What is your favorite way to watch a movie?
While music plays a big role in a film, the theater was made for music to burst onto the semi-lit stage. And it just so happens that some of the best musicals of all time are ones that you should watch from the comfort of your couch.
You won’t want to miss these musicals, which include everything from cinema classics to modern hits.
My Fair Lady (1956)
My Fair Lady is one of the most popular musicals of all time. Written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, the musical originally opened on Broadway in 1956. Drawing inspiration from George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion, the musical tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a poor flower seller whose transformation into a refined society woman is due to the teachings of the phonetician Henry Higgins.
The musical features memorable songs, including “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “The Rain in Spain,” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.” These memorable songs, combined with the charming characters, witty dialogue, and enthralling story, make My Fair Lady 1956 one of the most popular musicals of all time.
The Sound of Music (1959)
The Sound of Music, 1959, is recognized as one of the best musicals of all time, and it is easy to see why. It truly stands the test of time, as it continues to delight audiences, both young and old. It follows the story of a young nun, Maria, who is sent to serve as governess to seven children.
Along the way, she teaches them to sing and bonds with them as a family. Featuring amazing musical numbers such as the iconic “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things,” and “Climb Every Mountain,” The Sound of Music helped define the genre of musicals and remains one of the most beloved movies of all time.
Jesus Christ Superstar (1971)
Jesus Christ Superstar 1971 was a groundbreaking musical that revolutionized the genre. The musical starred actors Ted Neeley, Yvonne Elliman, and Carl Anderson and was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.
The musical told the story of the last week of the life of Jesus Christ as his followers started to doubt him and ask for more from him. The musical was one of the most acclaimed musicals of all time and helped to redefine the genre.
The 1975 musical, Chicago, is widely praised as one of the best musicals of all time. With a score composed by John Kander and Fred Ebb and starring the likes of Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon, the show captivates audiences with its beloved classic songs and storylines.
Set in Prohibition Era Chicago, the musical follows two women as they navigate the city’s justice system. The story is timely, given the strong discontentment with the criminal justice system even today. The musical delivers Frank D. Gilroy’s Tony award-winning message of legal injustice yet remains as light-hearted and upbeat as ever.
Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979)
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979) remains one of the most iconic musicals of all time. Starring Angela Lansbury and director Hal Prince, this character-driven tale of Sweeney’s revenge on Judge Turpin is full of strong performances, catchy songs, and a richly dark atmosphere.
The musical features great performances from Lansbury and Knight as the heroine and villain, respectively, as well as memorable songs like the hauntingly beautiful ” Not While I’m Around,” the brash ” A Little Priest,” and the now-iconic “The Worst Pies in London.”
Les Miserables (1985)
Strong Les Misérables 1985 is considered one of the best musicals of all time, and rightfully so. It tells the story of poverty, social injustice, mercy, and justice in 19th-century France and how it affects the lives of Jean Valjean, a former convict, and Javert, the police inspector who pursues him.
The music is beautiful and emotionally charged, with powerful numbers like “I Dreamed a Dream.” The lyrics and melodies perfectly capture the wide gamut of emotions present in the story. The setting is evocative, the characters are complex and full of depth, and the story is both tragic and hopeful.
Phantom of the Opera (1986)
The musical “Phantom of the Opera” (1986) is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicals of all time. Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the production has been seen by millions of audiences around the world and stands as the longest-running show in the history of Broadway.
It tells the story of a disfigured musical genius who haunts the Paris Opera House, leading the life of a recluse, and his unrequited love for a beautiful soprano student. The emotional and extraordinary score by Webber, along with incredible production design and direction, have made this one of the most memorable pieces of musical theatre history.
Rent, released in 1996, is considered one of the best musicals of all time. The show follows a group of struggling artists as they battle poverty, addiction, and AIDS. This gritty yet hopeful story speaks to those who have experienced struggle and stands as a timeless symbol of resilience and strength.
It follows the struggles of the impoverished New York City bohemian youth in the late 1980s as they strive to embrace life, love, and art amidst the tumultuous social and economic climate. The innovative score, including powerful songs such as “Seasons of Love” and “La Vie Boheme” establishes the character’s emotional journey and captivates audiences.
The musical Hamilton is a groundbreaking modern classic. It tells the story of the founding father, Alexander Hamilton in a unique and enjoyable manner, blending hip-hop, rap, and traditional musical theater. Since its premiere in 2015, Hamilton has been widely hailed as one of the greatest musicals of all time.
Hamilton is a breath of fresh air in the usually traditional world of musical theater, and with its strong messages and empowering tone, it feels more relevant than ever. It’s no wonder why Hamilton is hailed as one of the best musicals of all time.
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Discover the Best Musicals of All Times
Overall, the best musicals of all time are timeless, spanning multiple genres and decades. These musicals provide captivating soundtracks, spectacular dance numbers, and memorable stories. From the classic “West Side Story” to the extraordinary “Hamilton,” there’s something to enjoy for everyone.
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