5 Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever

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Broadway marqueesSome facts and news about Broadway musicals…

5 Most Popular Broadway Musicals Ever
According to Ranker.com, here are the top 5 most popular (longest-running) Broadway musicals ever:

  1. The Phantom of the Opera
  2. Cats
  3. Les Misérables
  4. A Chorus Line
  5. Oh! Calcutta

For the full list, click here

Quiz: Which Came First? Rank the top five Broadway musicals above in the order they premiered, either in NYC or London (answers below).

New Book Published.  Anything Goes” is a new book by Ethan Mordden that provides an overview of Broadway musicals, from Gilbert and Sullivan and Rodgers and Hammerstein to Andrew Lloyd Webber. This 346-page book received an enthusiastic review by Peter Tonguette in the Wall Street Journal (Sept. 14-15, 2013)
A few excerpts from the published review:

“…vivid and entertaining, as Mr. Mordden attempts to take stock of American musical theatre in all its varieties.”

“….modern American musical theater [is], at times, a bastion of traditional values, often with a patriotic bent.”

“…an exhaustive discography [closes] the book, offering viewing and listening opportunities…”

Broadway has a British Accent. Interestingly, four of the longest-running Broadway musicals opened first in London – not Broadway. Only A Chorus Line opened on Broadway, back in 1975. Its London opening came a year later. We recall attending a Les Misérables production in London in 1986, a year into its run. Our unfamiliarity with the plot and a terrible vantage point in the highest balcony rendered the music and action indecipherable. Seeing a captivating, abridged production at a local high school last year rekindled our appreciation for the amazing music and powerful story. This time we read the synopsis first!

Quiz Answers to “Which Came First?” (above)Black Crook

  1. Oh! Calcutta! (London 1970, Broadway 1976)
  2. A Chorus Line (Broadway 1975, London 1976)
  3. Cats (London 1981, Broadway 1982)
  4. Les Misérables (London 1985, Broadway 1987)
  5. Phantom of the Opera (London 1986, Broadway 1988)

How Old is the American Musical? According to Wikipedia, the first theatre piece conforming to the modern conception of a musical, adding dance and original music to help tell the story, is The Black Crook, which premiered in New York in 1866. The villain is a master of black magic. Despite the production’s overwhelming length – five-and-a-half hours – it ran for a record-breaking 474 performances.

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