To celebrate Independence Day this year, we’ve put together a list of some of the greatest musicals about America! From old to new, funky to classic, we’ve got your patriotic musical needs covered. Read on for some of our favorite picks, sorted alphabetically.
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Perhaps the most fitting on the list, this musical re-creates the events revolving around the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Follow along with John Adams as he pushes for the voting of and signing of the document.
American Idiot is Green Day’s album brought to life! It’s a story of three boys who attempt to break out of suburban existence. This may not be a classic musical about America’s history, but it sure is relevant today.
Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins follows the stories of the men and women who attempted to assassinate US Presidents. Some are the stories of those who were successful in their endeavors, and some are of those who were not.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
This exciting and energetic rock musical depicts Andrew Jackson as a rock star while re-enacting the events in his life and the founding of the democratic party.
Caroline, or Change
Set in Louisiana in 1963, this musical follows the story of a maid named Caroline. It’s a relevant and thought-provoking story of social and political change in America.
This musical is all about the “song and dance man” George M. Cohan. With all-American hits like “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, this is a great choice if you’re looking for something super patriotic!
How could we not include this new masterpiece when talking about great musicals about America? Hamilton is a modern telling of the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the USA.
Miss Liberty is a 1949 Irving Berlin musical comedy about the Statue of Liberty. It also tells the story of the people behind her creation.
If you’re looking for more of an “American Dream” type of story, Rags might be your best bet! This musical follows the story of a Russian immigrant and her son as they try to make a life for themselves in the USA.
Set in the USA and following the stories of three distinct groups in the early 20th century, Ragtime highlights the relationships between African Americans, Eastern European Immigrants, and the upper-class suburbanites of the time.
The Civil War
This concert-style musical is based on historical accounts and happenings of the Civil War. It’s an emotional retelling of events from multiple perspectives.
The Music Man
Although it’s not an musical about American history, The Music Man is a classic that’s as “American as Apple Pie”. This musical follows the story of a con man who manipulates both a young band and its townsfolk in pursuit of some extra cash.
The only revue on the list, Tintypes is a blend of songs and stories from the turn of the 20th century. Touching on themes like immigration and the American dream, this musical paints a picture of changing times in the USA.
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Know of any other great musicals about America?
There are tons of great American gems out there, so 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!
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.