Musicals by Leonard Bernstein – The Full List

Leonard Bernstein was not only a successful musical theatre composer, but also a pianist, lecturer, lifelong humanitarian, and internationally known conductor. He won 11 Emmy Awards, one Tony Award, 17 Grammys, and the Kennedy Center Honor. Here’s a full list of the legendary musicals by Leonard Bernstein, sorted chronologically.


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Musicals by Leonard Bernstein

On the Town (1944)

Music: Leonard Bernstein

Lyrics/Book: Betty Comden, Adolph Green

On the Town premiered on Broadway in 1944 and resonated so much with audiences that a film adaptation quickly followed. The show’s popularity continued with several major revivals over the following years.

Musical Info ➝


Peter Pan (1950)

Music/Lyrics: Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan is not a widely-known musical and is not to be confused with the popular 1954 Broadway production. The initial production of Bernstein’s Peter Pan only featured five songs, but a full album’s worth of material was uncovered and restored after his death.

Musical Info ➝


Wonderful Town (1953)

Music: Leonard Bernstein

Lyrics: Betty Comden, Adolph Green

Book: Fields, Chodorov

Wonderful Town was a huge success for Leonard Bernstein and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. There were also a handful of major revivals of the show over the following few decades.

Musical Info ➝


Candide (1956)

Music: Bernstein

Lyrics: Wilber, Latouche, Parker, Hellman, Sondheim

Book: Hellman, Wheeler

Based on the 1759 novella, Candide initially opened to underwhelmed audiences. However, the operetta’s popularity ended up growing over the years.

Musical Info ➝


West Side Story (1957)

Music: Leonard Bernstein

Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim

Book: Arthur Laurents

West Side Story was one of Bernstein’s biggest successes with six Tony Award nominations and an initial run of 732 performances. This was also Stephen Sondheim’s debut as lyricist. The musical continues to be incredibly popular to this day with seemingly non-stop revivals.

Musical Info ➝


1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (1976)

Music: Leonard Bernstein

Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

Unfortunately Leonard Bernstein’s last Broadway show turned out to be a legendary flop. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue ran for just seven performances, but a concert version of the score (A White House Cantata) was later recorded after his death.

Musical Info ➝


Additional Work by Bernstein

1943: A Cycle of 5 Kid Songs (song cycle)  Listen

1951: “Silhouette”  Listen

1952: Trouble in Tahiti (opera)  Listen

1971: MASS (A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers)  Listen | Documentary

1979: “Piccola Serenata”  Listen

1983: A Quiet Place (opera)  Listen

1988: “Arias and Barcarolles”  Listen

1988: “My Twelve Tone Melody” (in honor of Irving Berlin’s 100th)  Listen

* Here are some lesser known works by Leonard Bernstein.


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Which of these musicals by Leonard Bernstein is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of these Leonard Bernstein 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 Musicals by Leonard Bernstein.
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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