Musical Lists

35+ Dark Musicals That Will Give You The Chills

Happy October!! You will be seeing lots of fun Halloween-inspired blog posts over the next few weeks. And to kick everything off, here is a full list of interesting and powerful dark musicals. If you’re looking for a bit of a musical theatre shock, here’s where you’ll find it.

To enhance your experience, pop on Theatre Trip’s Spotify playlist – “Musical Theatre’s Dark Side”➝.


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Dark Musicals

Adding Machine

Music/Lyrics/Book: Joshua Schmidt  Lyrics/Book: Jason Loewith

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Genre: Drama/Fantasy


American Psycho

Music/Lyrics: Duncan Sheik  Book: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Genre: Horror


Assassins

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: John Weidman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)

Genre: Historical Fiction


Blood Brothers

Music/Lyrics/Book: Willy Russell

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1983)

Genre: Drama


Bonnie & Clyde

Music: Frank Wildhorn  Lyrics: Don Black  Book: Ivan Menchell

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

Genre: Drama


Bumblescratch

Music/Lyrics/Book: Robert J. Sherman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Genre: Fantasy/Adventure


Cabaret

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Joe Masteroff

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

Genre: Drama


Carrie

Music: Michael Gore  Lyrics: Dean Pitchford  Book: Lawrence D. Cohen

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1988)

Genre: Horror


Chicago

Music: John Kander  Lyrics/Book: Fred Ebb  Book: Bob Fosse

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1975)

Genre: Drama


Dracula

Music: Frank Wildhorn  Lyrics/Book: Don Black, Christopher Hampton

Musical Type: Contemporary (2001)

Genre: Fantasy


Evil Dead

Music/Lyrics/Book: George Reinblatt  Music: Christopher Bond, Frank Cipolla, Melissa Morris

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)

Genre: Parody


Ghost

Music/Lyrics: Dave Stewart, Glen Ballard  Lyrics/Book: Bruce Joel Rubin

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)

Genre: Romance/Thriller


Heathers

Music/Lyrics/Book: Laurence O’Keefe, Kevin Murphy

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Genre: Dark Comedy


Jane Eyre

Music/Lyrics: Paul Gordon  Lyrics/Book: John Caird

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1995)

Genre: Romantic Drama


Jekyll & Hyde

Music: Frank Wildhorn  Lyrics/Book: Leslie Bricusse

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)

Genre: Fantasy


Kid Victory

Music: John Kander  Lyrics/Book: Greg Pierce

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Genre: Drama


Kiss of the Spider Woman

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Terrence McNally

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

Genre: Drama


Little Shop of Horrors

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics/Book: Howard Ashman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1982)

Genre: Comedic Horror


Lizzie

Music/Lyrics: Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Alan Stevens Hewitt  Music/Lyrics/Book: Tim Maner

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

Genre: Thriller


Marie Christine

Music/Lyrics/Book: Michael John LaChiusa

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1999)

Genre: Drama


No Way to Treat a Lady

Music/Lyrics/Book: Douglas J. Cohen

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1987)

Genre: Dark Comedy


Parade

Music/Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown  Book: Alfred Uhry

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

Genre: Drama


Ragtime

Music: Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens  Book: Terrence McNally

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1996)

Genre: Drama


Rent

Music/Lyrics/Book: Jonathan Larson

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1996)

Genre: Drama


Ride the Cyclone

Music/Lyrics/Book: Brooke Maxwell, Jacob Richmond

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Genre: Dark Comedy


Ruthless!

Music: Marvin Laird  Lyrics/Book: Joel Paley

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

Genre: Dark Comedy


Sarafina

Music/Lyrics/Book: Mbongeni Ngema  Music/Lyrics: Hugh Masekela

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1987)

Genre: Historical


See What I Wanna See

Music/Lyrics/Book: Michael John LaChiusa

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)

Genre: Drama


Silence!

Music/Lyrics: Jon Kaplan, Al Kaplan  Book: Hunter Bell

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Genre: Parody


Sweeney Todd

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: Hugh Wheeler

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

Genre: Horror


The Capeman

Music/Lyrics/Book: Paul Simon  Lyrics/Book: Derek Walcott

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

Genre: Biography


The Fields of Ambrosia

Music: Martin Silvestri  Lyrics/Book: Joel Higgins

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1993)

Genre: Drama


The Hatpin

Music: Peter Rutherford  Lyrics/Book: James Millar

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Genre: Drama


The Phantom of the Opera

Music/Book: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Charles Hart  Lyrics/Book: Richard Stilgoe

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1986)

Genre: Thriller/Mystery


The Scottsboro Boys

Music/Lyrics: John Kander, Fred Ebb  Book: David Thompson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Genre: Drama


The View UpStairs

Music/Lyrics/Book: Max Vernon

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)

Genre: Drama


The Visit

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Terrence McNally

Musical Type: Contemporary (2001)

Genre: Drama/Thriller


The Wild Party (Lippa)

Music/Lyrics/Book: Andrew Lippa

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

Genre: Drama


The Wild Party (LaChiusa)

Music/Lyrics/Book: Michael John LaChiusa  Book: George C. Wolfe

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)

Genre: Drama


The Woman in White

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: David Zippel  Book: Charlotte Jones

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


We Are the Tigers

Music/Lyrics/Book: Preston Max Allen

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Genre: Murder Mystery


Whistle Down the Wind

Music/Book: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Jim Steinman  Book: Patricia Knop, Gale Edwards

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1996)

Genre: Drama


Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Music/Lyrics: David Yazbek  Book: Jeffrey Lane

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Genre: Dramedy


Other blog posts you might like:

Comedy Musicals

Gifts for Actors

Musicals for High School

Musicals Set in New York City

Mystery Musicals


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Which of these dark musicals is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of these dark musicals? Feel free to share in the comments below! And if you like these types of lists, check out the musical database. That’s where you’ll find musicals sorted by composer, theme, setting, and more!


Stacy Karyn, Author of Dark Musicals.
Author: Stacy Karyn

Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


 

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