31+ Musicals Set in California – A Full List

Whether you’re doing some research, putting on a show, or simply looking for new musicals to get into, it’s good to get familiar with what’s out there. And that’s why we’ve put together this list for you! A full list of musicals set in California are included below.

This list is broken down into two categories – “Musicals Fully Set in California” and “Musicals Partially Set in California”. Each category is sorted alphabetically.


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Musicals Fully Set in California

Back to the Future

Music: Alan Silvestri  Lyrics: Glen Ballard  Book: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale

Musical Type: Contemporary (2020)

Where It’s Set: Hill Valley, California


Bubble Boy

Music/Lyrics/Book: Cinco Paul  Book: Ken Daurio

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Where It’s Set: California


City of Angels

Music: Cy Coleman  Lyrics: David Zippel  Book: Larry Gelbart

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1989)

Where It’s Set: Los Angeles, California


Dogfight

Music/Lyrics: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul  Book: Peter Duchan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

Where It’s Set: San Francisco, California


Fade Out – Fade In

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics/Book: Betty Comden, Adolph Green

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California


Flower Drum Song

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1958)

Where It’s Set: San Francisco, California


Flying Over Sunset

Music: Tom Kitt  Lyrics: Michael Korie  Book: James Lapine

Musical Type: Contemporary (2021)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California


I Remember Mama

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics: Martin Charnin, Raymond Jessel  Book: Thomas Meehan

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

Where It’s Set: San Francisco, California


Mrs. Doubtfire

Music/Lyrics/Book: Karey Kirkpatrick  Music/Lyrics: Wayne Kirkpatrick  Book: John O’Farrell

Musical Type: Contemporary (2022)

Where It’s Set: San Francisco, California


Nick & Nora

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1991)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California


Paint Your Wagon

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

Musical Type: Golden Age (1951)

Where It’s Set: California


Passing Strange

Music/Lyrics/Book: Stew, Heidi Rodewald

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Where It’s Set: Los Angeles, California


Pipe Dream

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1955)

Where It’s Set: Monterey, California


Pretty Woman

Music/Lyrics: Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance  Book: Garry Marshall, J.F. Lawton

Musical Type: Contemporary (2018)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood/Los Angeles, California


Rock of Ages

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Chris D’Arienzo

Musical Type: Contemporary/Jukebox (2005)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California


Singin’ in the Rain

Music: Nacio Herb Brown  Lyrics: Arthur Freed  Book: Adolph Green, Betty Comden

Musical Type: 1952 Film/Pre-Contemporary Musical (1983)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California


Smile

Music: Marvin Hamlisch  Lyrics/Book: Howard Ashman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1986)

Where It’s Set: Santa Rosa, California


Sunset Boulevard

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics/Book: Don Black, Christopher Hampton

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1991)

Where It’s Set: Los Angeles, California


The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin

Music/Lyrics/Book: Kirsten Childs

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)

Where It’s Set: Los Angeles, California


The Human Comedy

Music: Galt MacDermot  Lyrics/Book: William Dumaresq

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1983)

Where It’s Set: California


The Most Happy Fella

Music/Lyrics/Book: Frank Loesser

Musical Type: Golden Age (1956)

Where It’s Set: San Francisco, California


Xanadu

Music/Lyrics: Jeff Lynne, John Farrar  Book: Douglas Carter Beane

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Where It’s Set: Los Angeles, California


Musicals Partially Set in California

A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine

Music: Frank Lazarus, Various  Lyrics/Book: Dick Vosburgh

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary/Revue (1979)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California/Ukraine


Cagney

Music/Lyrics: Robert Creighton, Cristopher McGovern  Book: Peter Colley

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California/NYC


Mack & Mabel

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Book: Michael Stewart

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1974)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California/NYC


Merrily We Roll Along

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: George Furth

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1981)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California/NYC


Road Show

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: John Weidman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)

Where It’s Set: California/Florida/NYC


Scandalous

Music: David Pomeranz, David Friedman  Lyrics/Book: Kathie Lee Gifford

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Where It’s Set: California/Canada


Song and Dance

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Don Black, Richard Maltby Jr.

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1982)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California/NYC


Tell Me on a Sunday

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Don Black

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California/NYC


The Biograph Girl

Music/Lyrics/Book: David Heneker, Warner Brown

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1980)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California/NYC


What Makes Sammy Run?

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Where It’s Set: Hollywood, California/NYC


Yank!

Music: Joseph Zellnik  Lyrics/Book: David Zellnik

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Where It’s Set: Midwest USA/San Francisco, California


Zorro

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Where It’s Set: California/Spain


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Which of these musicals set in California is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of the above musicals set in California? 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 Set in California.
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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