Musical Lists

100+ Musicals Based on Books to Add to Your Reading List

Due to life events, finances, location, or lack of time, live theatre isn’t always available to us. But the good news is that there are tons of amazing musical-related books and novels that we can enjoy in the meantime. Here’s the full list of musicals based on books, along with where to access the books they’re based on.

Please note that musical adaptations that are inspired by both a book and a film (e.g., Shrek) have been left off the list for now. Happy reading!


Please note: This post contains Amazon 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.


Contents:

Jazz Age Musicals

Golden Age Musicals

1960s Musicals

1970s Musicals

1980s Musicals

1990s Musicals

2000s Musicals

2010s Musicals

2020s Musicals

Musicals Based on Out-of-Print Books


Jazz Age Musicals (1920-1939)

A Connecticut Yankee

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

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1927)

Book It’s Based On: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court➝ by Mark Twain


Porgy and Bess

Music: George Gershwin  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  LibrettoDuBose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward

Musical Type: Opera (1935)

Book It’s Based On: Porgy➝ by DuBose Heyward


Show Boat

Music: Jerome Kern  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1927)

Book It’s Based On: Show Boat➝ by Edna Ferber


Golden Age Musicals (1940-1959)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1951)

Book It’s Based On: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn➝ by Betty Smith


Candide

Music/Lyrics: Leonard Bernstein  Lyrics: Richard Wilbur, John Latouche, Stephen Sondheim*, Dorothy Parker  Book: John Caird*, Hugh Wheeler*, Lillian Hellman

* Writers who worked on the 1974/1999 revivals of the show

Musical Type: Golden Age (1956)

Book It’s Based On: Candide➝ by Voltaire


Damn Yankees

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1955)

Book It’s Based On: The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant➝ by Douglass Wallop


First Impressions

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1959)

Book It’s Based On: Pride and Prejudice➝ by Jane Austen


Flower Drum Song

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1958)

Book It’s Based On: The Flower Drum Song➝ by C.Y. Lee


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)

Book It’s Based On: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes➝ by Anita Loos


Gypsy

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1959)

Book It’s Based On: Gypsy: A Memoir➝ by Gypsy Rose Lee


Lost in the Stars

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics/Book: Maxwell Anderson

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)

Book It’s Based On: Cry, the Beloved Country➝ by Alan Paton


One Touch of Venus

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)

Novella It’s Based On: The Tinted Venus➝ by Thomas Anstey Guthrie


Pal Joey

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1940)

Book It’s Based On: Pal Joey➝ by John O’Hara


Pipe Dream

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1955)

Book It’s Based On: Sweet Thursday➝ by John Steinbeck


Saratoga

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1959)

Book It’s Based On: Saratoga Trunk➝ by Edna Ferber


Say, Darling

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1958)

Book It’s Based On: Say, Darling➝ by Richard Bissell


South Pacific

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)

Book It’s Based On: Tales of the South Pacific➝ by James A. Michener


The King and I

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1951)

Book It’s Based On: Anna and the King of Siam➝ by Margaret Landon


The Pajama Game

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1954)

Book It’s Based On: 7 1/2 Cents➝ by Richard Bissell


Three Wishes for Jamie

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1952)

Book It’s Based On: Three Wishes for Jamie➝ by Charles O’Neal


Post-Golden Age Musicals (1960s)

Anne of Green Gables

Music/Lyrics: Norman Campbell  Lyrics/Book: Donald Harron, Elaine Campbell, Mavor Moore

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1965)

Book It’s Based On: Anne of Green Gables➝ by Lucy Maud Montgomery


Anne of Green Gables

Music: Nancy Ford  Lyrics/Book: Gretchen Cryer

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Book It’s Based On: Anne of Green Gables➝ by Lucy Maud Montgomery


Cabaret

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

Book It’s Based On: Goodbye to Berlin➝ by Christopher Isherwood

* Cabaret is also partially based on the play I Am a Camera➝


Camelot

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1960)

Book It’s Based On: The Once and Future King➝ by T.H. White


Christine

Music: Sammy Fain  Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster  Book: Pearl S. Buck, Charles K. Peck, Jr.

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1960)

Book It’s Based On: My Indian Family➝ by Hilda Wernher


Darling of the Day

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: E.Y. Harburg  Book: Nunnally Johnson

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1968)

Book It’s Based On: Buried Alive➝ by Arnold Bennett


Fiddler on the Roof

Music: Jerry Bock  Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick  Book: Joseph Stein

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Book It’s Based On: Tevye the Dairyman and the Railroad Stories➝ by Sholem Aleichem


Greenwillow

Music/Lyrics/Book: Frank Loesser  Book: Lesser Samuels

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1960)

Book It’s Based On: Greenwillow➝ by B.J. Chute


Half a Sixpence

Music/Lyrics: David Heneker  Book: Beverley Cross

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1963)

Book It’s Based On: Kipps➝ by H.G. Wells


How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Music/Lyrics: Frank Loesser  Book: Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, Willie Gilbert

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1961)

Book It’s Based On: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying➝ by Shepherd Mead


I Can Get It for You Wholesale

Music/Lyrics: Harold Rome  Book: Jerome Weidman

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1962)

Book It’s Based On: I Can Get It for You Wholesale➝ by Jerome Weidman


Little Me

Music: Cy Coleman  Lyrics: Carolyn Leigh  Book: Neil Simon

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1962)

Book It’s Based On: Little Me➝ by Patrick Dennis


Mame

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Book: Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

Book It’s Based On: Auntie Mame➝ by Patrick Dennis


Oliver!

Music/Lyrics/Book: Lionel Bart

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1960)

Book It’s Based On: Oliver Twist➝ by Charles Dickens


Seventeen

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1951)

Book It’s Based On: Seventeen➝ by Booth Tarkington


What Makes Sammy Run?

Music/Lyrics: Ervin Drake  Book: Budd Schulberg, Stuart Schulberg

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Book It’s Based On: What Makes Sammy Run?➝ by Budd Schulberg


Zorba!

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Joseph Stein

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1968)

Book It’s Based On: Zorba the Greek➝ by Nikos Kazantzakis


1970s Musicals

Gigi

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1973)

Novella It’s Based On: Gigi➝ by Colette


God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics: Dennis Green  Lyrics/Book: Howard Ashman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

Book It’s Based On: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater➝


The Grass Harp

Music: Claibe Richardson  Lyrics/Book: Kenward Elmslie

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1971)

Novella It’s Based On: The Grass Harp➝ by Truman Capote

* The musical is also partially based on the play The Grass Harp➝


The Me Nobody Knows

Music: Gary William Friedman  Lyrics: Will Holt  Book: Bob Livingston, Herb Schapiro

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1970)

Book It’s Based On: The Me Nobody Knows➝ by Stephen M. Joseph


The Robber Bridegroom

Music: Robert Waldman  Lyrics/Book: Alfred Uhry

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1975)

Book It’s Based On: The Robber Bridegroom➝ by Eudora Welty


The Rothschilds

Music: Jerry Bock  Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick  Book: Sherman Yellen

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1970)

Book It’s Based On: The Rothschilds: A Family Portrait➝ by Frederic Morton


The Wiz

Music/Lyrics: Charlie Smalls  Book: William F. Brown

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1974)

Book It’s Based On: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz➝ by L. Frank Baum


Working

Songs: Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers, Susan Birkenhead, James Taylor  Songs/Adaptation: Stephen Schwartz  Adaptation: Nina Faso

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1977)

Book It’s Based On: Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day➝ by Studs Terkel


1980s Musicals

42nd Street

Music: Harry Warren  Lyrics: Al Dubin, Johnny Mercer  Book: Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble

Musical Type: 1933 Film/Pre-Contemporary Musical (1980)

Book It’s Based On: 42nd Street➝ by Bradford Ropes


Big River

Music/Lyrics: Roger Miller  Book: William Hauptman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

Book It’s Based On: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn➝ by Mark Twain


Carrie

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1988)

Book It’s Based On: Carrie➝ by Stephen King


Cats

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1981)

Book It’s Based On: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats➝ by T.S. Eliot


Just So

Music: George Stiles  Lyrics/Book: Anthony Drewe

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1984)

Book It’s Based On: Just So Stories➝ by Rudyard Kipling


Les Misérables

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1980)

Book It’s Based On: Les Misérables➝ by Victor Hugo


The Human Comedy

Music: Galt MacDermot  Libretto: William Dumaresq

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1983)

Book It’s Based On: The Human Comedy➝ by William Saroyan


The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Music/Lyrics/Book: Rupert Holmes

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

Book It’s Based On: The Mystery of Edwin Drood➝ by Charles Dickens


The Phantom of the Opera

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1986)

Book It’s Based On: The Phantom of the Opera➝ by Gaston Leroux


The Tap Dance Kid

Music: Henry Krieger  Lyrics: Robert Lorick  Book: Charles Blackwell

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1983)

Book It’s Based On: Nobody’s Family is Going to Change➝ by Louise Fitzhugh


1990s Musicals

A Christmas Carol

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics/Book: Lynn Ahrens  Book: Mike Ockrent

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1994)

Book It’s Based On: A Christmas Carol➝ by Charles Dickens


Bright Lights, Big City

Music/Lyrics/Book: Paul Scott Goodman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1999)

Book It’s Based On: Bright Lights, Big City➝ by Jay McInerney


How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Music: Mel Marvin  Lyrics/Book: Timothy Mason

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1994)

Book It’s Based On: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!➝ by Dr. Seuss


Jane Eyre

Music/Lyrics: Paul Gordon  Lyrics/Book: John Caird

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1995)

Book It’s Based On: Jane Eyre➝ by Charlotte Brontë


Jekyll & Hyde

Music: Frank Wildhorn  Lyrics/Book: Leslie Bricusse

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)

Book It’s Based On: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde➝ by Robert Louis Stevenson


Kiss of the Spider Woman

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Terrence McNally

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

Book It’s Based On: Kiss of the Spider Woman➝ by Manuel Puig


Moll Flanders

Music: George Stiles  Lyrics: Paul Leigh  Book: Claire Luckham

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1993)

Book It’s Based On: Moll Flanders➝ by Daniel Defoe


Nick & Nora

Music: Charles Strouse  Lyrics: Richard Maltby, Jr.  Book: Arthur Laurents

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1991)

Book It’s Based On: The Thin Man➝ by Dashiell Hammett


Once on This Island

Music: Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics/Book: Lynn Ahrens

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)

Book It’s Based On: My Love, My Love: or The Peasant Girl➝ by Rosa Guy


Phantom

Music/Lyrics: Maury Yeston  Book: Arthur Kopit

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1991)

Book It’s Based On: The Phantom of the Opera➝ by Gaston Leroux


Ragtime

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1996)

Book It’s Based On: Ragtime➝ by E.L. Doctorow


The Scarlet Pimpernel

Music: Frank Wildhorn  Lyrics/Book: Nan Knighton

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

Book It’s Based On: The Scarlet Pimpernel➝ by Baroness Orczy


The Secret Garden

Music: Lucy Simon  Lyrics/Book: Marsha Norman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1991)

Book It’s Based On: The Secret Garden➝ by Frances Hodgson Burnett


Wuthering Heights

Music/Lyrics/Book: Bernard J. Taylor

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

Book It’s Based On: Wuthering Heights➝ by Emily Brontë


2000s Musicals

A Little Princess

Music: Andrew Lippa  Lyrics/Book: Brian Crawley

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)

Book It’s Based On: A Little Princess➝ by Frances Hodgson Burnett


A Tale of Two Cities

Music/Lyrics/Book: Jill Santoriello

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Book It’s Based On: A Tale of Two Cities➝ by Charles Dickens


A Year with Frog and Toad

Music: Robert Reale  Lyrics/Book: Willie Reale

Musical Type: Contemporary (2002)

Books Based On: The Frog and Toad Collection➝


Captain Louie

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz  Book: Anthony Stein

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Book It’s Based On: The Trip➝ by Ezra Jack Keats


Children’s Letters to God

Music: David Evans  Lyrics: Douglas J. Cohen  Book: Stuart Hample

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)

Book It’s Based On: Children’s Letters to God➝ by Stuart Hample


Daddy Long Legs

Music/Lyrics: Paul Gordon  Book: John Caird

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

Book It’s Based On: Daddy-Long-Legs➝ by Jean Webster


Dessa Rose

Music: Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics/Book: Lynn Ahrens

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Book It’s Based On: Dessa Rose➝ by Sherley A Williams


Dracula

Music: Frank Wildhorn  Lyrics/Book: Don Black, Christopher Hampton

Musical Type: Contemporary (2001)

Book It’s Based On: Dracula➝ by Bram Stoker


Frankenstein

Music: Mark Baron  Lyrics/Book: Jeffrey Jackson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Book It’s Based On: Frankenstein➝ by Mary Shelley


Giant

Music/Lyrics: Michael John LaChiusa  Book: Sybille Pearson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

Book It’s Based On: Giant➝ by Edna Ferber


Henry and Mudge

Music: Bree Lowdermilk  Lyrics/Book: Kait Kerrigan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Books Based On: Henry and Mudge Series➝


High Fidelity

Music: Tom Kitt  Lyrics: Amanda Green  Book: David Lindsay-Abaire

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Book It’s Based On: High Fidelity➝ by Nick Hornby


I Love You Because

Music: Joshua Salzman  Lyrics: Ryan Cunningham

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Book It’s Based On: Pride and Prejudice➝ by Jane Austen


Little Women

Music: Jason Howland  Lyrics: Mindi Dickstein  Book: Allan Knee

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Book It’s Based On: Little Women➝ by Louisa May Alcott


Junie B. Jones

Music: Zina Goldrich  Lyrics/Book: Marcy Heisler

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)

Books Based On: The Junie B. Jones Books➝


Marguerite

Music: Michel Legrand  Lyrics: Herbert Kretzmer  Lyrics/Book: Alain Boublil  Book: Claude-Michel Schönberg, Jonathan Kent

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Book It’s Based On: La Dame aux Camélias➝ by Alexandre Dumas fils


Pinkalicious

Music/Lyrics: John Gregor  Lyrics/Book: Victoria Kann, Elizabeth Kann

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Book It’s Based On: Pinkalicious➝ by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann


Seussical

Music/Book: Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics/Book: Lynn Ahrens

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)

Books Based On: The Dr. Seuss Books➝


Summer of ’42

Music/Lyrics: David Kirshenbaum  Book: Hunter Foster

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)

Book It’s Based On: Summer of ’42➝ by Herman Raucher

* This musical is also based on the movie, Summer of ’42➝


The Color Purple

Music/Lyrics: Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray  Book: Marsha Norman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Book It’s Based On: The Color Purple➝ by Alice Walker

* This musical is also partially based on the film.


The Count of Monte Cristo

Music: Frank Wildhorn  Lyrics/Book: Jack Murphy

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

Book It’s Based On: The Count of Monte Cristo➝ by Alexandre Dumas


The Glorious Ones

Music: Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics/Books: Lynn Ahrens

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Book It’s Based On: The Glorious Ones➝ by Francine Prose


The Light in the Piazza

Music/Lyrics: Adam Guettel  Book: Craig Lucas

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)

Book It’s Based On: The Light in the Piazza➝ by Elizabeth Spencer


The Lord of the Rings

Music: A.R. Rahman, Christopher Nightingale, Värttinä  Lyrics/Book: Matthew Warchus, Shaun McKenna

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Book It’s Based On: The Lord of the Rings➝ by J.R.R. Tolkien


The Pirate Queen

Music/Book: Claude-Michel Schönberg  Lyrics: John Dempsey  Lyrics/Book: Alain Boublil, Richard Maltby, Jr.

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Book It’s Based On: Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas➝ by Morgan Llywelyn


The Witches of Eastwick

Music: Dana P. Rowe  Lyrics/Book: John Dempsey

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)

Book It’s Based On: The Witches of Eastwick➝ by John Updike


The Woman in White

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: David Zippel  Book: Charlotte Jones

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)

Book It’s Based On: The Woman in White➝ by Wilkie Collins


Wicked

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz  Book: Winnie Holzman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)

Book It’s Based On: Wicked: The Life and Times of The Wicked Witch of the West➝ by Gregory Maguire


Wonderland

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

Books Based On: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass➝ by Lewis Carroll


Zorro

Music: Gipsy Kings, John Cameron  Lyrics/Book: Stephen Clark  Book: Helen Edmundson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Book It’s Based On: Zorro➝ by Isabel Allende


2010s Musicals

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

Music/Lyrics: Steven Lutvak  Lyrics/Book: Robert L. Freedman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

Book It’s Based On: Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal➝ by Roy Horniman


Alice by Heart

Music: Duncan Sheik  Lyrics/Book: Steven Sater  Book: Jessie Nelson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

Book It’s Based On: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland➝ by Lewis Carroll


American Psycho

Music/Lyrics: Duncan Sheik  Book: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Book It’s Based On: American Psycho➝ by Bret Easton Ellis


Be More Chill

Music/Lyrics: Joe Iconis  Book: Joe Tracz

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Book It’s Based On: Be More Chill➝ by Ned Vizzini


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Music/Lyrics: Marc Shaiman  Lyrics: Scott Wittman  Book: David Greig

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Book It’s Based On: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory➝ by Roald Dahl


Doctor Zhivago

Music: Lucy Simon  Lyrics: Michael Korie, Amy Powers  Book: Michael Weller

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)

Book It’s Based On: Doctor Zhivago➝ by Boris Pasternak


Dog Man: The Musical

Music: Brad Alexander  Lyrics/Book: Kevin Del Aguila

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

Books Based On: The Dog Man Book Series➝


Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Music: Deborah Wicks La Puma  Lyrics/Book: Mo Willems  Book: Mr. Warburton

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

Book It’s Based On: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus➝


Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play”

Music: Deborah Wicks La Puma  Lyrics/Book: Mo Willems

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Books Based On: The Elephant & Piggie Books➝


Fancy Nancy

Music/Lyrics: Danny Abosch  Lyrics/Book: Susan DiLallo

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

Books Based On: The Fancy Nancy Books➝


Flowers for Mrs Harris

Music/Lyrics: Richard Taylor  Book: Rachel Wagstaff

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Book It’s Based On: Mrs Harris Goes to Paris➝ by Paul Gallico


Freckleface Strawberry

Music/Lyrics/Book: Gary Kupper  Book: Rose Caiola

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Book It’s Based On: Freckleface Strawberry➝ by Julianne Moore


From Here to Eternity

Music: Stuart Brayson  Lyrics: Tim Rice  Book: Bill Oakes

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Book It’s Based On: From Here to Eternity➝ by James Jones


Fun Home

Music: Jeanine Tesori  Lyrics/Book: Lisa Kron

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Book It’s Based On: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic➝ by Alison Bechdel


Goosebumps

Music/Lyrics: Danny Abosch  Lyrics/Book: John Maclay

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Book It’s Based On: Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium➝ by R.L. Stine


Hamilton

Music/Lyrics/Book: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Book It’s Based On: Alexander Hamilton➝ by Ron Chernow


James and the Giant Peach

Music: Justin Paul  Lyrics: Benj Pasek  Book: Timothy Allen McDonald

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Book It’s Based On: James and the Giant Peach➝ by Roald Dahl


Matilda

Music/Lyrics: Tim Minchin  Book: Dennis Kelly

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Book It’s Based On: Matilda➝ by Roald Dahl


Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Music/Lyrics/Book: Dave Malloy

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

Book It’s Based On: War and Peace➝ by Leo Tolstoy


Peace, Love and Cupcakes

Music/Lyrics/Book: Rick Hip-Flores

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)

Book It’s Based On: Peace, Love and Cupcakes by Sheryl and Carrie Berk


The Bridges of Madison County

Music/Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown  Book: Marsha Norman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Book It’s Based On: The Bridges of Madison County➝ by Robert James Waller


The Lightning Thief

Music/Lyrics: Rob Rokicki  Book: Joe Tracz

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)

Book It’s Based On: The Lightning Thief➝ by Rick Riordan


The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾

Music/Lyrics: Pippa Cleary  Lyrics/Book: Jake Brunger

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Book It’s Based On: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾➝ by Sue Townsend


The Wind in the Willows

Music: George Stiles  Lyrics: Anthony Drewe  Book: Julian Fellowes

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Book It’s Based On: The Wind in the Willows➝ by Kenneth Grahame


Tuck Everlasting

Music: Chris Miller  Lyrics: Nathan Tysen  Book: Claudia Shear, Tim Federle

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Book It’s Based On: Tuck Everlasting➝ by Natalie Babbit


2020s Musicals

A VHS Christmas Carol

Music/Lyrics: Clark Baxtresser

Musical Type: Contemporary (2020)

Book It’s Based On: A Christmas Carol➝ by Charles Dickens


Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World

Music/Lyrics: Miranda Cooper  Music: Jennifer Decilveo  Lyrics: Chris Bush

Musical Type: Contemporary (2021)

Book It’s Based On: Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World➝ by Kate Pankhurst


The Little Big Things

Music/Lyrics: Nick Butcher  Lyrics: Tom Ling  Book: Joe White

Musical Type: Contemporary (2023)

Book It’s Based On: The Little Big Things➝ by Henry Fraser


The Notebook

Music/Lyrics: Ingrid Michaelson  Book: Bekah Brunstetter

Musical Type: Contemporary (2022)

Book It’s Based On: The Notebook➝ by Nicholas Sparks


Water for Elephants

Music/Lyrics: PigPen Theatre Co.  Book: Rick Elice

Musical Type: Contemporary (2023)

Book It’s Based On: Water for Elephants➝ by Sara Gruen


Musicals Based on Out-of-Print Books

All American

Music: Charles Strouse  Lyrics: Lee Adams  Book: Mel Brooks

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1962)

Book It’s Based On: Professor Fodorski by Robert Lewis Taylor


Bravo Giovanni

Music: Milton Schafer  Lyrics: Ronny Graham  Book: A.J. Russell

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1962)

Book It’s Based On: The Crime of Giovanni Venturi by Howard Shaw


Curtains

Music/Lyrics: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Lyrics/Book: Rupert Holmes

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Book It’s Based On: Curtains by Peter Stone


Flora, the Red Menace

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: George Abbott, Robert Russell, David Thompson

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1965)

Book It’s Based On: Love is Just Around the Corner by Lester Atwell


High Button Shoes

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Sammy Cahn  Book: Stephen Longstreet

Musical Type: Golden Age (1947)

Book It’s Based On: The Sisters Liked Them Handsome by Stephen Longstreet


House of Flowers

Music/Lyrics: Harold Arlen  Lyrics/Book: Truman Capote

Musical Type: Golden Age (1954)

Novella It’s Based On: House of Flowers by Truman Capote


Lucky Stiff

Music: Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics/Book: Lynn Ahrens

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1988)

Book It’s Based On: The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo by Michael Butterworth


Nymph Errant

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Romney Brent, Steve Mackes, Michael Whaley

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1933)

Book It’s Based On: Nymph Errant by James Laver


Roberta

Music: Jerome Kern  Lyrics/Book: Otto Harbach

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1933)

Book It’s Based On: Gowns by Roberta by Alice Duer Miller


St. Louis Woman

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1946)

Book It’s Based On: God Sends Sunday by Arna Bontemps


Tenderloin

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1960)

Book It’s Based On: Tenderloin by Samuel Hopkins Adams


Other Post You Might Like

Classic Musicals

Musicals about America

Musicals about New York City

Musicals Based on Movies

Musicals Based on True Stories

Current Broadway Musicals


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Do you know of any other great musicals based on books?

Or have you read any of the musicals based on novels above? Feel free to share your favorite musical adaptation 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 Based on Books.
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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