Musical Lists

35+ Edgy Musicals – The Full List of Shows

Whether you’re looking for the perfect show to produce or simply looking for some new musicals to get into, there are lots of options at your disposal. Here’s a full list of edgy musicals, sorted alphabetically.

The following musicals are ones that push the boundaries (or pushed the boundaries at the time of their premieres). These musicals have a bit of a dark side and can make some people uncomfortable at times, maybe even bordering on controversial. However, if that’s not what you’re looking for, here’s a list of avant-garde musicals and purely dark musicals.

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

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a purchase through one of the following links, we may earn a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you. See our disclosure for more info.

Edgy Musicals

A Strange Loop

Music/Lyrics/Book: Michael R. Jackson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

Genre: Dramedy

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


Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: John Weidman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Avenue Q

Music/Lyrics: Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx  Book: Jeff Whitty

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)

Genre: Comedy

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Music/Lyrics: Michael Friedman  Book: Alex Timbers

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Genre: Biography


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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

Genre: Drama


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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1988)

Genre: Horror


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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1975)

Genre: Drama

Evil Dead

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)

Genre: Parody


Music: Galt MacDermot  Lyrics/Book: Gerome Ragni, James Rado

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1967)

Genre: Dramedy


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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Genre: Dark Comedy

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Trask  Book: John Cameron Mitchell

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

Genre: Drama

Hello Again

Music/Lyrics/Book: Michael John LaChiusa

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1994)

Genre: Romance

Jagged Little Pill

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2018)

Genre: Drama

Jerry Springer: The Opera

Music/Lyrics/Book: Richard Thomas, Stewart Lee

Musical Type: Contemporary (2001)

Genre: Fantasy

Little Shop of Horrors

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics/Book: Howard Ashman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1982)

Genre: Comedic Horror


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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

Genre: Thriller

Reefer Madness

Music/Book: Dan Studney  Lyrics/Book: Kevin Murphy

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

Genre: Satire


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


Music: Marvin Laird  Lyrics/Book: Joel Paley

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

Genre: Dark Comedy

See What I Wanna See

Music/Lyrics/Book: Michael John LaChiusa

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)

Genre: Drama


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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Genre: Parody

Spring Awakening

Music: Duncan Sheik  Lyrics/Book: Steven Sater

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Genre: Drama

Sweeney Todd

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: Hugh Wheeler

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

Genre: Horror

The Book of Mormon

Music/Lyrics/Book: Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)

Genre: Comedy

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 Life

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)

Genre: Drama

The Producers

Music/Lyrics/Book: Mel Brooks  Book: Thomas Meehan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2001)

Genre: Comedy

The Rocky Horror Show

Music/Lyrics/Book: Richard O’Brien

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1973)

Genre: Comedic Horror

The Toxic Avenger

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Genre: Comedic Horror/Fantasy

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

We Are the Tigers

Music/Lyrics/Book: Preston Max Allen

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Genre: Murder Mystery

Young Frankenstein

Music/Lyrics/Book: Mel Brooks  Book: Thomas Meehan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Genre: Comedic Horror

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Which of these edgy musicals is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of the above edgy 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 Edgy 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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