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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1940 Musicals


Cabin in the Sky  (1940)

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

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Louisiana Purchase  (1940)

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Morrie Ryskind

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Pal Joey  (1940)

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

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Panama Hattie  (1940)

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

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1941 Musicals


Best Foot Forward  (1941)

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

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Lady in the Dark  (1941)

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

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1942 Musicals


By Jupiter  (1942)

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

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This Is the Army  (1942)

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin

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1943 Musicals


Carmen Jones  (1943)

Music: Georges Bizet  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

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Oklahoma!  (1943)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

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One Touch of Venus  (1943)

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

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Something for the Boys  (1943)

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

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1944 Musicals


Bloomer Girl  (1944)

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

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Mexican Hayride  (1944)

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

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On the Town  (1944)

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

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Song of Norway  (1944)

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

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1945 Musicals


Carousel  (1945)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

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The Day Before Spring  (1945)

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

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Up in Central Park  (1945)

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

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1946 Musicals


Annie Get Your Gun  (1946)

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

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Call Me Mister  (1946)

Music/Lyrics: Harold Rome   Sketches: Arnold Auerbach

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St. Louis Woman  (1946)

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

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1947 Musicals


Allegro  (1947)

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

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Brigadoon  (1947)

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

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Finian’s Rainbow  (1947)

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

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High Button Shoes  (1947)

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

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Street Scene  (1947)

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

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1948 Musicals


Kiss Me, Kate  (1948)

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

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Look Ma, I’m Dancin’!  (1948)

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

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Magdalena  (1948)

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

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Where’s Charley?  (1948)

Music/Lyrics: Frank Loesser  Book: George Abbott

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1949 Musicals


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes  (1949)

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

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Lost in the Stars  (1949)

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics/Book: Maxwell Anderson

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Miss Liberty  (1949)

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

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South Pacific  (1949)

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

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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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