101+ Dramatic Musicals – A Full List of Shows

Whether you’re auditioning for musicals, setting up your rep book, or simply looking for some good dramatic shows to cry to, it’s always good to get familiar with what’s out there. And that’s why we’ve put together this list of dramatic musicals for you below, sorted by time period.

By the way, I will later be making specific lists for dramedies, and romantic dramas. The following shows fall into the generic genre of “drama musicals”.


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Dramatic Jazz Age Musicals

Porgy and Bess

Cast Size: 24+

Music: George Gershwin  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  LibrettoDuBose Heyward

Musical Type: Opera (1935)


The Cradle Will Rock

Cast Size: 10+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Marc Blitzstein

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1938)


Dramatic Golden Age Musicals

Carmen Jones

Cast Size: 25+

Music: Georges Bizet  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)


Lost in the Stars

Cast Size: 9

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics/Book: Maxwell Anderson

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)


Song of Norway

Cast Size: 30+

Music: Edvard Grieg  Lyrics: Robert Wright, George Forrest  Book: Milton Lazarus, Homer Curran

Musical Type: Golden Age/Operetta (1944)


St. Louis Woman

Cast Size: 23+

Music: Harold Arlen  Lyrics: Johnny Mercer  Book: Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen

Musical Type: Golden Age (1946)


Street Scene

Cast Size: 30+

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics: Langston Hughes  Book: Elmer Rice

Musical Type: Opera (1947)


South Pacific

Cast Size: 30+

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II  Book: Joshua Logan

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)


Dramatic 1960s Musicals

Blitz!

Cast Size: 20+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Lionel Bart  Book: Joan Maitland

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1962)


Cabaret

Cast Size: 25+

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)


Fiddler on the Roof

Cast Size: 16+

Music: Jerry Bock  Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick  Book: Joseph Stein

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)


Golden Boy

Cast Size: 21

Music: Charles Strouse  Lyrics: Lee Adams  Book: Clifford Odets, William Gibson

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)


Oliver!

Cast Size: 20+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Lionel Bart

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1960)


Dramatic 1970s Musicals

Chicago

Cast Size: 19+

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1975)


I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road

Cast Size: 10

Music: Nancy Ford  Lyrics/Book: Gretchen Cryer

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1978)


Jesus Christ Superstar

Cast Size: 20+

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Tim Rice

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1970)


Mack & Mabel

Cast Size: 15

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Book: Michael Stewart

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1974)


Pacific Overtures

Cast Size: 20+

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: John Weidman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1976)


Raisin

Cast Size: 15

Music: Judd Woldin  Lyrics: Robert Brittan  Book: Robert B. Nemiroff, Charlotte Zaltzberg

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1973)


Shenandoah

Cast Size: 16+

Music: Gary Geld  Lyrics/Book: Peter Udell  Book: Philip Rose, James Lee Barrett

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1974)


The Me Nobody Knows

Cast Size: 12

Music: Gary William Friedman  Lyrics: Will Holt  Book: Livingston, Schapiro, Joseph

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1970)


The Rothschilds

Cast Size: 11

Music: Jerry Bock  Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick  Book: Sherman Yellen

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1970)


Dramatic 1980s Musicals

Aspects of Love

Cast Size: 19+

Music/Book: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Don Black, Charles Hart

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1989)


Big River

Cast Size: 21+

Music/Lyrics: Roger Miller  Book: William Hauptman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)


Blood Brothers

Cast Size: 8+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Willy Russell

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1983)


Chess

Cast Size: 12+

Music: Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus  Lyrics: Tim Rice, Ulvaeus  Book: Richard Nelson, Rice

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1984)


Dance a Little Closer

Cast Size: 25

Music: Charles Strouse  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1983)


Dreamgirls

Cast Size: 25+

Music: Henry Krieger  Lyrics/Book: Tom Eyen

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1981)


Grand Hotel

Cast Size: 8+

Music/Lyrics: Robert Wright, George Forrest, Maury Yeston  Book: Luther Davis

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1989)


Grind

Cast Size: 8-10

Music: Larry Grossman  Lyrics: Ellen Fitzhugh  Book: Fay Kanin

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)


March of the Falsettos

Cast Size: 5

Music/Lyrics/Book: William Finn

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1981)


Nine

Cast Size: 27

Music/Lyrics: Maury Yeston  Book: Arthur Kopit

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1982)


Les Misérables

Cast Size: 30+

Music/Book: Claude-Michel Schönberg  Lyrics/Book: Alan Boublil  Lyrics: Jean-Marc Natel

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1980)


Rags

Cast Size: 16

Music: Charles Strouse  Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz  Book: Joseph Stein, David Thompson

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1986)


The Biograph Girl

Cast Size: 9

Music/Lyrics/Book: David Heneker, Warner Brown

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1980)


The Rink

Cast Size: 8

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1984)


Dramatic 1990s Musicals

Aida

Cast Size: 15+

Music: Elton John  Lyrics: Tim Rice  Book: Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, David Henry Hwang

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)


Assassins

Cast Size: 12+

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim Book: John Weidman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)


Falsettoland

Cast Size: 7

Music/Lyrics: William Finn  Book: James Lapine

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)


Falsettos

Cast Size: 7

Music/Lyrics/Book: William Finn  Book: James Lapine

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)


Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Cast Size: 2

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Trask  Book: John Cameron Mitchell

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)


John & Jen

Cast Size: 2

Music/Book: Andrew Lippa  Lyrics/Book: Tom Greenwald

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1995)


Kiss of the Spider Woman

Cast Size: 18

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)


Marie Christine

Cast Size: 18

Music/Lyrics/Book: Michael John LaChiusa

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1999)


Parade

Cast Size: 16+

Music/Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown  Book: Alfred Uhry

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)


Ragtime

Cast Size: 18+

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1996)


Rent

Cast Size: 13+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Jonathan Larson

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1996)


Sunset Boulevard

Cast Size: 45+

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics/Book: Don Black, Christopher Hampton

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1991)


The Civil War

Cast Size: 15+

Music/Book: Frank Wildhorn  Lyrics: Jack Murphy  Book: Gregory Boyd

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)


The Last Session

Cast Size: 5

Music/Lyrics: Steve Schalchlin  Lyrics: John Bettis, Marie Cain  Book: Jim Brochu

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)


The Life

Cast Size: 18+

Music/Book: Cy Coleman  Lyrics/Book: Ira Gasman  Book: David Newman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)


The Scarlet Pimpernel

Cast Size: 30+

Music: Frank Wildhorn  Book/Lyrics: Nan Knighton

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)


The Secret Garden

Cast Size: 24

Music: Lucy Simon  Book/Lyrics: Marsha Norman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1991)


The Who’s Tommy

Cast Size: 14+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Pete Townshend  Book: Des McAnuff

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)


The Wild Party

Cast Size: 13+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Andrew Lippa

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)


Titanic

Cast Size: 37

Music/Lyrics: Maury Yeston  Book: Peter Stone

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)


Violet

Cast Size: 11

Music: Jeanine Tesori  Lyrics/Book: Brian Crawley

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)


Wings

Cast Size: 7

Music: Jeffrey Lunden  Lyrics/Book: Arthur Perlman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)


Dramatic 2000s Musicals

A Catered Affair

Cast Size: 15

Music/Lyrics: John Bucchino  Book: Harvey Fierstein

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)


A Little Princess

Cast Size: 11+

Music: Andrew Lippa  Lyrics/Book: Brian Crawley

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)


A Man of No Importance

Cast Size: 14

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2002)


American Idiot

Cast Size: 7+

Music: Green Day  Lyrics/Book: Billie Joe Armstrong  Book: Michael Mayer

Musical Type: Contemporary/Jukebox (2009)


Bare

Cast Size: 15+

Music/Book: Damon Intrabartolo  Lyrics/Book: Jon Hartmere

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)


Bombay Dreams

Cast Size: 14+

Music: A.R. Rahman  Lyrics: Don Black  Book: Meera Syal, Thomas Meehan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2002)


Bonnie & Clyde

Cast Size: 14+

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)


Caroline, or Change

Cast Size: 16

Music: Jeanine Tesori  Lyrics/Book: Tony Kushner

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)


Closer to Heaven

Cast Size: 7+

Music/Lyrics: Pet Shop Boys  Book: Jonathan Harvey

Musical Type: Contemporary (2001)


Dessa Rose

Cast Size: 12+

Music: Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics/Book: Lynn Ahrens

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)


Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge

Cast Size: 11

Music/Lyrics/Book: Peter Mills  Book: Cara Reichel

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)


Glory Days

Cast Size: 4

Music/Lyrics: Nick Blaemire  Book: James Gardiner

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)


Little Women

Cast Size: 9+

Music: Jason Howland  Lyrics: Mindi Dickstein  Book: Allan Knee

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)


LoveMusik

Cast Size: 10+

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics: Various  Book: Alfred Uhry

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)


Marguerite

Cast Size: 9

Music: Michel Legrand  Lyrics: Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer  Book: Schönberg, Kent, Boublil

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)


Memphis

Cast Size: 8+

Music/Lyrics: David Bryan  Lyrics/Book: Joe DiPietro

Musical Type: Contemporary (2002)


Next to Normal

Cast Size: 6

Music: Tom Kitt  Lyrics/Book: Brian Yorkey

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)


Road Show

Cast Size: 10+

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: John Weidman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)


Spring Awakening

Cast Size: 13

Music: Duncan Sheik  Lyrics/Book: Steven Sater

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)


Sweet Smell of Success

Cast Size: 22

Music: Marvin Hamlisch  Lyrics: Craig Carnelia  Book: John Guare

Musical Type: Contemporary (2002)


The Beautiful Game

Cast Size: 17

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics/Book: Ben Elton

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)


The Color Purple

Cast Size: 7+

Music/Lyrics: Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray  Book: Marsha Norman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)


The Count of Monte Cristo

Cast Size: 8+

Music: Frank Wildhorn  Lyrics/Book: Jack Murphy

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)


The Last Five Years

Cast Size: 2

Music/Lyrics/Book: Jason Robert Brown

Musical Type: Contemporary (2001)


The Spitfire Grill

Cast Size: 7

Music/Book: James Valcq  Lyrics/Book: Fred Alley

Musical Type: Contemporary (2001)


The Story of My Life

Cast Size: 2

Music/Lyrics: Neil Bartram  Book: Brian Hill

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)


The Wild Party

Cast Size: 15

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)


When Midnight Strikes

Cast Size: 12

Music: Charles Miller  Lyrics/Book: Kevin Hammonds

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)


Yank!

Cast Size: 12

Music: Joseph Zellnik  Lyrics/Book: David Zellnik

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)


Dramatic 2010s Musicals

A Minister’s Wife

Cast Size: 5

Music: Joshua Schmidt  Lyrics: Jan Levy-Tranen  Book: Austin Pendleton

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)


Allegiance

Cast Size: 7

Music/Lyrics/Book: Jay Kuo  Book: Marc Acito, Lorenzo Thione

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)


Amazing Grace

Cast Size: 15+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Christopher Smith  Book: Arthur Giron

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)


Bandstand

Cast Size: 20

Music/Lyrics/Book: Richard Oberacker, Robert Taylor

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)


Bright Star

Cast Size: 17

Music/Book: Steve Martin  Music/Lyrics: Edie Brickell

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)


Come From Away

Cast Size: 12+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Irene Sankoff, David Hein

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)


Doctor Zhivago

Cast Size: 8+

Music: Lucy Simon  Lyrics: Michael Korie, Amy Powers

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)


Dogfight

Cast Size: 9+

Music/Lyrics: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul  Book: Peter Duchan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)


Finding Neverland

Cast Size: 18

Music/Lyrics: Gary Barlow, Eliot Kennedy  Music: Scott Frankel  Lyrics: Michael Korie  Book: Allan Knee, James Graham

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)


From Here to Eternity

Cast Size: 7+

Music: Stuart Brayson  Lyrics: Tim Rice  Book: Bill Oakes

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)


Fun Home

Cast Size: 11

Music: Jeanine Tesori  Lyrics/Book: Lisa Kron

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)


Girl From the North Country

Cast Size: 13

Music/Lyrics: Bob Dylan  Book: Conor McPherson

Musical Type: Contemporary/Jukebox (2017)mou


Ghost

Cast Size: 20+

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)


Home Street Home

Music/Lyrics/Book: Fat Mike, Jeff Marx, Soma Snakeoil, David Goldsmith

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)


Hundred Days

Cast Size: 6

Music/Lyrics/Book: The Bengsons  Book: Sarah Gancher

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)


Jagged Little Pill

Cast Size: 8+

Music/Lyrics: Alanis Morissette  Lyrics: Glen Ballard, Guy Sigsworth, Michael Farrell  Book: Diablo Cody

Musical Type: Contemporary/Jukebox (2018)


Light Years

Cast Size: 6

Music/Lyrics/Book: Robbie Schaefer

Musical Type: Contemporary (2018)


Love Never Dies

Cast Size: 9

Music/Book: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics/Book: Glen Slater  Book: Ben Elton, Frederick Forsyth

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)


Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Cast Size: 16+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Dave Malloy

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)


Placebo

Cast Size: Flexible

Music/Lyrics: Danny Abosch  Book: Joshua Borths

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)


Ranked

Cast Size: 15+

Music/Lyrics: David Taylor Gomes  Book: Kyle Holmes

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)


Rocky

Cast Size: 15+

Music:  Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens  Book: Thomas Meehan, Sylvester Stallone

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)


Superhero

Cast Size: 8

Music/Lyrics: Tom Kitt  Book: John Logan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)


The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics/Book: David Spencer

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary/Contemporary (1984/2015)


The Band’s Visit

Cast Size: 15+

Music/Lyrics: David Yazbek  Book: Itamar Moses

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)


The Bridges of Madison County

Cast Size: 10+

Music/Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown  Book: Marsha Norman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)


The Burnt Part Boys

Cast Size: 10

Music: Chris Miller  Lyrics: Nathan Tysen  Book: Mariana Elder

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)


The Hello Girls

Cast: 10

Music/Lyrics/Book: Peter C. Mills  Book: Cara Reichel

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)


The Mad Ones

Cast Size: 4

Music/Lyrics/Book: Kait Kerrigan, Bree Lowdermilk

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)


The Man in the Ceiling

Cast Size: 6

Music/Lyrics: Andrew Lippa  Book: Jules Feiffer

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)


The Prince of Egypt

Cast Size: 11+

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz  Book: Philip LaZebnik

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)


The View UpStairs

Cast Size: 10+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Max Vernon

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)


Witness Uganda

Cast Size: 12+

Music/Lyrics/Book: Matt Gould, Griffin Matthews

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)


Dramatic 2020s Musicals

A Little More Alive

Cast Size: 5

Music/Lyrics/Book: Nick Blaemire

Musical Type: Contemporary (2020)


Flying Over Sunset

Cast Size: 10

Music: Tom Kitt  Lyrics: Michael Korie  Book: James Lapine

Musical Type: Contemporary (2021)


Knoxville

Cast Size: 15+

Music: Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens  Book: Frank Galati

Musical Type: Contemporary (2022)


Tokyo Rose

Cast Size: 6

Music/Lyrics/Book: Maryhee Yoon, Cara Baldwin

Musical Type: Contemporary (2021)


We Won’t Sleep

Music/Lyrics: Ari Afsar  Book: Lauren M. Gunderson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2020)


Other blog posts you might like:

Avant-Garde Musicals

Popular Musicals

• Obscure Musicals

• Musicals about Politics

Mystery Musicals


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Which of these dramatic musicals is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of the above musical dramas? 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 Dramatic 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 has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


 

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