Top Musicals of the Decade


Photo By: Playbill

Hamilton is a musical with music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda. It is inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by historian Ron Chernow.

1. Hamilton: The musical swept the nation in 2016 and quickly got kids and adults interested in the history of America. The musical bridged many types of music with its fast-paced raps, slow ballads and R&B style. It quickly became one of the most iconic musicals of all time, winning countless Tony Awards and its immense cultural impact gained the creators a Kennedy Center Honors Award. Hamilton became an overnight sensation and has created a lasting impact on America’s youth, making it the number one musical of the decade. 

2. Anastasia: The 2017 Broadway musical loosely based on the 1997 film of the same name follows the story of an orphan, Anya, who finds herself to be the long lost Romanoff daughter. The musical exploits the nostalgia of many young adults and children who grew up watching the movie Anastasia, featuring a beautiful soundtrack and overall design, borrowing many of the designs and songs of the animated film. The show was nominated for numerous Tony Awards but seemed to be overshadowed by the hit show, Dear Evan Hansen. The intricate set and costume designs as well as the outstanding score and heart-wrenching storyline place the musical in the number two spot. 

3. Newsies: Perhaps one of the most iconic musicals of the decade, Newsies, made its Broadway debut in 2012 and was later recorded and distributed by Disney. The musical was made available to millions of viewers while it was on Netflix and because of this, fans were able to not only hear the music but see the play without paying large amounts of money.  The show itself won two Tony Awards and jump-started the careers of many young actors. The massive accessibility and success of the musical has landed the musical the number three spot. 

4. Dear Evan Hansen: The hit musical following the story of suicidal teenager Evan Hansen and the fabricated relationship between Evan and Connor hit Broadway in 2017. The show covers very important topics, such as suicide, depression and social anxiety and seemed to be an instant success on Broadway. It won six Tony Awards and a Grammy Award in its opening year. The show had a large impact on the youth of America and helped to cultivate conversations about mental health. The musical also includes a beautiful soundtrack and storyline, placing the musical at number four on our list. 

5. Fun Home: The musical follows the story of a young woman, Alison, on her journey and discovery of herself. It is based around the true story of a graphic novelist by the same name and follows a reminiscent format as she illustrates and captions her life. The show began its Broadway run in 2015 and won five Tony Awards. The heart-wrenching story and beautiful message placed Fun Home in the upper half of the list. 

6. Book of Mormon: The musical comedy, Book of Mormon, debuted in 2011 and became a hit almost instantly, winning nine Tony Awards. The musical’s satirical take on the Mormon Church, or as they prefer to be called, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, received great reviews and has managed to stay relevant even with new break-out musicals, like Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen. The relevancy and awards land Book of Mormon at number six. 

7. Come From Away: Come From Away made its Broadway debut in 2017 and focuses on the events following the attacks on September 11, 2001, when 38 planes were redirected to a small town in  Newfoundland. The musical won only one Tony Award but holds merits of its own. The soundtrack accurately portrays the terror and confusion felt by both the townsfolk and passengers as they are redirected to Newfoundland. The musical comes in at number seven, because of its integration of different cultures and the portrayal of such a major event from a new perspective.   

8. Matilda: Matilda the Musical opened on Broadway in 2013 and follows the story of a young child, Matilda, who has the power of Telekinesis, originally a book by Roald Dahl and then a movie of the same name. The musical includes a soundtrack almost as long as Hamilton’s and won five Tony Awards and set the record for the most Oliver Awards won by a musical. Much like Anastasia, the musical brings back fond memories in a new way, landing Matilda at number eight. 

9. Beetlejuice: The musical, Beetlejuice, was just recently adopted from the 1988 Tim Burton film of the same name and has had many mixed reviews since its opening on Broadway. The musical has been greatly anticipated and for many die-hard Beetlejuice and musical fans, it was welcomed with open arms. The show was nominated for many Tony Awards and created a ripple within the musical scene. Though the show has been a massive hit, much of the score leaves the audience longing for something more with Sophia Caruso singing nearly every redeeming song of the musical, thus it is rather low on the list.  

10. Waitress: The hit 2016 musical, Waitress, adapted from the 2007 movie of the same name, follows the story of Jenna, a young waitress in an abusive relationship who finds solace in baking. The musical was nominated for multiple Tony Awards but did not win any. The story-line is truly heart-breaking and the soundtrack holds many merits of its own. The show received mixed reviews from critics, landing it the last spot on our list.