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.


Please note: This post contains 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.


Musicals by Leonard Bernstein

On the Town

Music: Leonard Bernstein  Lyrics/Book: Betty Comden, Adolph Green

Musical Type: Golden Age (1944)

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.


Peter Pan

Music/Lyrics: Leonard Bernstein

Musical Type: Golden Age (1950)

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.


Wonderful Town

Music: Leonard Bernstein  Lyrics: Betty Comden, Adolph Green  Book: Fields, Chodorov

Musical Type: Golden Age (1953)

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.


Candide

Music/Lyrics/Book: Bernstein, Wilber, Latouche, Parker, Hellman, Sondheim, Wheeler

Musical Type: Golden Age/Operetta (1956)

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


West Side Story

Music: Leonard Bernstein  Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: Arthur Laurents

Musical Type: Golden Age (1957)

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.


1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Music: Leonard Bernstein  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1976)

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.


Additional Work by Bernstein

1943: A Cycle of 5 Kid Songs➝

1951: “Silhouette”➝

1952: Trouble in Tahiti (opera)➝

1971: MASS (A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers)➝

1979: “Piccola Serenata”➝

1983: A Quiet Place (opera)➝

1988: “Arias and Barcarolles”➝

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

2019: Leonard Bernstein’s New York New York


Want a weekly list of stagey surprises?!

Sign up for Theatre Thursday.


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.


 

Leave a Reply

Skip to content