Musical Lists

20 Mega Musicals You Should Know – The Full List

Mega musicals are extravagant, high-budget productions that use advanced technology, elaborate sets, and large casts to create unforgettable theatrical experiences. These musicals are also unique in that they prove to be incredibly profitable global franchises. In the list below, you’ll find a full alphabetical list of mega musicals that have been leaving their mark on stages around the world.

By the way, large scale mega musicals began to emerge between the 1980s-1990s, which is why you’ll only find shows that premiered during or after the 1980s listed below! However, it’s worth noting that earlier productions like Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Chicago, and Joseph all played a significant role in laying the groundwork for the genre.

All of the musicals listed below share the following characteristics: 

✔ Among the highest-grossing musical theatre productions

✔ Ran internationally and reached global success

✔ Premiered during or after the 1980s


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The Mega Musicals

Aladdin

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics/Book: Chad Beguelin  LyricsTim Rice, Howard Ashman

Musical Type: 1992 Film/Contemporary Musical (2011)

Cast Size: 20+


Beauty and the Beast

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics: Howard Ashman, Tim Rice  Book: Linda Woolverton

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1994)

Cast Size: 20+


Cats

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: T.S. Eliot, Trevor Nunn, Richard Stilgoe

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1981)

Cast Size: 20+


Dear Evan Hansen

Music/Lyrics: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul  Book: Steven Levenson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Cast Size: 17+


Frozen

Music/Lyrics: Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez  Book: Jennifer Lee

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)

Cast Size: 20+


Hairspray

Music/Lyrics: Marc Shaiman  Lyrics: Scott Wittman  Book: Mark O’Donnell, Thomas Meehan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2002)

Cast Size: 18+


Hamilton

Music/Lyrics/Book: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Cast Size: 13+


Jersey Boys

Music: Bob Gaudio  Lyrics: Bob Crewe  Book: Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)

Cast Size: 12+


Kinky Boots

Music/Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper  Book: Harvey Fierstein

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

Cast Size: 15+


Les Misérables

Music/Lyrics: Claude-Michel Schönberg  Lyrics: Alan Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer, Jean-Marc Natel

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1980)

Cast Size: 30+


Mamma Mia!

Music/Lyrics: Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus  Book: Catherine Johnson

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1999)

Cast Size: 15+


Mary Poppins

Music/Lyrics: Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, George Stiles, Anthony Drewe  Book: Julian Fellowes

Musical Type: 1964 Film/Contemporary Musical (2004)

Cast Size: 20+


Miss Saigon

Music: Claude-Michel Schönberg  Lyrics: Alain Boublil, Richard Maltby, Jr.

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1989)

Cast Size: 15+


Rent

Music/Lyrics/Book: Jonathan Larson

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1996)

Cast Size: 13+


Starlight Express

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alistair Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Richard Stilgoe, David Yazbek, Nick Coler

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1984)

Cast Size: 25+


The Book of Mormon

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)

Cast Size: 20+


The Lion King

Music: Elton John  Lyrics: Tim Rice  Book: Rodger Allers, Irene Mecchi

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

Cast Size: 20+


The Phantom of the Opera

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1986)

Cast Size: 25+


The Producers

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2001)

Cast Size: 15+


Wicked

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz  Book: Winnie Holzman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)

Cast Size: 20+


Other blog posts you might like:

Popular Musicals

• Obscure Musicals

Musicals About New York City

• Musicals Set in London

Current Broadway Musicals


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Which of these mega musicals is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of the above megamusicals? 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 Mega 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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