If you’re a fan of classic Broadway musicals, you know that there were a number of iconic shows that got their start during this time period. There were many legendary composers and lyricists who got their start during the classic era.
Between the 1920s and 1950s, it is hard to pick out an absolute favorite of all the treasures that were written during that time period.
Below are three classic Broadway musicals that we feel stand out amongst the rest.
Guys and Dolls
With a book written by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, and the music and lyrics written by Frank Loesser, this classic musical shines with a great opposites-attract love story and some of the most famous showtunes in history.
The musical follows two love stories, one between a gambler and an evangelist and other between a gambler and a nightclub dancer. With songs like, “Luck Be a Lady,” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” the musical is endlessly entertaining.
The musical inspired a film adaptation starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra.
West Side Story
West Side Story is a musical retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story. A young love is tragically cut short because of the rivalry between two gangs.
The musical had music written by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Arthur Laurents wrote the book. The show was a success, getting nominated for six Tony Awards.
Even today, people are still swept up with songs like “Maria,” “Tonight,” and “I Feel Pretty.” It has become a staple in musical theater because of its impactful love story and sublime music.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are responsible for some of the most recognizable musicals in the classic Broadway era. Many say their best effort was South Pacific.
The musical is an adaptation of James Michener’s book, “Tales of the South Pacific.” The musical tackles important issues, like race.
South Pacific follows two couples as they deal with love, and the impact racism has on their relationships.
Featuring classic songs like, “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame,” “Some Enchanted Evening,” and “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair,” this musical captures the hearts of anyone who listens.
And Many More
The above musicals are just three of many Broadway musicals written during this time period that could make a case to be on this list.
The lasting impact of these musicals can be seen in our world today. It’s classics like this that remind us why Broadway is still important in today’s world.