Audiences have been voting in their thousands across the month of April to find the top musicals of all time – and the results are now in!
We run down the top 20 below, with the subsequent 80 listed at the bottom. Where did your fave end up?
In terms of figures, leading the way with the highest number of musicals appearing is Stephen Sondheim on nine as composer and lyricist and a further two as lyricist. Andrew Lloyd Webber follows one behind on eight, including second place The Phantom of the Opera.
Of course to caveat – the list is, invariably, affected by the current zeitgeist – if a show has been in the news, or recently revived, no doubt it’s at the forefront of audience minds. But that doesn’t mean the list doesn’t make for compelling reading…
20. The Rocky Horror Show
It’s celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, so it’s lovely to see this cult classic sci-fi odyssey show make the top 20.
19. Guys and Dolls
A major revival at the Bridge has catapulted this one back into the mainstream – where it wholeheartedly deserves to be.
18. Dear Evan Hansen
Having wrapped up a fan-fave season in the West End, not even a slightly iffy film could dampen the love for this new musical, charting for the very first time.
17. Into the Woods
Major revivals on both sides of the Atlantic have shot this Sondheim / Lapine show right into the top 20 (previously charting at 37) – with some of Sondheim’s greatest tunes also involved.
16. The Sound of Music
Rodgers and Hammerstein are a frequent presence on this list, and their highest charting show is The Sound of Music – due to be revived this summer in Chichester. In fact – it’s leapt up from 33 in 2014!
15. Starlight Express
Another ALW musical charting in the top 20, this roller-skating mania of a show hasn’t been seen on UK shores for a while, but is still breaking records over in Germany. Can it come back here soon please?
14. Miss Saigon
Their other musical is probably better known, but there’s a lot of love for Schönberg and Boublil’s Miss Saigon – which is due to be revived later this year. It has dropped out of the top ten since 2014, but still holds firm.
A first time appearance for the Marlow and Moss musical which has become a global sensation since it first opened, playing to sell-out crowds in the West End, on Broadway and on multiple tours. We’re sure it’ll climb even higher as time goes by!
Another show surging up the rankings is Company – which was at number 20 in 2014. One reason must be the death of the musical legend Stephen Sondheim, as well as the hugely popular reimagining that opened in the West End half a decade ago, before becoming a major hit on Broadway.
11. Sweeney Todd
Dropping one place (and, notably, out of the top ten!), the bloodthirsty Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd has landed at number 11 this time around.
10. Jesus Christ Superstar
Inching up three places to tenth place is Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s classic, which is touring from later this year. Since 2014 it’s had an iconoclastic and critically lauded production at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, showing how timeless it can be.
9. Come From Away
One of the highest ranking new musicals since 2014, Come From Away amassed a passionate group of fans during its West End and Broadway runs – pushing it into the top ten! Bring on that tour…
Leaping up 11 places from 2014, we’d have to imagine the mutli-award-winning new revival at the Kit Kat Club has renewed excitement in this classic show after its major series of wins.
Rent has clawed up by two positions from 2014, with a series of well-received productions keeping this show at the top of many theatre punters’ lists!
6. Blood Brothers
Another show dropping one place from 2014, Blood Brothers has come in at sixth. A theatre favourite that continues to tour to great success, it’s surely one of the greatest UK musicals to ever exist.
5. West Side Story
Dropping one place from 2014, West Side Story has been massively popular and its presence has no doubt been augmented by the hugely loved new film – featuring an Oscar-winning turn from Ariana DeBose.
Click boom! A new entry, Hamilton has stormed its way to fourth place as it continues to wow both on Broadway and in the West End. Who knows, this revolutionary show may inch even higher next time around… especially with a major tour kicking off later this year.
It’s got a major movie on the way and shows no sign of slowing down in the West End and on Broadway (and a new tour is coming soon!) so Wicked continues to sit in the top three finishers.
2. The Phantom of the Opera
It’s just wrapped up its mammoth Broadway season but continues in the West End to much audience acclaim, so The Phantom of the Opera‘s status this high was never really in doubt. But it couldn’t make it to the top…
1. Les Misérables
Yes, it was number one in 2014, and yes, it’s number one once more! Boublil and Schoenburg’s musical has maintained its lead as the nation’s favourite musical. It continues to wow at the Sondheim Theatre.
See the list from 21 to 100 below
100. Pippin, 99. Sweet Charity, 98. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, 97. Top Hat, 96. From Here to Eternity, 95. Priscilla Queen of the Desert, 94. The Scottsboro Boys, 93. Disney’s Aladdin, 92. The Color Purple, 91. Parade
90. The Music Man, 89. Half a Sixpence, 88. Bonnie and Clyde, 87. Next to Normal, 86 Falsettos, 85. Frozen, 84. A Little Night Music, 83. Barnum, 82. Back to the Future the Musical, 81. Assassins
80. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, 79. Dreamgirls, 78. Crazy for You, 77. La Cage aux Folles, 76. Singin’ in the Rain, 75. Hedwig and the Angry Inch, 74. Oliver!, 73. Avenue Q, 72. We Will Rock You, 71. Fun Home
70. A Chorus Line, 69. Hair, 68. Sister Act, 67. The Producers, 66. & Juliet, 65. Annie, 64. Moulin Rouge! The Musical, 63. Sunday in the Park with George, 62. Billy Elliot, 61. Once
60. My Fair Lady, 59. Aspects of Love, 58. Ragtime, 57. Sunset Boulevard, 56. Groundhog Day, 55. Legally Blonde. 54. Merrily We Roll Along, 53. South Pacific, 52. Fiddler on the Roof, 51. Grease
50. Carousel, 49. 42nd Street, 48. Chess, 47. Anything Goes, 46. The King and I, 45. Hello, Dolly!, 44. The Last Five Years, 43. Gypsy, 42. Mary Poppins, 41. Bat Out of Hell
40. Follies, 39. Chicago, 38. Evita, 37. Cats, 36. Matilda the Musical, 35. In the Heights, 34. Oklahoma!, 33. The Book of Mormon, 32. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 31. Hairspray
30. Kinky Boots, 29. Spring Awakening, 28. Hadestown, 27. The Lion King, 26. Little Shop of Horrors, 25. Mamma Mia!, 24. Newsies, 23. Waitress, 22. Jersey Boys, 21. Heathers the Musical