There is no easy way to rank broadway musicals because let’s be honest, no matter what you go to see, the singing will be fantastic and beautiful, and you’ll have a great time. Here is a list of the best musicals I have seen to date (in no particular order because how can I choose).
I know, I know, how is Ham not the unofficial official number 1 on my list, but I’m telling you, the others listed here are actually that good. Yes, Hamilton was one of the most amazing performances I have ever seen, but how can I compare this epic rap battle to all the other musicals? It is truly in a class of its own, and if you have the chance to see it, definitely take it. If you don’t like the music, at least take a moment to appreciate the artistry that had to go into every single solitary aspect of this show (and every show) and tell me that Mr. Lin-Manuel Miranda is not deserving of all the praise he has received. Not only is every performer talented, every person working on the show is amazing. From the use of turntables to convey the passage of time, to the classic, yet modern costuming, this show is a knockout, and I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet. Run away with the Hamiltons for the summer and right into the closest theatre near you!
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Oddly enough, this was probably the funniest show that I have seen. I thought that the way they portrayed all of the characters in a humorous way was absolutely incredible. This show kept me laughing and bopping along to the music the whole time, and was truly a sight to see. The Candyman is definitely going to be with you for this performance because it’s so sweet! For more information, feel free to check out my review of the show here! And, if you missed it, be sure to check out my full review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!
Also an amazing performance and one that also really makes you think. We all hate the Wicked Witch, but why? What made us hate her? What made her that way for us to hate her? Wicked tells the tale of how the Wicked Witch came to be, and truthfully, the answers may surprise you. This dazzling display of music is a must see, especially if you’re a fan of the Wizard of Oz (but, okay, for real, how can you not be a fan). From the costuming to the meaning of the show, this is an amazing performance that will make you feel all the feels. Defy Gravity with this show the next chance you get!
Literally a fantastic show. Going into it, I didn’t think that it would be something I would enjoy, but walking out? Yep. Immediately downloaded the entire soundtrack to my phone and have been listening to it ever since. This show was wonderful and equipped with a really cool train scene and killer vocals. Let me just tell you, this soundtrack is consistently on loop when I’m commuting, and it often makes the MBTA more bearable since it drowns out the sounds of the T with the sounds of the fall of the Russian Tzar. Kidding. Kind of. Going into this performance, I didn’t really know much about the story of Anastasia (yeah I know, I didn’t watch the movie throughout the entirety of my life, sue me.), but I have to say, if you are not familiar with the story, the musical does a great job on catching you up to speed. Escape to Paris with this performance the next time it comes to a theatre near you!
- School of Rock
School of Rock was one of those shows that just made you feel kind of icky, then suddenly a whole lot better. Character development is key here, and boy, let me tell you, this musical delivers. While I might not say it is the all time best musical I have ever seen, it is definitely one you should give a chance, especially if you love rock music. Rock out with the coolest kids around and be sure to stick it to the man in the theatre nearest you.
CATS is an interesting musical to say the least. It is unlike any of the other ones on this list, in just about every way. While a lot of people believe that the show doesn’t have much of a plot, it does have one, however vague it is. Really, each song is sung by a different cat on the stage about why they should be the chosen one to move on to what is essentially the sparkly kitten land in the sky, or, in other words, their next life (you know, because cats have 9 lives). So maybe it is not your cup of tea, but I think that this show is such a classic, you should see it at least once. To see my review of the show, you can check out my article here! This show is the purrrfect addition to your broadway show lineup and is bound to make plenty of memories, for better or worse.
Waitress is another new musical to the Broadway scene, but it is just as much worthy of your time as the classics. The show follows the journey of a baker whose dreams are hindered by an abusive husband and a small town that she can’t get out of, especially now that she is pregnant. This modern musical has a catchy soundtrack that you’ll most definitely find yourself humming along to months later, without even realizing you’re doing it. Throw some sugar, butter, and flour into the mix because the pies in this musical will drive you wild.
Even though the story of Disney’s Aladdin is for kids, this show is anything but childlike. While the story is similar, the performance level and quality of the show far surpasses what I expected of this show. From the very first note, I was hooked, and I never even liked the Aladdin movie as a child. From the amazing costumes to the energy and passion of the performers, this is a must-see show. All I can tell you is that if you happen to find a magic lamp, you should definitely use one of your three wishes to get tickets to this show.
- Come From Away
This show is amazing from top to bottom. The concept is innovative, based on a true story, and the soundtrack has been ruling my life since I saw the show in December of 2019. This show is uplifting and heartbreaking all at the same time, and I had chills throughout the entirety of the show. For more info, feel free to take a look at my review of the show here! Kiss this fish and become a newfoundlander with this upbeat and heartwarming performance.
- Hello, Dolly!
This classic will have you rolling over laughing for the entire show, and will warm your heart at the same time. Paired with lighthearted, fun music, the acting will have you begging for more. For more information, you can feel free to check out my review of the show here! This show is perfect for anyone looking for a sweet love story. Before The Parade Passes By, be sure to put your hand in and grab tickets to the show closest to you! It Only Takes A Moment to do, for a night you will enjoy for a long time coming.
This list doesn’t even begin to address all of the amazing musicals that are out there on Broadway and traveling around the U.S. If you ever get the chance to see any show, no matter what, I highly recommend it, because even if it is not your cup of tea, it will be an experience you will never forget. Remember to support the arts, and enjoy all of the talent present in these live performances!