Probably the pinnacle of any aspiring singer’s career is to star in a musical on Broadway. What with the lights, sequins and jam-packed audiences, what is there not to love? And, a role on Broadway can set a young thespian on the road to career success.
There have been many hits to have graced the stages of this revered road in New York City, with many of them spanning to be the inspiration of motion pictures. In this article, we’ll look at some of the greatest hits to ever have graced Broadway.
1. Phantom Of The Opera
Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running musical in Broadway history, after having overtaken Cats in 2006. It started its run in 1998 and is still running today.
Grossing $770 million, the musical was made famous by Sarah Brightman who played the role of Christine Daaé.
2. The Lion King
Next on CNBC’s list is the Lion King, which has grossed $699.1 million since the start of its run in 1997. This endearing story of the young lion prince, which is based on Disney’s 1994 motion picture of the same name, won six Tony Awards in 1998.
Wicked tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and the Glinda the Good Witch before Dorothy arrived in Oz. It started its run in 2003 and, to date, has grossed $467.6 million.
It is loosely based on Gregory Maguire’s book which is entitled Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.
4. Beauty and the Beast
This musical is touted as the first, which was based on a Disney film, that arrived on Broadway. Beauty and the Beast ran from 1994 – 2007 and grossed $429.2 million.
Terrence Mann (who played The Beast) and Susan Egan (who played Belle) were part of the original Broadway cast.
5. Mamma Mia
The best odds around say that not many people knew of ABBA’s songs – let along could sing them off by heart – before Mamma started its run in 2001. (The musical is still going today.)
The songs of the Swedish 1970s pop group inspired the musical which, in turn, inspired a Hollywood motion picture of the same name in which the actors – who weren’t actually singers, to begin with – all sang their own tunes.
6. Les Miserables
The next on the list of top-grossing Broadway productions is Les Miserables. Running from 1987 to 2003, it grossed $406.3 million and won eight Tony Awards in 1987. In 2012, Les Miserables was adapted into a Hollywood Motion Picture with Anne Hathaway playing Fantine. She won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role.
Although only between 20 and 30% of Broadway musicals actually end up turning a profit, the allure of the stage is still there, beckoning those who have stars in their eyes and dream of a career on the stage. This is what keeps the magic alive and well!