The Best Musicals of All Time + My Top 100

Here’s the list of my favorite musicals of all time! This list is going to be constantly updated as I listen to new cast recordings, see more shows, and re-watch/listen to things. For example, I might not end up obsessing over a musical until seeing it live. Or I might not quite be convinced about a show until listening to a different cast album or reading the libretto.

Notes: This is a personal opinion of my own favorite musicals! Your list is probably going to look a lot different from mine. But this is also a good place to start if you’re looking for new ideas of shows to see or cast recordings to check out. And if you’re like me and want to keep track of all of the best musicals you’ve seen and plays you’ve read, you might just love The Thespian’s Bucket List!

And here’s a comprehensive list of my cast album ratings!



My Top 10 Musicals

* This list can always change!

  1. Les Misérables
  2. Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
  3. Sweeney Todd
  4. Hadestown
  5. Into the Woods
  6. Rent
  7. Hamilton
  8. Chicago
  9. Fiddler on the Roof
  10. Fangirls

 



My Top 100 Musicals

* This list is always changing!

  1. Les Misérables
  2. Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
  3. Sweeney Todd
  4. Hadestown
  5. Into the Woods
  6. Rent
  7. Hamilton
  8. Chicago
  9. Fiddler on the Roof
  10. Fangirls
  11. In the Heights
  12. Falsettos
  13. Company
  14. Ragtime
  15. Miss Saigon
  16. The Book of Mormon
  17. She Loves Me
  18. Cabaret
  19. A Little Night Music
  20. Spring Awakening
  21. 21 Chump Street
  22. West Side Story
  23. The Sound of Music
  24. Guys and Dolls
  25. The Rocky Horror Show
  26. The Lion King
  27. Singin’ in the Rain
  28. Titanic
  29. Aladdin
  30. American Psycho
  31. Heathers
  32. Chess
  33. Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
  34. Ride the Cyclone
  35. Floyd Collins
  36. Closer to Heaven
  37. Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope
  38. A Year With Frog and Toad
  39. The Wizard of Oz
  40. Grease
  41. Mary Poppins
  42. Preludes
  43. Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future
  44. Nevermore
  45. A Strange Loop
  46. Zorba
  47. An American in Paris
  48. Hundred Days
  49. Parade
  50. Follies
  51. Grey Gardens
  52. La Cage aux Folles
  53. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  54. Dear Evan Hansen
  55. Alice by Heart
  56. Sunday in the Park with George
  57. The Dolls of New Albion
  58. Venice
  59. Here We Are
  60. Bernarda Alba
  61. Gypsy
  62. Carousel
  63. Little Shop of Horrors
  64. Anything Goes
  65. Caroline, or Change
  66. Lizzie
  67. Cyrano
  68. Sweet Smell of Success
  69. The Producers
  70. tick, tick… BOOM!
  71. Merrily We Roll Along
  72. Next to Normal
  73. The Band’s Visit
  74. The Color Purple
  75. The Last Five Years
  76. The Wiz
  77. The Robber Bridegroom
  78. A Christmas Story
  79. Be More Chill
  80. The Lord of the Rings
  81. Jagged Little Pill
  82. Memphis
  83. The Scottsboro Boys
  84. A Chorus Line
  85. The Wild Party (LaChiusa)
  86. The Last Ship
  87. The Phantom of the Opera
  88. A New Brain
  89. Anastasia
  90. My Fair Lady
  91. Fun Home
  92. Come From Away
  93. A Bronx Tale
  94. Something Rotten!
  95. Working
  96. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
  97. The Capeman
  98. The Bridges of Madison County
  99. South Pacific
  100. Big River
  101. The Lion

 



Rating: 10/10

The musicals I have given a perfect 10/10 rating are ones that I consider to be the absolute best musicals of all time. These shows have deeply resonated with me, and in my opinion, represent the highest standards of musical theatre.

  • Cabaret
  • Chicago
  • Company
  • Falsettos
  • Fangirls
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • Hadestown
  • Hamilton
  • In the Heights
  • Into the Woods
  • Les Misérables
  • Miss Saigon
  • Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812
  • Ragtime
  • Rent
  • She Loves Me
  • Sweeney Todd
  • The Book of Mormon

 



Rating: 9/10

The following musicals are ones that I nearly consider to be among the best of all time. I’d say that the following are just shy of being perfect.

  • 21 Chump Street
  • A Little Night Music
  • A Strange Loop
  • A Year With Frog and Toad
  • Aladdin
  • American Psycho
  • An American in Paris
  • Chess
  • Closer to Heaven
  • Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope
  • Floyd Collins
  • Grease
  • Guys and Dolls
  • Heathers
  • Hundred Days
  • Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
  • Mary Poppins
  • Nevermore
  • Preludes
  • Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future
  • Ride the Cyclone
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • Spring Awakening
  • The Lion King
  • The Rocky Horror Show
  • The Sound of Music
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Titanic
  • West Side Story
  • Zorba

 



Rating: 8.5/10

I consider the following musicals to be extremely special. They are very close to being among my favorite musicals of all time.

  • Alice by Heart
  • Anything Goes
  • Bernarda Alba
  • Caroline, or Change
  • Carousel
  • Cyrano
  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • Follies
  • Grey Gardens
  • Gypsy
  • Here We Are
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  • La Cage aux Folles
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • Lizzie
  • Parade
  • Sunday in the Park with George
  • Sweet Smell of Success
  • The Dolls of New Albion
  • The Producers
  • The Scottsboro Boys
  • Venice

 



Rating: 8/10

I love the following musicals. They are simply wonderful and ones that I would absolutely recommend seeing or reading/listening to.

  • A Bronx Tale
  • A Chorus Line
  • A Christmas Story
  • A New Brain
  • A VHS Christmas Carol
  • Allegiance
  • Anastasia
  • Bare
  • Be More Chill
  • Big River
  • Brigadoon
  • Cinderella
  • Come From Away
  • Daddy Long Legs
  • Dessa Rose
  • Doctor Zhivago
  • Dog Man: The Musical
  • Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
  • Falsettoland
  • Fun Home
  • Golden Boy
  • Hairspray
  • Harlem Song
  • Here Lies Love
  • His Story
  • Holiday Inn
  • Honeymoon in Vegas
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • If/Then
  • Jagged Little Pill
  • Jane Eyre
  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Kean
  • Kid Victory
  • Leap of Faith
  • March of the Falsettos
  • Memphis
  • Merrily We Roll Along
  • My Fair Lady
  • Next to Normal
  • Nymph Errant
  • Oliver!
  • On the Twentieth Century
  • Passing Strange
  • Robert and Elizabeth
  • Ruthless!
  • Sarafina
  • Say My Name!
  • Selma
  • Six
  • Something Rotten!
  • South Pacific
  • Summer of ’42
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • The Band’s Visit
  • The Bridges of Madison County
  • The Capeman
  • The Clockmaker’s Daughter
  • The Color Purple
  • The Fields of Ambrosia
  • The Last Five Years
  • The Last Ship
  • The Life
  • The Lion
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Mad Ones
  • The Music Man
  • The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • The Pirate Queen
  • The Robber Bridegroom
  • The Story of My Life
  • The Wild Party (LaChiusa)
  • The Wiz
  • The Zulu and the Zayda
  • Tick, Tick… BOOM!
  • Tomfoolery
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Violet
  • Waitress
  • We Aren’t Kids Anymore
  • Wicked
  • Working

 



Rating: 7.5/10

The following musicals have something special that makes them feel a bit closer to an 8 than a 7. I really enjoy/appreciate these musicals.

  • & Juliet
  • 1776
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • A Minister’s Wife
  • Adding Machine
  • Ain’t Misbehavin’
  • Allegro
  • Amélie
  • Annie
  • As Thousands Cheer
  • Assassins
  • Bandstand
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • BKLYN The Musical
  • Black and Blue
  • Blitz!
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Bravo Giovanni
  • Bright Star
  • Brooklyn Crush
  • Bumblescratch
  • Camelot
  • Death Note
  • Death Takes a Holiday
  • Descendants
  • Destry Rides Again
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Dogfight
  • Dreamland
  • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me
  • Eugenius!
  • Evening Primrose
  • Evita
  • Fela!
  • Fly by Night
  • Frankenstein
  • Frozen
  • Funny Girl
  • Ghost
  • Ghost Quartet
  • Giant
  • Goblin Market
  • Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge
  • Goosebumps The Musical
  • Grand Hotel
  • Hair
  • Hands on a Hardbody
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • Hello, Dolly!
  • House of Flowers
  • I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
  • In Trousers
  • Infinite Joys
  • Irma La Douce
  • It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Jasper in Deadland
  • Jekyll & Hyde
  • Jelly’s Last Jam
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • Kat and the Kings
  • King Kong (1959)
  • Kinky Boots
  • Kismet
  • Kiss of the Spiderwoman
  • Knickerbocker Holiday
  • Knoxville
  • Lady, Be Good
  • Life Begins at 8:40
  • Light Years
  • Li’l Abner
  • Lizard Boy
  • Louisiana Purchase
  • Mamma Mia!
  • Marguerite
  • Martin Guerre
  • Me and My Girl
  • Movin’ Out
  • Oh! What a Lovely War
  • Oklahoma!
  • Once
  • Once Upon a Mattress
  • One Mo’ Time
  • Pardon My English
  • Peter Pan (1954)
  • Pippin
  • Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical
  • Pump Boys and Dinettes
  • Ring of Fire
  • See What I Wanna See
  • Soft Power
  • Something for the Boys
  • Spamalot
  • Strike Up the Band
  • Sweet Charity
  • Taboo
  • Tenderloin
  • The Big One-Oh!
  • The Burnt Part Boys
  • The Cher Show
  • The Full Monty
  • The Hatpin
  • The Hello Girls
  • The Immigrant
  • The Light in the Piazza
  • The Light Princess
  • The Little Big Things
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)
  • The New Moon
  • The Pirates of Penzance
  • The Rothschilds
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • The Show Goes On
  • The Spitfire Grill
  • The Threepenny Opera
  • The View UpStairs
  • The Visit
  • The Wild Party (Lippa)
  • The Will Rogers Follies
  • The Witches of Eastwick
  • The Woman in White
  • Tintypes
  • Tokyo Rose
  • Top Hat
  • Trevor
  • Twisted
  • Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York)
  • Wings
  • Yours, Anne

 



Rating: 7/10

These musicals are pretty good. Some are classics. Some are popular. I enjoy/appreciate these musicals for what they are.

  • 13
  • 35mm
  • 70, Girls, 70
  • A Christmas Carol
  • A Class Act
  • A Man of No Importance
  • Aida
  • Ain’t Too Proud
  • Almost Famous
  • American Idiot
  • Amour
  • Annie Get Your Gun
  • Anyone Can Whistle
  • Avenue Q
  • Barnum
  • Bella: An American Tall Tale
  • Bells Are Ringing
  • Ben Franklin in Paris
  • Big
  • Black Nativity
  • Blackbirds of 1928
  • Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
  • Blues in the Night
  • Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk
  • Bring It On
  • Bullets Over Broadway
  • Bye Bye Birdie
  • Calvin Berger
  • Candide
  • Carrie
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • Charlotte Sweet
  • Children of Eden
  • City of Angels
  • Closer Than Ever
  • Crazy for You
  • Cruel Intentions
  • Cry-Baby
  • Curtains
  • Damn Yankees
  • Days of Wine and Roses
  • Dear Edwina
  • Dearest Enemy
  • Desperate Measures
  • Disaster!
  • Do I Hear a Waltz?
  • Doctor Dolittle
  • Dreamgirls
  • Elf
  • Ernest in Love
  • Face the Music
  • Fame
  • Fanny
  • Far From Heaven
  • Fifty Million Frenchmen
  • First Daughter Suite
  • Five Guys Named Moe
  • Flora, the Red Menace
  • Freaky Friday
  • Fugitive Songs
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • Get Up Stand Up!
  • Greenwillow
  • Groundhog Day
  • Hex
  • How to Eat Like a Child
  • I Can Get It for You Wholesale
  • I Do! I Do!
  • Illya Darling
  • I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road
  • Inner City
  • Jamaica
  • Jumbo
  • Juno
  • KPOP
  • Legally Blonde
  • Let ‘Em Eat Cake
  • Let It Be
  • Little By Little
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Little Women
  • Love Never Dies
  • Lucky Stiff
  • Mack & Mabel
  • Marie Christine
  • Matilda
  • Mayor
  • Milk and Honey
  • MJ The Musical
  • Mrs Henderson Presents
  • Newsies
  • Nine
  • No, No, Nanette
  • No Strings
  • On the Record
  • On Your Feet!
  • Once on This Island
  • Only Fools and Horses
  • Phantom
  • Pickwick
  • Pins and Needles
  • Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
  • Promenade
  • Purlie
  • Rags
  • Raisin
  • Reefer Madness
  • Salvation
  • Saturday Night
  • Seesaw
  • Shucked
  • Smile
  • Something’s Afoot
  • Song of Norway
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
  • Starry
  • St. Louis Woman
  • State Fair
  • Stop the World – I Want to Get Off
  • Street Scene
  • Sunny Afternoon
  • Tanz der Vampire
  • Tarrytown
  • Tarzan
  • The Addams Family
  • The Bodyguard
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Drowsy Chaperone
  • The Frogs
  • The Glorious Ones
  • The Golden Apple
  • The Grand Tour
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • The King and I
  • The Landing
  • The Likes of Us
  • The Man in the Ceiling
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood
  • The New Yorkers
  • The Notebook
  • The Pajama Game
  • The Prince of Egypt
  • The Prom
  • The Theory of Relativity
  • The Who’s Tommy
  • They’re Playing Our Song
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
  • Tootsie
  • Tovarich
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Urinetown
  • Victor/Victoria
  • We Are the Tigers
  • Where’s Charley?
  • Yank!
  • Young Frankenstein
  • You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

 



Rating: 6/10 or Below

The musicals that didn’t quite make it into the above ratings are going to be politely left off of this list and kept safely in my own documents!

 


 

So there you have it! My list of the best musicals of all time. This is of course just the beginning, and this list is going to continue to change and evolve. I listen to 5-6 new cast recordings a week and see new shows regularly. So I’ll be updating this as opinions change and become more “refined”. If you like lists and ideas and stuff like that, you can also check out my list of favorite books, musicals, and plays!

But I would be so curious to know … is there anything that you absolutely disagree with above? I would love to know! What would the best musicals of all time look like on your list? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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