’s back catalogue hits along with Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You. Originally staged at London’s Adelphi Theatre in 2012 the show starred Heather Headley (Lion King, Aida on Broadway). It has since undertaken a major Uk tour and is currently playing at London’s Dominion Theatre starring Beverley Knight.
63. Finding Neverland
Be proud Gary Barlow, your first official musical has made it into the Top 100 Musicals Of All Time listing! Based on the 2004 film that starred Johnny Depp and Kate Winslett, Finding Neverland is the story of how J M Barrie came to write Peter Pan and of his association with the Llewelyn Davies family. Numerous versions of the show were tried before Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy were bought in to write material for the American Repetory Theatre production in 2014. Finding Neverland opened on Broadway in 2015 with Matthew Morrison, Laura Michelle Kelly and Kelsey Grammer, closing in 2016 after 565 performances. A London production is rumoured for 2017 starring Alfie Boe.
62. Love Never Dies
Love Never Dies is the musical sequeal to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera with music by Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and additional lyrics by Charles Hart. The musical is set roughly ten years after the end of Phantom, where the Phantom, Mdm Giry and Meg have adaopted Coney Island in New York as their new home. Opening at the Adelphi Theatre in 2010, the show received mainly negative reviews, but a subsequent heavily revised Australian production directed by Simon Phillips was better recieved.
61. Beauty And The Beast
Beauty and The Beast was the first major stage adaptation of a modern Disney film by the newly formed Disney Theatrical. Based on the 1991 animated film which had a score by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and a book by Linda Woolverton, Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway in 1994 running for 5461 performances before finally closing in 2007. Grossing more than $1.4 billion Beauty and The Beast has played in over thirteen countries and 115 cities. The Broadway production was nominated for nine Tony Awards winning for Best Costume Design. The London production won the 1998 Olivier Award for Best Musical. A live action version is due for release on film in 2017 starring Emma Watson and Luke Evans.
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