The Golden Age Musicals – A Full Ordered List

Golden age musicals were special in that they played a huge role in popular culture. A few of the popular musical theatre trends at the time included feel-good shows, book musicals, Rodgers & Hammerstein, comedies, love stories, French culture, and big dance numbers.

The 1940s-1950s are also referred to as the “golden age” of musical theatre. And the most notable musicals of that time period are included below.


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1940 Musicals


Cabin in the Sky  (1940)

Music: Vernon Duke  Lyrics: John Latouche  Book: Lynn Root

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Louisiana Purchase  (1940)

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Morrie Ryskind

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Pal Joey  (1940)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics: Lorenz Hart  Book: John O’Hara

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Panama Hattie  (1940)

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Herbert Fields, B.G. DeSylva

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1941 Musicals


Best Foot Forward  (1941)

Music/Lyrics: Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane  Book: John Cecil Holm

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Lady in the Dark  (1941)

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  Book: Moss Hart

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1942 Musicals


By Jupiter  (1942)

Music/Book: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics/Book: Lorenz Hart

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This Is the Army  (1942)

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin

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1943 Musicals


Carmen Jones  (1943)

Music: Georges Bizet  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

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Oklahoma!  (1943)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

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One Touch of Venus  (1943)

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics: Ogden Nash  Book: Nash, S.J. Perelman

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Something for the Boys  (1943)

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Herbert Fields, Dorothy Fields

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1944 Musicals


Bloomer Girl  (1944)

Music: Harold Arlen  Lyrics: E.Y. Harburg  Book: Sig Herzig, Fred Saidy

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Mexican Hayride  (1944)

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Herbert Fields, Dorothy Fields

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On the Town  (1944)

Music: Leonard Bernstein  Lyrics/Book: Betty Comden, Adolph Green

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Song of Norway  (1944)

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

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1945 Musicals


Carousel  (1945)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

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The Day Before Spring  (1945)

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

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Up in Central Park  (1945)

Music: Sigmund Romberg  Lyrics: Dorothy Fields  Book: Herbert Fields, Dorothy Fields

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1946 Musicals


Annie Get Your Gun  (1946)

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Dorothy Fields, Herbert Fields

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Call Me Mister  (1946)

Music/Lyrics: Harold Rome   Sketches: Arnold Auerbach

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St. Louis Woman  (1946)

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

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1947 Musicals


Allegro  (1947)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

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Brigadoon  (1947)

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

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Finian’s Rainbow  (1947)

Music: Burton Lane  Lyrics: E.Y. Harburg  Book: E.Y. Harburg, Fred Saidy

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High Button Shoes  (1947)

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Sammy Cahn  Book: Stephen Longstreet, George Abbott

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Street Scene  (1947)

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

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1948 Musicals


Kiss Me, Kate  (1948)

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Bella & Samuel Spewack

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Look Ma, I’m Dancin’!  (1948)

Music/Lyrics: Hugh Martin  Book: Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee

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Magdalena  (1948)

Music: Heitor Villa-Lobos  Lyrics: Robert Wright, George Forrest  Book: Brennan, Curran

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Where’s Charley?  (1948)

Music/Lyrics: Frank Loesser  Book: George Abbott

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1949 Musicals


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes  (1949)

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Leo Robin  Book: Joseph Fields, Anita Loos

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Lost in the Stars  (1949)

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics/Book: Maxwell Anderson

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Miss Liberty  (1949)

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Robert E. Sherwood

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South Pacific  (1949)

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

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1950 Musicals


Call Me Madam  (1950)

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse

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Guys and Dolls  (1950)

Music/Lyrics: Frank Loesser  Book: Jo Swerling, Abe Burrows

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Out of This World  (1950)

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Dwight Taylor, Reginald Lawrence

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Peter Pan  (1950)

Music/Lyrics: Leonard Bernstein

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1951 Musicals


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn  (1951)

Music: Arthur Schwartz  Lyrics: Dorothy Fields  Book: George Abbott, Betty Smith

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Flahooley  (1951)

Music: Sammy Fain  Lyrics: E.Y. Harburg  Book: Harburg, Fred Saidy

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Paint Your Wagon  (1951)

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

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Seventeen  (1951)

Music: Walter Kent  Lyrics: Kim Gannon  Book: Sally Benson

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The King and I  (1951)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

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Top Banana  (1951)

Music/Lyrics: Johnny Mercer  Book: Hy Kraft

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Two on the Aisle  (1951)

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics/Book: Betty Comden, Adolph Green

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1952 Musicals


Hans Christian Andersen  (1952)

Music/Lyrics: Frank Loesser  Book: John Fearnley, Beverly Cross, Tommy Steele

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New Faces of 1952  (1952)

Music/Lyrics: Various

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Three Wishes for Jamie  (1952)

Music/Lyrics: Ralph Blane  Book: Charles O’Neal, Abe Burrows

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Wish You Were Here  (1952)

Music/Lyrics: Harold Rome  Book: Arthur Kober, Joshua Logan

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1953 Musicals


Can-Can  (1953)

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Abe Burrows

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Hazel Flagg  (1953)

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Bob Hilliard  Book: James H. Street

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Kismet  (1953)

Music/Lyrics: Alexander Borodin, Robert Wright, George Forrest  Book: Lederer, Davis

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Me and Juliet  (1953)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

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The Boy Friend  (1953)

Music/Lyrics/Book: Sandy Wilson

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Wonderful Town  (1953)

Music: Leonard Bernstein  Lyrics: Betty Comden, Adolph Green  Book: Fields, Chodorov

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1954 Musicals


By the Beautiful Sea  (1954)

Music: Arthur Schwartz  Lyrics/Book: Dorothy Fields  Book: Herbert Fields

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Fanny  (1954)

Music/Lyrics: Harold Rome  Book: S.N. Behrman, Joshua Logan

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House of Flowers  (1954)

Music/Lyrics/Book: Harold Arlen, Truman Capote

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Peter Pan  (1954)

Music: Styne, Charlap, Rittman  Lyrics: Comden, Green, Leigh  Book: Barrie

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Salad Days (1954)

Music: Julian Slade  Lyrics: Slade, Dorothy Reynolds

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The Girl in Pink Tights  (1954)

Music: Sigmund Romberg  Lyrics: Leo Robin  Book: Jerome Chodorov, Joseph Fields

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The Golden Apple  (1954)

Music: Jerome Moross  Lyrics/Book: John Treville Latouche

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The Pajama Game  (1954)

Music/Lyrics: Richard Adler, Jerry Ross  Book: George Abbott, Richard Bissell

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1955 Musicals


Ankles Aweigh  (1955)

Music: Sammy Fain  Lyrics: Dan Shapiro  Book: Guy Bolton, Eddie Davis

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Damn Yankees  (1955)

Music: Richard Adler  Lyrics: Jerry Ross  Book: George Abbott, Douglass Wallop

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Pipe Dream  (1955)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

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Plain and Fancy  (1955)

Music: Albert Hague  Lyrics: Arnold Horwitt  Book: Joseph Stein, Will Glickman

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Seventh Heaven  (1955)

Music: Victor Young  Lyrics: Stella Unger  Book: Unger, Victor Wolfson

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Silk Stockings  (1955)

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Kaufman, MacGrath, Burrows

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1956 Musicals


Bells Are Ringing  (1956)

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics/Book: Betty Comden, Adolph Green

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Candide  (1956)

Music: Bernstein  Lyrics: Wilber, Latouche, Parker, Hellman, Sondheim  Book: Hellman, Wheeler

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Chrysanthemum  (1956)

Music: Robb Stewart  Book: Neville Phillips, Robin Chancellor

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Happy Hunting  (1956)

Music: Harold Karr  Lyrics: Matt Dubey  Book: Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse

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Irma La Douce  (1956)

Music: Marguerite Monnot  Lyrics/Book: Alexandre Breffort

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Li’l Abner  (1956)

Music: Gene De Paul  Lyrics: Johnny Mercer  Book: Norman Panama, Melvin Frank

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Mr. Wonderful  (1956)

Music/Lyrics: Bock, Holofcener, Weiss  Book: Stein, Glickman

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My Fair Lady  (1956)

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

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The Most Happy Fella  (1956)

Music/Lyrics/Book: Frank Loesser

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1957 Musicals


Jamaica  (1957)

Music: Harold Arlen  Lyrics/Book: E.Y. Harburg

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New Girl in Town  (1957)

Music/Lyrics: Bob Merrill  Book: George Abbott

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The Music Man  (1957)

Music/Lyrics: Meredith Willson  Book: Franklin Lacey, Wilson

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West Side Story  (1957)

Music: Leonard Bernstein  Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: Arthur Laurents

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1958 Musicals


A Party with Betty Comden and Adolph Green (1958)

Music: L Bernstein, J. Styne, A. Previn, S. Chaplin, R. Edens  Lyrics: B. Comden, A. Green

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Flower Drum Song  (1958)

Music: Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Hammerstein  Book: Joseph Fields, David Henry Hwang

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Goldilocks  (1958)

Music: Leroy Anderson  Lyrics/Book: Jean Kerr, Walter Kerr, Joan Ford

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Oh, Captain!  (1958)

Music/Lyrics: Jay Livingston, Ray Evans  Book: Al Morgan, José Ferrer

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Say, Darling  (1958)

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Betty Comden, Adolph Green  Book: Abe Burrows, Marian & Richard Bissell

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The Body Beautiful  (1958)

Music: Jerry Bock  Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick Book: Joseph Stein, Will Glickman

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1959 Musicals


Destry Rides Again  (1959)

Music/Lyrics: Harold Rome  Book: Leonard Gershe

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Fiorello!  (1959)

Music: Jerry Bock Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick Book: Jerome Weidman, George Abbott

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First Impressions  (1959)

Music/Lyrics: George Weiss, Bo Goldman, Glenn Paxton  Book: Abe Burrows

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Gypsy  (1959)

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: Arthur Laurents

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Juno  (1959)

Music/Lyrics: Marc Blitzstein  Book: Joseph Stein

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Little Mary Sunshine  (1959)

Music/Lyrics/Book: Rick Besoyan

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Lock Up Your Daughters  (1959)

Music: Laurie Johnson  Lyrics: Lionel Bart  Book: Bernard Miles

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Once Upon a Mattress  (1959)

Music: Mary Rodgers  Lyrics: Marshall Barer  Book: Thompson, Barer, Fuller

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Redhead  (1959)

Music: Albert Hague  Lyrics/Book: Dorothy Fields  Book: H. Fields, S. Sheldon, D. Shaw

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Saratoga  (1959)

Music: Harold Arlen  Lyrics: Johnny Mercer  Book: Morton DaCosta

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Take Me Along  (1959)

Music/Lyrics: Bob Merrill  Book: Joseph Stein, Robert Russell

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The Nervous Set  (1959)

Music/Lyrics: Jay Landesman, Theodore J. Flicker

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The Sound of Music  (1959)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II  Book: Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse

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Other Decades


Musicals of the 1920s

Musicals of the 1930s

• Golden Age Musicals → You are here!

Post-Golden Age Musicals (1960 – 1969)

Musicals of the 1970s

Musicals of the 1980s

Musicals of the 1990s

Musicals of the 2000s

Musicals of the 2010s

Musicals of the 2020s


Golden Age Musical Resources

All That Glittered – The Golden Age of Drama on Broadway  (Amazon)

Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated Story  (Amazon)

The Golden Age of Musical Theatre  (Amazon)


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Which of these golden age musicals is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of these golden age 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 Golden Age 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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