Best Broadway Shows :: The portal of the largest rankings on the Internet!

In this article, we’ll explore the top 20 best Broadway shows since the 1970s. Some of these may have been performed Off-Broadway too, but all have enjoyed successful runs on Broadway primarily.

First, though, let’s explore what ‘Broadway’ actually means.

Broadway Defined

Everyone knows the term ‘Broadway’, but do we really understand what it means?

Without a doubt, Broadway is one of the most important elements of the global arts culture. People travel from all over the world to watch New York City’s legendary Broadway shows. Indeed, it’s one of the many things tourists feel they have to do when they visit the Big Apple, and is as much a part of the city’s DNA as the Empire State Building or Central Park.

What is Broadway? Put simply, Broadway isn’t just one individual theatre: it actually applies to 41 different professional venues based in the Theater District and Lincoln Center on Midtown Manhattan’s Broadway. Each of these theatres has at least 500 seats.

Broadway generates a huge amount of revenue, and provides many new performers with the chance to make a name for themselves in one of the most vibrant arts scenes in the world. Established actors and singers perform on Broadway too, attracted by the sense of history and tradition.

Having big stars in shows is more beneficial for its success, and the overall theatre scene. Why? Because a performer’s fans may attend the show to support the actor or singer, even if they have never visited a theatre before. Likewise, the presence of a known face can help to make a show seem more exciting and appealing to total newcomers.

Stars such as Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Jason Alexander, and Lea Michele all performed on Broadway before they achieved mainstream success. Established stars such as Al Pacino and Bruce Willis have taken to Broadway decades after becoming household names, though these two in particular came under criticism for their weak performances.

Some of the most well-known Broadway theatres include the Ambassador Theatre, August Wilson Theatre, Broadway Theatre (of course!), Circle in the Square Theatre, Hayes Theatre, Hudson Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, the Palace Theatre, and the Schubert Theatre. Each of these has been home to numerous shows over the years, varying from darker fare to more bombastic, family-friendly performances.

The 20 Best Broadway Shows

Broadway Show
Show Description
1 Phantom of the Opera Phantom of the Opera is one of those timeless stories that captivates audiences again and again.

Phantom started its Broadway run in 1988, and it continues to prove popular with theatre-goers. It has generated millions in revenue since it first hit New York City’s theatres, and has even been adapted into a big-budget movie.

Phantom of the Opera’s lyrics were penned by Richard Stilgoe and Charles Hart, while Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the iconic music. The show is based on Gaston Leroux’s Le Fantome de l’Opera, and follows the story of a soprano who encounters the so-called ‘Phantom’.

As everyone no doubt knows, the latter character is a disfigured musical master living underneath the opera house, and he forms a powerful infatuation with the soprano (Christine). The Phantom’s look is recognisable the world over, with his white mask and black cape a favourite for fancy dress and Halloween.

Phantom of the Opera received the Olivier Award for Best Musical in 1986 (after its run in the West End) and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical (for its Broadway show). This is the longest running Broadway show in history, with far beyond 10,000 performances behind it.

Phantom of the Opera’s mix of powerful songs, Gothic production design, eerie atmosphere, and romance guarantees an engrossing show. It’s often the first thing that springs to mind when people think of shows to watch on Broadway, and is as much a part of the Broadway scene as the theatres themselves.

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2 The Lion King Like Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King is a firm favourite with audiences.

This is, of course, based on the unbeatable Disney movie from 1994. The story revolves around young Simba coming to face his destiny as royalty in the aftermath of his father’s death. Iconic characters like Scar, Rafiki, Timon, and Pumba all feature, though the Broadway musical’s storyline does make some departures from the movie itself.

The show features music by Elton John, Tim Rice, Hans Zimmer, and Lebo M. It combines both actors dressed as animals and large puppets to recreate the look of the film, making for a magical effect.

The Lion King launched its Broadway run in October 1997, first appearing on the New Amsterdam Theater’s stage. It includes such well-known songs from the film as ‘Circle of Life’, ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’, ‘Hakuna Matata’, and ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’.

The Lion King has won numerous awards, including a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Outstanding Director, and Outstanding Choreography in 1998. Other wins include Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Musical, Best Scenic Design for a Musical, and Best Lighting Design of a Musical.

With its epic plot, unforgettable songs, and lovable characters, The Lion King movie was the perfect fit for a Broadway musical, and it’s no surprise audiences took a real shine to it. Its runaway success is testament to Disney’s outstanding work back in 1994.

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3 Wicked Wicked is another phenomenal Broadway show that has captured audiences’ imaginations again and again.

The show is based on the 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, titled Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. This was a retelling of the classic movie The Wizard of Oz, itself adapted from the popular L. Frank Baum novel from 1900 (titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz).

Wicked tells the tale of the Land of Oz’s witches, before and after Dorothy Gale arrives in this magical world: Elphaba is the Wicked Witch of the West and Galinda is the Good Witch. The storyline sees them at odds over a shared love interest and the Wizard of Oz’s rule.

Wicked first premiered on Broadway in October 2003, debuting at the legendary Gershwin Theatre. This original performance included Idina Menzel in the role of Elphaba, who later found worldwide success as the voice of Elsa in Frozen, while Joel Grey (known for his work in Cabaret) played the powerful Wizard himself.

This debut production of Wicked scooped three Tony Awards: Best Actress for Menzel, Best Scenic Design, and Best Costume Design. It also won six Drama Desk Awards, including Best Musical, Best Director, Best Costume Design, and Best Book.

Wicked broke records at the Gershwin Theatre, generating millions of dollars in revenue each week on a regular basis.

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4 Beauty and the Beast Beauty and the Beast is another Broadway show based on a beloved Disney movie. Like the Lion King, Beauty and the Best incorporates lavish costumes, sets, and songs that remain unforgettable.

The show features music by Alan Menken and lyrics from Tim Rice and Howard Ashman. The story is similar to the movie’s (itself based on the Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont fairy tale): a prince is transformed into the titular beast as a punishment, and he needs to find love if he is to become human again.

The Disney film is one of their most popular, telling a timeless tale of love and the power of inner-beauty, making it the ideal choice for a stage adaptation. All of the song from the animation were incorporated into the show, while six new tunes were added.

Beauty and the Beast landed on Broadway in April 1994, and became a huge success. The first Broadway show ran for thirteen years, earning more than one billion dollars, making it one of the most successful performances in Broadway’s history.

Unlike The Lion King, though, Beauty and the Beast won only one Tony Award for its original Broadway run. Ann Hould-Ward received the award for Best Costume Design, but other members of the production lost out after being nominated for Best Original Score, Best Lighting Design, and more.

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5 The Heidi Chronicles The Heidi Chronicles follows the story of the titular Heidi Holland, as she grows from a child to a leading art historian, starting from the 1960s. The show explores the changing perception of women’s place in society, touching on themes of feminism and motherhood.

The show was written by Wendy Wasserstein, and first debuted Off-Broadway in November 1988 before moving to Broadway in March 1989. It was housed at the Plymouth Theatre, and included such names as Joan Allen, David Hyde Pierce, Tony Shalhoub, and Mary McDonnell.

The original Broadway run ended in September 1990, having completed 622 shows, but it was revived in March 2015.

The Heidi Chronicles was met with critical acclaim when it was first mounted, celebrated for its comedic writing and humour. It was adapted into a television movie in 1995, starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

The show’s production team won a number of awards in 1989. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play, a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Actor in a Play, and a New York Drama Critics’ Circle for Best Play.

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6 Mamma Mia! Mammia Mia! was written by Catherine Johnson, and revolves around the hit songs of iconic pop act ABBA.

Mamma Mia! went on to be a monumental success, spawning a movie adaptation starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried. It includes such tracks as ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Super Trouper’, ‘Lay All Your Love on Me’, ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’, ‘Thank You for the Music’, ‘Money, Money, Money’, and ‘SOS’.

The original Broadway show ran a lengthy fourteen years, counting as the then-ninth longest-running production in Broadway’s history. It opened at the Winter Garden Theatre in October 2001, before moving on to the Broadhurst Threatre in 2013. By the time its original run ended in 2015, it had been performed more than 5,700 times.

Mamma Mia!’s story focuses on Sophie, a young woman on the verge of marrying her boyfriend on an island in Greece. She wants her father to walk her down the aisle, but has no idea who he actually is. She later invites three prospective fathers to the island without her mother’s knowledge, and mayhem ensues.

The original Broadway production only won one award, despite being nominated for several: a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Stage Performance.

Mamma Mia! was also performed in London’s West End, Russia, and across North America. It is one of the most successful Broadway shows, beloved by people who were already fans of ABBA as well as those with little prior knowledge of the band’s hits.

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7 Les Miserables Les Miserables is based on the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo. This sung-through musical (meaning there is no spoken dialogue, only songs) is as well-known around the world as Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and other classic shows.

Les Miserables first appeared on the stage in 1980, in Paris, before spawning West End and Broadway versions. The latter premiered in March 1987, on The Broadway Theatre’s stage. It ran at this venue until October 1990, but was transferred to the Imperial Theatre, before it closed in 2003.

A Broadway revival took place in November 2006, and again in March 2014. Like other smash-hit musicals, Les Miserables has had a big-budget movie adaptation, starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and Russell Crowe.

Les Miserables tells the story of a French peasant named Jean Valjean, who served nearly two decades in prison for stealing bread to feed his niece. He tries to make a new life for himself, despite being followed by a police inspector, all while France undergoes revolution.

Les Miserables on Broadway won many awards. Its 1987 production received a Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Scenic Design, and Best Lighting Design.

It also won Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Orchestrations, Outstanding Music, and more.

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8 Chicago Chicago is one of the biggest, most well-known stage musicals of all time – but you may be surprised to learn its original incarnation wasn’t as beloved as the show came to be.

The first Broadway version of Chicago was first performed in June 1975 on stage at the 46th Street Theatre. However, it closed just two years later and was met with unfavourable reviews.

It wasn’t until the 1996 Broadway revival that Chicago exploded. It was directed by Walter Bobbie and starred Bebe Neuwirth (known for her role as the icy Lilith in the hit TV series Frasier) as Roxie Hart, and Joel Grey as Amos Hart. This Broadway revival received great reviews in the press and was much preferred to the original version.

The Chicago revival scooped six Tony Awards (which was more than any other Broadway revival at the time), including awards for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Best Revival of a Musical, Best Leading Actor in a Musical, Best Lighting Design, Best Choreography, and Best Director of a Musical.

It was also given a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 1998.

Celebrities like Michelle Williams, Patrick Swayze, Jerry Springer, Sofia Vergara, and many others have all performed in Chicago’s Broadway revival show. It went on to be adapted into a successful movie in 2002, starring Richard Gere, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Renee Zellwegger.

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9 Cats Cats is another sung-through musical that has become absolutely iconic over the years since it was first performed.

The show is composed by the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber (another hit for him, alongside Phantom of the Opera) and is adapted from T.S. Eliot’s beautiful Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.

Cats follows the adventures of a group of cats – named the Jellicles – and features the incredible ‘Memory’. This song is now more famous than the show itself, sung by people who may have no idea from where it originates.

Cats reached the Broadway stage in 1982, after debuting in the West End the year before. It appeared at the Winter Garden Theater in October, and by June 1997 it had made history as the then longest-running Broadway musical in history, achieving more than 6,100 performances.

By the time it ended its original run in September 2000, Cats had been performed over 7,400 times on Broadway.

Cats won numerous awards for its original Broadway run. It claimed the Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Lighting Design, and Best Costume Design.

A Broadway revival of Cats premiered in July 2016, and ran until December 2017. It didn’t win any awards, and included The X Factor winner Leona Lewis as Grizabella (who replaced The X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger after she dropped out).

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10 Stick Fly Stick Fly opened on Broadway in December 2011 and ran until the end of February 2012. It is based around the wealthy African-American LeVays, a family spending a weekend at their property in the picturesque Martha’s Vineyard.

The two sons in the family, Flip and Kent, bring their girlfriends to meet their parents, but not all goes well. Racial tensions and deep family issues rise to the surface, creating a show that was received very well by critics. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Daily News both praised the show, no small achievement for any performance.

Stick Fly is classed as a comedy-drama, and features a score created by the beautiful, talented Alicia Keys (who also serves as the show’s producer). Stick Fly was performed at the Cort Theatre, and featured Mekhi Phifer in a leading role.

Stick Fly was celebrated for its comedic, engrossing approach to tackling race and ethnicity.

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11 The Producers The Producers was adapted from the hit 1967 film directed by comedy legend Mel Brooks. The show’s lyrics and music were penned by Mel Brooks, Glen Kelly, and Doug Besterman. The plot revolves around two producers in the theatre industry, who create a plan to make money by making a Broadway flop and overselling interests in it. Of course, the show actually goes on to be a huge success, and hilarity ensues.

The original Broadway show premiered in April 2001 at the St. James Theatre. It famously starred Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane, and was a massive success, running for more than 2,500 performances.

The Producers on Broadway ended up winning a staggering twelve Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Best Choreography, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Orchestrations, Best Costume Design, Best Scenic Design, and Best Lighting Design.

It also won Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical, Outstanding Lyrics, and more.

The Producers on Broadway was a record-breaker, generating more than $3 million in box-office sales.

On top of all that, The Producers on Broadway was so successful it went on to be adapted into a hit movie in 2005.

Learn more about The Producers
12 Miss Saigon Miss Saigon is based on the opera Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, and chronicles the romance between a Vietnamese woman and an American soldier during the Vietnam War.

Miss Saigon was first performed at the Theatre Royal in London in 1989, and made its Broadway debut at the Broadway Theatre in April 1991. It has gone on to become the thirteenth longest-running Broadway show and attracts huge audiences.

The original Broadway run went on until January 2001, racking up more than 4,000 performances. It was directed by Nicholas Hynter, featured design by John Napier, and was successful enough to spawn a revival in 2017.

This lasted until January 2018, and starred Eva Noblezada in the role of Kim. The entire cast was brought over from the hit West End revival, and was performed at the Broadway Theatre.

Miss Saigon was known for breaking a number of Broadway records, such as its advance sales of $24 million and earning its investors their money back within just 39 weeks of opening.

In terms of awards, Miss Saigon’s Broadway performance won the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (for well-known star of Brazil, Jonathan Pryce), Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Lea Salonga, and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical (for Hinton Battle).

The show also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical, Outstanding Orchestrations, Outstanding Lighting, and more.

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13 School of Rock School of Rock is a Broadway show based on the 2003 comedy starring Jack Black. The show’s music was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater.

The story of School of Rock centres on Dewey Finn, a rock singer who becomes a substitute teacher despite having had no experience or qualifications. He creates a band made up of fifth-graders at the high-class school at which he now works, and steers them towards success at a musical competition.

School of Rock’s Broadway premier took place at the Winter Garden Theatre in December 2015, and starred Alex Brightman. This was the first of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s shows to debut on Broadway instead of in the West End since the smash-hit production Jesus Christ Superstar.

School of Rock received positive reviews from Broadway critics, including solid praise in The Hollywood Reporter and Time Out: New York. However, despite being nominated for many different Tony Awards and Drama Desk Awards, School of Rock scooped none of them, though its West End version did manage to win a Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music.

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14 The Cripple of Inishmaan The Cripple of Inishmaan was written by famed writer Martin McDonagh, who went on to achieve cinematic success with his black comedy In Bruges, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

The Broadway show was based on the original play, which is set in Inishmaan, a community in the Aran Islands, in 1934. The people who live in said community are delighted to discover a Hollywood film is due to be shot in their home town, which will be a documentary around everyday living in the Aran Islands.

Local Billy, otherwise known as the titular ‘Cripple’, tries to get a part in the documentary, and the story runs on from there. It’s a comedy, as much of McDonagh’s work is, and the play has received a wealth of praise since it debuted in the West End.

The first performance was held in December 1996 at the Royal National Theatre, before it made its Broadway debut in 2014. This ran at the Cort Theatre, and starred Daniel Radcliffe in the lead role of Billy.

The Broadway show was performed from April to the end of July 2014.

Learn more about The Cripple of Inishmaan
15 Rent Rent is one of the most iconic stage shows ever, and follows the exploits of a circle of young artists trying to make a living in the East Village, New York. The story is set during the era of Bohemian Alphabet City, and the paranoias / fears over HIV and AIDS.

Rent made its debut at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1993, before going on to be performed Off-Broadway for some time. In April 1996, it was transferred to the Nederlander Threatre on Broadway, where it went on to be a major success.

The original Broadway run lasted for twelve years, totalling more than 5,1200 performances. It has been made into a movie and has been performed around the world.

Rent has been performed by such well-known stars as Idina Menzel and Rosario Dawson, and it helped to bring younger audiences into the theatre due to its youthful cast and subject matter.

The original Broadway run won a Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. Drama Desk Awards gave Rent awards for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, Outstanding Lyrics, Outstanding Music, and more. It also scooped the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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16 Avenue Q Avenue Q is a puppet-centric Broadway show written by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. It is a coming-of-age tale covering the approach of adulthood, all with a satirical edge.

Avenue Q is all about the way in which shows like Sesame Street set the characters up to believe they could achieve anything, and how they must ultimately come to face reality when they enter their adult years.

It was performed Off-Broadway first, beginning in March 2003, before going on to the John Golden Theatre in July 2003. It ran until September 2009 after more than a remarkable 2,500 shows and over $117 million in revenue.

Avenue Q was met with positive reviews from critics and audiences alike, and was nominated for numerous awards. Though it failed to win any of its potential Drama Desk Awards, it instead scooped Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book of a Musical.

Learn more about Avenue Q
17 Jersey Boys Jersey Boys was first performed in 2005, and focuses on the story of The Four Seasons. It takes a documentary-esque approach to the material, covering the band’s formation, their huge success, and their ultimate separation.

The plot is split into four different parts (or ‘seasons’, tying in with the band’s name), each narrated by a specific member of the group. As a jukebox musical, Jersey Boys includes many of the band’s songs, such as ‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, ‘Rag Doll’, and more.

Jersey Boys opened on Broadway in November 2005, staged in the August Wilson Theatre. It was directed by Des McAnuff, and starred John Lloyd Young as leading man Frankie Valli.

Jersey Boys’ original Broadway run lasted until January 2017, by which point it had been performed more than 4,600 times. It went on to be staged across the States and in the West End.

The show’s Broadway production won a Tony Award for Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, and Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. It won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Sound Design, Outstanding Actor in a Musical, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.

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18 Hairspray Hairspray is based on the 1988 film by John Waters, and includes songs in a 1960s fashion, incorporating blues and dance elements. The story focuses on race, body issues, and the changing perception of African-Americans on television.

Tracy Turnblad is an overweight teenage girl who wants to appear on the Buddy Deane Show, and eventually gets her dream, which turns her into a celebrity. She ends up becoming involved with a battle to get fairer representation for African-Americans on the show, and challenges her own (and her equally overweight mother’s) self-image problems.

Hairspray debuted on Broadway in August 2002, at the Neil Simon Theatre. It ran until January 2009, when it ended after more than 2,600 performances. It won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Direction of a Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical, and more.

Hairspray went on to be a massive hit and spawned a film adaptation, starring John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Brittany Snow, James Marsden, and many more known faces.

Learn more about Hairspray
19 Mary Poppins Everyone’s heard of Mary Poppins, whether the film or the books it’s based upon. The Broadway musical combines aspects of both, and made its debut in November 2006, at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

The show had previously achieved success in the West End, and some members of the cast returned for the Broadway version. It received a lot of positive press, and ran on Broadway until March 2013. In its six years on stage, Mary Poppins had been performed more than 2,600 times.

Though Mary Poppins was nominated for a number of Tony Awards, it won only one: Best Scenic Design. It fared better in the Drama Desk Awards, scooping the award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and Outstanding Set Design.

The original production included a stellar team, including such seasoned hands as Sir Richard Eyre (director) and Bob Crowley (designer). Certain changes were made for the Broadway version, including brighter production design in certain scenes and a new song.

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20 Monty Python’s Spamalot Monty Python’s Spamalot is based on the classic comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It follows the misadventures of a group of knights on the hunt for the Holy Grail, parodying the traditional Arthurian legend.

The show hit Broadway in 2005 (thirty years after the film was released) and managed to achieve big success, including winning numerous awards. Monty Python’s Spamalot first appeared at New York’s Shubert Theatre, directed by Mike Nochols.

The production ran for just under four years, ending in January 2009 after more than 1,500 performances. Over two million people are known to have watched Spamalot during its original Broadway run.

Such notable actors as Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce, and Hank Azaria appeared in the Broadway show. It won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, and Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. It scooped Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lyrics, and Outstanding Costume Design.

Learn more about Monty Python’s Spamalot


Broadway: Why is it So Popular and Enduring?

The Allure of History and Cultural Value

There really is something magical about the sense of history and artistic endeavour on Broadway, bringing millions of people from all over the world to soak it up.

Broadway is a long, wide street running the entire length of Manhattan, starting at Bowling Green’s southernmost point all the way into the Bronx. This is actually the oldest street in the Big Apple (running from north to south, at least), and was in place before New York City became a thriving settlement.

Broadway is also referred to the Theater District and The Great White Way, as it was one of the first of the United States’ streets to be equipped with electrical illumination. This continues to give the area its own special charm, as countless bulbs in billboards and marquees create a stunning glow.

Anyone would be hard pressed to walk through Broadway and feel anything other than mesmerised at the sheer amount of light and energy.

So many creative men and women have contributed to Broadway over the decades, crafting shows and musicals that capture audiences’ imaginations so well they keep coming back for years. There’s something for every taste and lifestyle on Broadway too, from the magic-based fun of Wicked and the family-friendly charm of The Lion King to the darker fare of Rent.

Broadway’s shows also reveal different aspects of the human experience, representing diverse races and cultures in funny, serious, and inspiring ways. Audiences can gain an insight into the lives of others they may not get anywhere else, all while surrounded by some of the oldest, most beloved theatres in the United States.

What Makes a Broadway Show a Success?

Multiple different elements contribute to a successful Broadway show.

A strong score / songs that really connect with audiences is one of the most important aspects of the best Broadway shows in NYC. A song like ‘Memory’ from Cats or ‘Circle of Life’ from The Lion King can evoke powerful emotional reactions in people, and move them to tears. This alone can give any Broadway show a real edge.

The story itself is vital too. Narratives that feature likeable characters, a coherent structure, impressive dialogue between actors, and resonant themes can all help to make a Broadway show a hit.

Of course, the actors on stage matter as well. While many of the best Broadway shows feature unknown performers and achieve huge success, having household names headlining them can draw big audiences in. This ensures ‘new blood’ discovers the joys of the theatre and increases the chances of them developing a lifelong affinity for shows, helping to safeguard the future of Broadway.

Broadway shows can obviously go on to run for years and years, bringing people into New York City purely to experience them. Others – such as Hairspray, Rent, Chicago, and more – are so successful they spawn big-screen adaptations, which only feed back into the show by inspiring them to watch the original material.

Fans of Broadway shows can rest assured that it will always remain a key part of New York City’s cultural identity, and keep producing exciting new work that benefits the entire theatre industry.