Musical Lists

27+ Musicals About History – The Full List

Let’s take a historical musical journey into the past! Below you’ll discover a full list of powerful and thought-provoking musicals about history, sorted alphabetically. These musicals center more around historical stories about larger groups of people. If that’s not what you’re looking for, here’s are lists of musicals based on true stories and biographies.


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Musicals About History

1776

Music/Lyrics: Sherman Edwards  Book: Peter Stone

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1969)

What It’s Based On: The Signing of the Declaration of Independence


Allegiance

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

What It’s Based On: WWII/Internment of Japanese Americans


Assassins

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: John Weidman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)

What It’s Based On: The Attempted Assassinations of Past Presidents


Ben Franklin in Paris

Music: Mark Sandrich, Jr.  Lyrics/Book: Sidney Michaels  Additional Songs: Jerry Herman

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

What It’s Based On: Benjamin Franklin’s Trip to France


Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Music/Lyrics: Michael Friedman  Book: Alex Timbers

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

What It’s Based On: The Life and Presidency of Andrew Jackson


Bring In ‘Da Noise, Bring In ‘Da Funk

Music/Lyrics/Book: Daryl Waters, Ann Duquesnay, Zane Mark, George C. Wolfe, Reg E. Gaines

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1995)

What It’s About: Black History


Clinton: The Musical

Music/Lyrics/Book: Paul Hodge  Book: Michael Hodge

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

What It’s Based On: The Presidency of Bill Clinton


Come From Away

Music/Lyrics/Book: Irene Sankoff, David Hein

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

What It’s Based On: The Town of Gander on September 11, 2001


Dearest Enemy

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics: Lorenz Hart  Book: Herbert Fields

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1925)

What It’s Based On: American Revolutionary War/Mary Lindley Murray


Diana

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

What It’s Based On: The Life of Diana, Princess of Wales


Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope

Music/Lyrics: Micki Grant

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1971)

What It’s About: Black Experience Throughout the 20th Century


Evita

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Tim Rice

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1976)

What It’s Based On: Eva Perón’s Life and Legacy


First Daughter Suite

Music/Lyrics: Michael John La Chiusa

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

What It’s Loosely Based On: First Daughters Throughout History


Hamilton

Music/Lyrics/Book: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

What It’s Based On: The Life of Alexander Hamilton


Made in Dagenham

Music: David Arnold  Lyrics: Richard Thomas  Book: Richard Bean

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)

What It’s Based On: The 1968 Ford Sewing Machinists Strike


Maggie Flynn

Music/Lyrics/Book: Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, George David Weiss  Book: Morton DaCosta

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1968)

What It’s Based On: The New York Draft Riots of 1863


Miss Saigon

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1989)

What It’s Based On: Relationships During the Vietnam War


Newsies

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics: Jack Feldman  Book: Harvey Fierstein

Musical Type: 1992 Film/Contemporary Musical (2011)

What It’s Based On: The 1899 Newsboys Strike in NYC


Pacific Overtures

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: John Weidman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1976)

What It’s Based On: Japan’s Westernization


Parade

Music/Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown  Book: Alfred Uhry

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

What It’s Based On: Leo Frank’s 1913 Trial


Ragtime

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1996)

What It’s Based On: Early-Twentieth-Century America


Sarafina!

Music/Lyrics/Book: Mbongeni Ngema  Music/Lyrics: Hugh Masekela

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1987)

What It’s Loosely Based On: The Soweto Uprising in South Africa


Six

Music/Lyrics/Book: Toby Marlow, Lucy Moss

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)

What It’s Based On: The Six Wives of Henry VIII


Stephen Ward

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

What It’s Based On: The 1963 Profumo Affair


Suffs

Music/Lyrics/Book: Shaina Taub

Musical Type: Contemporary (2022)

What It’s Based On: American women’s suffrage movement


The Civil War

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

What It’s Based On: The American Civil War


The Desert Song

Music: Sigmund Romberg  Lyrics/Book: Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1926)

What It’s Based On: The 1925 Uprising in Morocco


The Scottsboro Boys

Music/Lyrics: John Kander, Fred Ebb  Book: David Thompson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

What It’s Based On: The Scottsboro Boys Trial


The View UpStairs

Music/Lyrics/Book: Max Vernon

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)

What It’s Based On: The 1973 Attack at the UpStairs Lounge


Thomas and the King

Music: John Williams  Lyrics: James Harbert  Book: Edward Anhalt

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1975)

What It’s Based On: Thomas Becket and Henry II


Titanic

Music/Lyrics: Maury Yeston  Book: Peter Stone

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

What It’s Based On: The RMS Titanic


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Do you know of any other great musicals about history?

Or have you seen/listened to any of the musicals about history above? Let us know 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 Musicals About History.
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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