Long-running musical theatre productions

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This is a selected list of the longest-running musical theatre productions in history divided into two sections. The first section lists all Broadway and West End productions of musicals that have exceeded 2,500 performances, in order of greatest number of performances in either market. The second section lists, in alphabetical order, musicals that have broken historical long run records for musical theatre on Broadway, in the West End or Off-Broadway, since 1866, in alphabetical order.

Legend:
m = music, l = lyrics, b = book
(Noteworthy trivia appear in parentheses)
(5,678) = number of performances (in original Broadway production if not specified)
> denotes shows that are still in production. The number of Broadway performances is updated per Playbill.com as of August 2014. The number of West End performances is updated sporadically as information becomes available.
"Tony Award winner" denotes winner of Tony for Best Musical
"Olivier Award winner" denotes winner of award for Best New Musical

Longest-running musicals on Broadway and the West End[edit]

The following is a list of musical theatre productions that have exceeded 2,500 performances in Broadway or West End theatres.

  1. Les Misérables, 1985 London, 1987 Broadway, m Claude-Michel Schönberg, lb Alain Boublil (English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer) (>11,900 in London (the longest-running West End musical in history); 6,680 on Broadway) (1987 Tony Award winner; nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won eight)
  2. The Phantom of the Opera, 1986 London, 1988 Broadway m Andrew Lloyd Webber, l Charles Hart, b Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe (>11,600 in London; >11,000 on Broadway) (the longest-running musical in Broadway history since surpassing Cats; 1988 Tony Award winner)[1]
  3. Blood Brothers, 1983 London, 1993 Broadway, mlb Willy Russell (10,013 in London, 1988 revival; 839 on Broadway) (1983 Olivier Award winner; longest musical revival in history)
  4. Cats, 1981 London, 1982 Broadway, m Andrew Lloyd Webber, l T. S. Eliot, b Lloyd Webber and Trevor Nunn ("Memory") (8,949 in London; 7,485 on Broadway) (1983 Tony Award winner)
  5. Chicago, (1996 Revival), m John Kander, l Fred Ebb, b Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb (>7,407 on Broadway; 6,187 in London) (longest-running American musical in both West End and Broadway history, surpassing A Chorus Line in 2011, and the longest-running revival in Broadway history)
  6. Starlight Express, 1984 London, 1987 Broadway, 1988 Bochum, Germany, m Andrew Lloyd Webber, l Richard Stilgoe (with later revisions by Don Black and David Yazbek; through composed; staged with the cast entirely on skates) (7,406 in London; >9,777 in Germany[2])
  7. The Lion King, 1997 Broadway, 1999 London, m Elton John, l Tim Rice, b Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi (>7,000 on Broadway; >6,200 in London) (1998 Tony Award winner)
  8. Black and White Minstrels, 1960, mlb George Mitchell (musician) (this minstrel show (a revue) was in The Guinness Book of Records as the stage show seen by the largest number of people and had international fame) (6,477 in London, the longest-running work of musical theatre (other than The Fantasticks), until beaten by Les Misérables)
  9. Mamma Mia!, 1999 London, 2001 Broadway, ml Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, b Catherine Johnson (>6,400 in London; >5,300 on Broadway)
  10. A Chorus Line, 1975 Broadway, 1976 London, m Marvin Hamlisch, l Edward Kleban, b James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante (6,137, the longest-running Broadway musical in history, until beaten by Cats) (1976 Tony Award winner)
  11. Oh! Calcutta!, 1969 Broadway, 1970 London, m Peter Schickele (aka “PDQ Bach”), Robert Dennis and Stanley Walden, lb various (1976 Broadway revival, 5,959; 2,305 in London's 1969 production) (nude revue)
  12. Beauty and the Beast, 1994 Broadway, 1997 London, m Alan Menken, l Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, b Linda Woolverton (5,461) (1998 Olivier Award winner)
  13. Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, 1995, ml Buddy Holly, b Alan Janes (5,140 in London)
  14. Rent, 1996 Broadway, 1998 London, mlb Jonathan Larson (5,123 on Broadway) (Pulitzer Prize Winner, 1996 Tony Award winner)
  15. We Will Rock You, 2002, m Queen, lb Ben Elton and Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor (4,659 in London)
  16. Wicked, 2003 Broadway, 2005 London, ml Stephen Schwartz, b Winnie Holzman (>4,500 on Broadway; >3,300 in London)
  17. Miss Saigon, 1989 London, 1991 Broadway, (An adaptation of Puccini's Madame Butterfly), m Claude-Michel Schönberg, l Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr.,b Alain Boublil (4,264 in London; 4,092 on Broadway)
  18. Billy Elliot the Musical, 2005 London, 2008 Broadway, m Elton John, lb Lee Hall (>3,900 in London; 1,304 on Broadway) (2006 Olivier Award winner; 2009 Tony Award winner, won 10 of 15 Tony nominations)
  19. Jersey Boys, 2005 Broadway, 2008 London, m Bob Gaudio, l Bob Crewe, b Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (>3,600 on Broadway; >1,900 in London) (2005 Tony Award winner; 2008 Olivier Award winner)
  20. 42nd Street, 1980 Broadway, 1984 London, m Harry Warren, l Al Dubin, b Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble (3,486; 1,824 in London) (1981 Tony Award winner; 1984 Olivier Award winner)
  21. Grease, 1972 Broadway, 1973 London, mlb Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey (3,388, the longest-running Broadway musical in history, until beaten by A Chorus Line; 2,529 in London)
  22. Jesus Christ Superstar, 1971 Broadway, 1972 London, m Andrew Lloyd Webber, lb Tim Rice (3,357 in London; 720 on Broadway) (seminal rock opera and briefly the longest-running musical in history (not counting Black and White Minstrels or The Fantasticks), until beaten by Grease)
  23. Me and My Girl (1985 revival), (3,303 in London; 1,420 on Broadway), m Noel Gay, lb Douglas Furber and L. Arthur Rose (originally ran 1,646 performances in 1937, which was unusual at the time) (1985 Olivier Award winner) (In 1937, with World War II impending, The Times famously used its hit song in a headline: "While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances - to 'The Lambeth Walk'.")
  24. Fiddler on the Roof, 1964 Broadway, 1967 London, m Jerry Bock, l Sheldon Harnick, b Joseph Stein ("If I Were a Rich Man") (3,242, the longest-running Broadway musical in history, until beaten by Grease; 2,030 in London) (1965 Tony Award winner)
  25. The Rocky Horror Show, 1973 London, 1975 Broadway, mlb Richard O'Brien (2,958 in London)
  26. Evita, 1978 London, 1979 Broadway, m Andrew Lloyd Webber, l Tim Rice (combined innovative styles of music and was the last collaboration between Lloyd Webber and Rice on a musical) (2,900 in London; 1,567 on Broadway) (1978 Olivier Award winner; 1980 Tony Award winner)
  27. Hello, Dolly!, 1964 Broadway, 1965 London, ml Jerry Herman, b Michael Stewart (2,844, the second longest-running Broadway musical in history until Grease pushed it down a rank) (1964 Tony Award winner; won 10 Tonys)
  28. My Fair Lady, 1956 Broadway, 1958 London, m Frederick Loewe, lb Alan Jay Lerner ("I Could Have Danced All Night," "On the Street Where You Live") (2,717, the longest-running musical in history, until beaten by The Fantasticks off-Broadway and Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway; 2,281 in London, the second-longest-running musical in West End history, after Salad Days, when it closed) (1957 Tony Award winner)
  29. Hairspray, 2002 Broadway, 2007 London, m Marc Shaiman, l Shaiman and Scott Wittman, b Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan (2,642 on Broadway) (2003 Tony Award Winner, nominated for 13, won eight) (2008 Olivier Award Winner, nominated for 11, won 4)
  30. Mary Poppins, 2004 London, 2006 Broadway, ml Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, b Julian Fellowes (2,619 on Broadway, 1,300 in London)
  31. Oliver!, 1960 London, 1963 Broadway, mlb Lionel Bart (2,618 in London, longest-running West End musical in history at the time of closing; 774 on Broadway)
  32. Avenue Q, 2003 Broadway, 2006 London, ml Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, b Jeff Whitty (2,534) (2004 Tony Award winner)
  33. The Producers, 2001 Broadway, 2004 London, ml Mel Brooks, b Brooks and Thomas Meehan (2,502) (2001 Tony Award winner; won a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards)

Other historic long runs[edit]

The following is an annotated alphabetical list of other musicals that have set records for long runs.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ DiLella, Frank. "Phantom Celebrates Its Silver Anniversary On Broadway", NY1, January 27, 2013
  2. ^ Thöne, Martina. "25 Jahre Starlight Express: Musicalerfolg tief im Westen", WZ Newsline, 11 June 2013

References[edit]

External links[edit]