Last Updated on 14th March 2017
Welcome to our second instalment of votes 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.
80. Miss Nightingale
One of the great things that happen when you open a vote like this to the public is that you find out about a musical like Miss Nightingale. Written by composer Matthew Bugg, and has toured the UK receiving critical acclaim and raves from audiences.
Feisty singer Maggie and her songwriter, George, are struggling to find their big break. She longs for stardom and the high life. He’s hiding a dark secret in the shadows. Everything changes when they are picked up by wealthy socialite Sir Frank Worthington-Blythe who needs an act to launch his new nightclub. Maggie is transformed into saucy cabaret star ‘Miss Nightingale’ – her outrageous outfits, saucy songs and scandalous love life make her the toast of London. But away from the showbiz glamour, heartache and secrets threaten to be more devastating than the Blitz.
Titanic the musical has music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and book by the late Peter Stone. Opening on Broadway in 1997, it won five Tony Awards including the award for Best Musical. Yeston and Stone’s musicalisation concentrated very much on the human side of the tragedy, and the impact of that tragedy in an era where man’s achievements seemed to show no limits. The original production ran for 804 performances. Director Thom Southerland has recently staged a production of Titanic in Japan, Canada and in London to great acclaim and it is hoped this production may yet be staged on Broadway.
Based on an idea by Charles Gilbert Jnr, Assassins is a revue-style musical focused on the men and women who have (or have tried) to assassinate Presidents Of The United States. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by John Weidman, Assassins originated Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 1990. It was later staged on Broadway in 2004 where it won five Tony Awards including Best Revival Of A Musical, Beat Featured Actor In A Musical, Best Direction Of A Musical, Best Orchestrations and Best Lighting Design.
77. American Idiot
American Idiot is a sung-through musical stage adaptation of American band Green Day’s album American Idiot. The story expanded from the album, relates to three young men who are disaffected by society. The book for American Idiot was written by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and director Michael Mayer. The score included all the material from the American Idiot album and included other Green Day material – released and unreleased. American Idiot won two 2010 Tony Awards – Scenic Design and Lighting Design and won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
76. Dance Of The Vampires
Dance Of The Vampires is a German-language musical with music by Jim Steinman, original German book and lyrics by Michael Kunze, based on Roman Polanski’s film of the same name. The show was originally presented in Vienna, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Berlin and was later staged in a heavily rewritten version on Broadway starring Michael Crawford. The Broadway musical closed after 56 performances losing roughly $12million, eclipsing the infamous Carrie.
Hair is a rock musical with book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni with music by Galt MacDermot. Hair was inspired by the hippie movement of the 1960’s with several of its songs becoming associated with the Anti-Vietnam war movement. The musical broke ground in its use of profanity, sexuality, use of illegal drugs and nudity. Hair started life at Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre in 1967 before moving to Broadway in April 1968 where it ran for 1750 performances. The 2009 Broadway revival won the Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for best revival of a musical.
74. La Cage Aux Folles
Based on the 1973 French play of the same name by Jean Poiret, La Cage Aux Folles is a musical with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and a book by Harvey Fierstein. The original Broadway production was nominated for nine Tony Awards winning six, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. Subsequent revivals on Broadway have also proved award-worthy. The 2004 Broadway revival won the Tony Award for Best Revival Of A Musical, the 2010 revival was nominated for eleven Tony awards winning the award for Best Revival Of A Musical. The 2008 London production won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.
Newsies is a stage musical based on the less than successful 1992 Disney musical film of the same which starred Christian Bale. The show has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by Harvey Fierstein. Premiering at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey in 2011, Newsies transferred to Broadway in 2012 for a limited engagement that was soon extended and extended again, eventually playing 1004 performances. Newsies won the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Choreography and Best Original Score.
Aladdin – Disney’s new stage musical is based on the 1992 Disney animated film of the same name with music by Alan Menkin and lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Chad Beguelin (who also wrote the book). Aladdin opened on Broadway in March 2014 where it was nominated for five Tony Awards. The musical opened at London’s Prince Edward Theatre in 2016. The musical includes three songs written for the film by Ashman but not used there and four new songs written by Menken and Beguelin.
Book Tickets for Aladdin in London
Book tickets for Aladdin on Broadway
Based on the 1990 film which starred Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, Ghost is a musical with book and lyrics by Bruce Joel Rubin and music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard. Ghost had its World Premiere in Manchester before opening in the West End on 19 July 2011. The Broadway production opened in April 2012 and has subsequently been performed around the world. A production produced by Bill Kenwright is currently touring the UK.
Find out more about Ghost on tour.
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