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 the third time. Or I might not quite be convinced about a show until listening to a cast album the 5th time.

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. A Little Night Music
  19. Spring Awakening
  20. 21 Chump Street
  21. Cabaret
  22. Aladdin
  23. West Side Story
  24. The Sound of Music
  25. Guys and Dolls
  26. The Rocky Horror Show
  27. Singin’ in the Rain
  28. The Lion King
  29. American Psycho
  30. Heathers
  31. Chess
  32. Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
  33. Ride the Cyclone
  34. Floyd Collins
  35. Closer to Heaven
  36. Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope
  37. Dear Evan Hansen
  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. A Strange Loop
  45. Zorba
  46. Sunday in the Park with George
  47. Alice by Heart
  48. An American in Paris
  49. Hundred Days
  50. La Cage aux Folles
  51. Parade
  52. Follies
  53. Grey Gardens
  54. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  55. The Dolls of New Albion
  56. Bernarda Alba
  57. Carousel
  58. Caroline, or Change
  59. Cyrano
  60. Sweet Smell of Success
  61. Memphis
  62. The Producers
  63. Titanic
  64. Little Shop of Horrors
  65. The Band’s Visit
  66. The Lord of the Rings
  67. Next to Normal
  68. The Color Purple
  69. The Last Five Years
  70. The Wiz
  71. The Robber Bridegroom
  72. Amélie
  73. A Christmas Story
  74. Merrily We Roll Along
  75. Be More Chill
  76. Jagged Little Pill
  77. tick, tick… BOOM!
  78. The Scottsboro Boys
  79. A Chorus Line
  80. The Wild Party (LaChiusa)
  81. The Phantom of the Opera
  82. A New Brain
  83. Allegiance
  84. Anastasia
  85. My Fair Lady
  86. Fun Home
  87. Come From Away
  88. Bare
  89. Gypsy
  90. A Bronx Tale
  91. Something Rotten!
  92. Sunset Boulevard
  93. Working
  94. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
  95. The Prince of Egypt
  96. The Capeman
  97. Violet
  98. The Bridges of Madison County
  99. South Pacific
  100. Big River

 



Rating: 10/10

A 10/10 musical is a rare musical in my eyes. In my opinion, a musical is worth a 10 if I ever find myself listening to the cast recording for weeks on end, or sometimes even longer. These are what I consider to be the best musicals of all time. These are musicals that interfered with life (at whatever point I first discovered them) in a way that I could not listen to anything else for a considerable period of time.

  • 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
  • Sweeney Todd
  • The Book of Mormon

 



Rating: 9/10

The following musicals are ones that I 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
  • Alice by Heart
  • American Psycho
  • An American in Paris
  • Cabaret
  • Chess
  • Closer to Heaven
  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • 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
  • Preludes
  • Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future
  • Ride the Cyclone
  • She Loves Me
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • Spring Awakening
  • The Lion King
  • The Rocky Horror Show
  • The Sound of Music
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • 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.

  • Bernarda Alba
  • Caroline, or Change
  • Carousel
  • Cyrano
  • Follies
  • Grey Gardens
  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
  • La Cage aux Folles
  • Memphis
  • Parade
  • Sunday in the Park with George
  • Sweet Smell of Success
  • The Dolls of New Albion
  • The Scottsboro Boys

 



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
  • Amélie
  • Anastasia
  • Bare
  • Be More Chill
  • Big River
  • Cinderella
  • Come From Away
  • Daddy Long Legs
  • Doctor Zhivago
  • Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
  • Falsettoland
  • Fun Home
  • Golden Boy
  • Gypsy
  • Hairspray
  • Harlem Song
  • Honeymoon in Vegas
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • If/Then
  • Jagged Little Pill
  • Jane Eyre
  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Kean
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • March of the Falsettos
  • Merrily We Roll Along
  • My Fair Lady
  • Next to Normal
  • Nymph Errant
  • Oliver!
  • On the Twentieth Century
  • Passing Strange
  • Robert and Elizabeth
  • Ruthless!
  • Sarafina
  • 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 Life
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Mad Ones
  • The Music Man
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • The Prince of Egypt
  • The Producers
  • The Robber Bridegroom
  • The Story of My Life
  • The Wild Party (LaChiusa)
  • The Wiz
  • The Zulu and the Zayda
  • Tick, Tick… BOOM!
  • Titanic
  • 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.

  • 1776
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • A Minister’s Wife
  • Ain’t Misbehavin’
  • Allegro
  • Annie
  • Assassins
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Black and Blue
  • Blitz!
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Bravo Giovanni
  • Bright Star
  • Camelot
  • Death Note
  • Death Takes a Holiday
  • Descendants
  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
  • Dogfight
  • Dreamland
  • Eugenius!
  • Evening Primrose
  • Evita
  • Fela!
  • Fly by Night
  • Frozen
  • Funny Girl
  • Ghost
  • Ghost Quartet
  • Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge
  • Goosebumps The Musical
  • Grand Hotel
  • Hair
  • Hands on a Hardbody
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch
  • House of Flowers
  • I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
  • In Trousers
  • Infinite Joys
  • It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues
  • Jasper in Deadland
  • Jekyll & Hyde
  • Jelly’s Last Jam
  • Kat and the Kings
  • Kinky Boots
  • Kismet
  • Kiss of the Spiderwoman
  • Knickerbocker Holiday
  • 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
  • Once Upon a Mattress
  • One Mo’ Time
  • Pardon My English
  • Peter Pan (1954)
  • Pippin
  • Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical
  • Pump Boys and Dinettes
  • Soft Power
  • Something for the Boys
  • Spamalot
  • Strike Up the Band
  • Sweet Charity
  • Taboo
  • Tanz der Vampire
  • Tenderloin
  • The Big One-Oh!
  • The Burnt Part Boys
  • The Full Monty
  • The Hello Girls
  • The Immigrant
  • The Light in the Piazza
  • The Light Princess
  • The Little Mermaid
  • The New Moon
  • The Rothschilds
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • The Show Goes On
  • The Threepenny Opera
  • The View UpStairs
  • The Visit
  • The Wild Party (Lippa)
  • The Will Rogers Follies
  • The Witches of Eastwick
  • Tintypes
  • Tokyo Rose
  • Top Hat
  • Twisted
  • We Won’t Sleep
  • 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.

  • & Juliet
  • 35mm
  • 70, Girls, 70
  • A Christmas Carol
  • A Class Act
  • A Man of No Importance
  • Aida
  • Ain’t Too Proud
  • American Idiot
  • Amour
  • Annie Get Your Gun
  • Anyone Can Whistle
  • Anything Goes
  • Avenue Q
  • Bandstand
  • Barnum
  • Bella: An American Tall Tale
  • Bells Are Ringing
  • Ben Franklin in Paris
  • Big
  • Black Nativity
  • 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
  • Cambodian Rock Band
  • Candide
  • Carrie
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • Children of Eden
  • City of Angels
  • Closer Than Ever
  • Crazy for You
  • Cruel Intentions
  • Cry-Baby
  • Curtains
  • Dear Edwina
  • Dearest Enemy
  • Destry Rides Again
  • Disaster!
  • Do I Hear a Waltz?
  • Doctor Dolittle
  • Dreamgirls
  • Elf
  • Ernest in Love
  • Face the Music
  • Falling in Love with Mr. Dellamort
  • Fame
  • Fanny
  • Fifty Million Frenchmen
  • Five Guys Named Moe
  • Flora, the Red Menace
  • Freaky Friday
  • Fugitive Songs
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • Greenwillow
  • Groundhog Day
  • Hello, Dolly!
  • I Can Get It for You Wholesale
  • Illya Darling
  • I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road
  • Irma La Douce
  • Jamaica
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • Judy’s Scary Little Christmas
  • Juno
  • Kiss Me Kate
  • Legally Blonde
  • Let ‘Em Eat Cake
  • Little Women
  • Love Never Dies
  • Lucky Stiff
  • MacGyver the Musical
  • Marie Christine
  • Matilda
  • Mayor
  • Milk and Honey
  • MJ The Musical
  • Mrs Henderson Presents
  • Newsies
  • No, No, Nanette
  • No Strings
  • Oklahoma!
  • On the Record
  • On Your Feet!
  • Once
  • Once on This Island
  • Phantom
  • Pickwick
  • Pins and Needles
  • Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
  • Promenade
  • Purlie
  • Rags
  • Raisin
  • Reefer Madness
  • Salvation
  • Saturday Night
  • Seesaw
  • Smile
  • Something’s Afoot
  • Song of Norway
  • Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark
  • St. Louis Woman
  • State Fair
  • Stop the World – I Want to Get Off
  • Street Scene
  • Tarrytown
  • Tarzan
  • The Addams Family
  • The Bodyguard
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Drowsy Chaperone
  • The Frogs
  • The Golden Apple
  • The Grand Tour
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • The King and I
  • The Likes of Us
  • The Man in the Ceiling
  • The Mystery of Edwin Drood
  • The New Yorkers
  • The Pajama Game
  • The Prom
  • The Spitfire Grill
  • 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
  • Zanna, Don’t!

 



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, 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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