The world of theater has captivated audiences for generations, and there have been some truly incredible shows that have earned their place in history. Here are ten of the greatest theater performances of all time:
Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical performance about the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton had a cultural impact that can't be understated. It tells the story of the founding father who was involved in many key moments in the creation of America. The musical focuses on Hamilton's life, from his early days as an orphan to his death at the end of the war. The musical is set to hip-hop music and incorporates rap into many different scenes throughout the play.
The Phantom of the Opera (1986)
Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera is an award-winning musical that tells the story of a young singer named Christine who finds herself falling in love with a mysterious man who lives beneath the opera house where she works. The Phantom becomes obsessed with Christine, and he uses his power over the opera house to manipulate her into staying with him.
Fiddler on the Roof (1964)
The musical is based on Tevye and his family in 1905 Russia, as they struggle to maintain their Jewish traditions while living under a government that is trying to separate them from their religious heritage. The book was written by Joseph Stein and the music was composed by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, who won the 1964 Tony Award for Best Original Score.
Cabaret is set in Berlin during the Nazi era, with the story of an American performer who goes to Germany in 1938 to perform at a club frequented by exiles from all over Europe. The musical's score blends pop songs and traditional German folk music with jazz standards. The music and lyrics were written by John Kander and Fred Ebb, and is based on novel by Joel Schumacher.
Les Misérables (1980)
This adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel is set during the French Revolution and explores themes of sacrifice, redemption, justice, and faith through powerful singing performances from its actors. The musical was written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, who together also wrote Miss Saigon, another popular musical.
Miss Saigon (1991)
Based on Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon a tragic story about a young girl who falls in love with an American soldier, only to be abandoned when his tour of duty ends. Written by written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil.
A Chorus Line (1975)
A Chorus Line, an award-winning Broadway show, is a musical that follows a group of dancers auditioning for an Off-Broadway show called "Totaleffekt." The show was written by Michael Bennett, who also directed the original 1975 production. It is still one of the longest-running Broadway shows in history.
Based on The Wizard of Oz, Wicked is a story of two unlikely friends Elphaba the wicked witch of the west, and Galinda, the good witch. Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Cats written by Andrew Lloyd Webber follows the adventures of various cats as they navigate life in their community. The musical incorporates influences from jazz, pop, rock and classical music. The story of Cats is based on T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, which was published in 1939.
Rent is an American rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, and book by Julian Fellowes. Set in New York City's Lower East Side, it tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create within the AIDS pandemic. The show, which is based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème, features several same-sex relationships and contains many implicit references to homosexuality.
Set in early 1900s Oklahoma, this Rodgers & Hammerstein classic tells a story of farmers, cowboys, love, jealousy, and determination amidst changing times. It is considered to be the musical that changed musicals because it was the first that integrated the story and the music.