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)

Musical Info ➝

Boogie Nights

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Jon Conway

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary/Jukebox (1998)

Musical Info ➝

Bubble Boy

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Musical Info ➝

City of Angels

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1989)

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

Musical Info ➝

Fade Out – Fade In

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Musical Info ➝

Flower Drum Song

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1958)

Musical Info ➝

Flying Over Sunset

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2021)

Musical Info ➝

I Remember Mama

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

Musical Info ➝

Mrs. Doubtfire

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2022)

Musical Info ➝

Paint Your Wagon

Music: Frederick Loewe  Lyrics/Book: Alan Jay Lerner

Musical Type: Golden Age (1951)

Musical Info ➝

Passing Strange

Music/Lyrics/Book: Stew, Heidi Rodewald

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Musical Info ➝

Pipe Dream

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1955)

Musical Info ➝

Pretty Woman

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2018)

Musical Info ➝

Rock of Ages

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Chris D’Arienzo

Musical Type: Contemporary/Jukebox (2005)

Musical Info ➝

Singin’ in the Rain

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

Musical Type: Golden Age/Pre-Contemporary (1952/1983)

Musical Info ➝


Music: Marvin Hamlisch  Lyrics/Book: Howard Ashman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1986)

Musical Info ➝

Sunset Boulevard

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1991)

Musical Info ➝

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin

Music/Lyrics/Book: Kirsten Childs

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)

Musical Info ➝

The Human Comedy

Music: Galt MacDermot  Lyrics/Book: William Dumaresq

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1983)

Musical Info ➝

The Most Happy Fella

Music/Lyrics/Book: Frank Loesser

Musical Type: Golden Age (1956)

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

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Music: Joseph Zellnik  Lyrics/Book: David Zellnik

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Musical Info ➝

Musicals Partially Set in California

A Day in Hollywood / A Night in the Ukraine

Music: Frank Lazarus  Lyrics/Book: Dick Vosburgh

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary/Revue (1979)

Musical Info ➝


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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Musical Info ➝

Mack & Mabel

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Book: Michael Stewart

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1974)

Musical Info ➝

Merrily We Roll Along

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: George Furth

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1981)

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Musical Info ➝

Song and Dance

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1982)

Musical Info ➝

Tell Me on a Sunday

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Don Black

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

Musical Info ➝

The Biograph Girl

Music/Lyrics/Book: David Heneker, Warner Brown

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1980)

Musical Info ➝

What Makes Sammy Run?

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Musical Info ➝


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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Musical Info ➝

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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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