Musicals of the 1940s – A Complete Ordered List

The musicals of the 1940s played a huge role in popular culture at the time. A few of the popular musical theatre trends included feel-good shows, book musicals, Rodgers & Hammerstein, comedies, love stories, French culture, and big dance numbers.

Because of that, the 1940s-1950s are also referred to as the “golden age” of musical theatre. And the most notable musicals of the decade are included below.


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Contents:

1940 Musicals

1941 Musicals

1942 Musicals

1943 Musicals

1944 Musicals

1945 Musicals

1946 Musicals

1947 Musicals

1948 Musicals

1949 Musicals


1940 Musicals

Cabin in the Sky

Music: Vernon Duke  Lyrics: John Latouche  Book: Lynn Root

Musical Type: Golden Age (1940)


Louisiana Purchase

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Morrie Ryskind

Musical Type: Golden Age (1940)


Pal Joey

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1940)


Panama Hattie

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Herbert Fields, B.G. DeSylva

Musical Type: Golden Age (1940)


1941 Musicals

Best Foot Forward

Music/Lyrics: Hugh Martin, Ralph Blane  Book: John Cecil Holm

Musical Type: Golden Age (1941)


Lady in the Dark

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  Book: Moss Hart

Musical Type: Golden Age (1941)


1942 Musicals

By Jupiter

Music/Book: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics/Book: Lorenz Hart

Musical Type: Golden Age (1942)


This Is the Army

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin

Musical Type: Golden Age/Revue (1942)


1943 Musicals

Carmen Jones

Music: Georges Bizet  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)


Oklahoma!

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)


One Touch of Venus

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)


Something for the Boys

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Herbert Fields, Dorothy Fields

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)


1944 Musicals

Bloomer Girl

Music: Harold Arlen  Lyrics: E.Y. Harburg  Book: Sig Herzig, Fred Saidy

Musical Type: Golden Age (1944)


Mexican Hayride

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Herbert Fields, Dorothy Fields

Musical Type: Golden Age (1944)


On the Town

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1944)


Song of Norway

Music: Edvard Grieg  Lyrics: Robert Wright, George Forrest  Book: Milton Lazarus, Homer Curran

Musical Type: Golden Age/Operetta (1944)


1945 Musicals

Carousel

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1945)


The Day Before Spring

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

Musical Type: Golden Age (1945)


Up in Central Park

Music: Sigmund Romberg  Lyrics/Book: Dorothy Fields  Book: Herbert Fields

Musical Type: Golden Age (1945)


1946 Musicals

Annie Get Your Gun

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Dorothy Fields, Herbert Fields

Musical Type: Golden Age (1946)


Call Me Mister

Music/Lyrics: Harold Rome   Sketches: Arnold Auerbach

Musical Type: Golden Age/Revue (1946)


St. Louis Woman

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1946)


1947 Musicals

Allegro

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1947)


Brigadoon

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

Musical Type: Golden Age (1947)


Finian’s Rainbow

Music: Burton Lane  Lyrics/Book: E.Y. Harburg  Book: Fred Saidy

Musical Type: Golden Age (1947)


High Button Shoes

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Sammy Cahn  Book: Stephen Longstreet, George Abbott

Musical Type: Golden Age (1947)


Street Scene

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics: Langston Hughes  Book: Elmer Rice

Musical Type: Opera (1947)


1948 Musicals

Kiss Me, Kate

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Bella Spewack, Samuel Spewack

Musical Type: Golden Age (1948)


Look Ma, I’m Dancin’!

Music/Lyrics: Hugh Martin  Book: Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee

Musical Type: Golden Age (1948)


Magdalena

Music: Heitor Villa-Lobos  Lyrics: Robert Wright, George Forrest  Book: Brennan, Curran

Musical Type: Golden Age (1948)


Where’s Charley?

Music/Lyrics: Frank Loesser  Book: George Abbott

Musical Type: Golden Age (1948)


1949 Musicals

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)


Lost in the Stars

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics/Book: Maxwell Anderson

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)


Miss Liberty

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Robert E. Sherwood

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)


South Pacific

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)


Other Decades

Musicals of the 1920s

Musicals of the 1930s

• Musicals of the 1940s → You are here!

The Golden Age Musicals (1940 – 1959)

The Post-Golden Age Musicals (1960- 1969)

Musicals of the 1970s

Musicals of the 1980s

Musicals of the 1990s

Musicals of the 2000s

Musicals of the 2010s

Musicals of the 2020s


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Which of these musicals of the 1940s is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of these musicals from the 1940s? Feel free to share in the comments! 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 of the 1940s.
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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