Musicals Set in the 1940s – A Full List

Whether you’re auditioning for musicals, setting up your rep book, or simply looking for some 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! The most notable musicals set in the 1940s are included below.

The following list is broken down into two categories – “Musicals Fully Set in the 1940s” and “Musicals Partially Set in the 1940s”. Each category is sorted alphabetically.


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Musicals Fully Set in the 1940s

A Christmas Story

Music/Lyrics: Benj Pasek, Justin Paul  Book: Joseph Robinette

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Alice by Heart

Music: Duncan Sheik  Lyrics/Book: Steven Sater, Jessie Nelson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Amour

Music: Michel Legrand  Lyrics/Book: Jeremy Sams, Didier Van Cauwelaert

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


An American in Paris

Music: George Gershwin  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  Book: Craig Lucas

Musical Type: 1951 Film/Contemporary Musical (2014)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Bandstand

Music/Lyrics/Book: Richard Oberacker, Robert Taylor

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Best Foot Forward

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1941)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Betty Blue Eyes

Music: George Stiles  Lyrics: Anthony Drewe  Book: Ron Cowen, Daniel Lipman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2011)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Blitz!

Music/Lyrics/Book: Lionel Bart  Book: Joan Maitland

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1962)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Call Me Madam

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse

Musical Type: Golden Age (1950)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Carmen Jones

Music: Georges Bizet  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


City of Angels

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1989)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Copacabana

Music/Book: Barry Manilow  Lyrics/Book: Bruce Sussman, Jack Feldman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Dear World

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Book: Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1969)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Finian’s Rainbow

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1947)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Flowers for Mrs. Harris

Music/Lyrics: Richard Taylor  Book: Rachel Wagstaff

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


From Here to Eternity

Music: Stuart Brayson  Lyrics: Tim Rice  Book: Bill Oakes

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Holiday Inn

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Gordon Greenberg, Chad Hodge

Musical Type: Contemporary Jukebox (2014)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Hot Mikado

Music: Rob Bowman  Lyrics/Book: David H. Bell

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1986)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Lost in the Stars

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics/Book: Maxwell Anderson

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Louisiana Purchase

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Morrie Ryskind

Musical Type: Golden Age (1940)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Marguerite

Music: Michel Legrand  Lyrics: Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer  Book: Schönberg, Kent, Boublil

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


On the Town

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1944)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Over Here!

Music/Lyrics: Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman  Book: Will Holt

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1974)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Panama Hattie

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1940)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Play On!

Music/Lyrics: Duke Ellington, Various  Book: Cheryl L. West

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1996)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


South Pacific

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


State Fair

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II  Book: Tom Briggs, Louis Mattioli

Musical Type: 1945 Film/Pre-Contemporary Musical (1996)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Street Scene

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

Musical Type: Opera (1947)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Summer of ’42

Music/Lyrics: David Kirshenbaum  Book: Hunter Foster

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


The Grand Tour

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Book: Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1978)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


The Human Comedy

Music: Galt MacDermot  Lyrics/Book: William Dumaresq

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1983)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Tokyo Rose

Music/Lyrics/Book: Maryhee Yoon, Cara Baldwin

Musical Type: Contemporary (2021)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Yank!

Music: Joseph Zellnik  Lyrics/Book: David Zellnik

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Yours, Anne

Music: Michael Cohen  Lyrics/Book: Enid Futterman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Musicals Partially Set in the 1940s

Allegiance

Music/Lyrics/Book: Jay Kuo  Book: Marc Acito, Lorenzo Thione

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

When It’s Set: 1940s-2000s


Allegro

Music: Richard Rodgers  Book/Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1947)

When It’s Set: 1900s-1940s


Aspects of Love

Music/Book: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Don Black, Charles Hart

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1989)

When It’s Set: 1940s-1960s


Black and Blue

Music: W.C. Handy, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Eubie Blake, Big Maybelle

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

When It’s Set: 1910s-1940s


Bright Star

Music/Book: Steve Martin  Music/Lyrics: Edie Brickell

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)

When It’s Set: 1920s-1940s


Chaplin

Music/Lyrics/Book: Christopher Curtis  Book: Thomas Meehan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

When It’s Set: 1900s-1960s


Evita

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Tim Rice

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1976)

When It’s Set: 1930s-1950s


Giant

Music/Lyrics: Michael John LaChiusa  Book: Sybille Pearson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

When It’s Set: 1920s-1950s


Grey Gardens

Music: Scott Frankel  Lyrics: Michael Korie  Book: Doug Wright

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

When It’s Set: 1930s-1970s


Hallelujah, Baby!

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Adolph Green, Betty Comden  Book: Arthur Laurents

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1967)

When It’s Set: 1910s-1960s


It’s a Wonderful Life

Music: Bruce Greer  Lyrics/Book: Keith Ferguson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)

When It’s Set: 1920s/1940s


Jelly’s Last Jam

Music: Jelly Roll Morton, Luther Henderson  Lyrics: Susan Birkenhead  Book: George C. Wolfe

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

When It’s Set: 1890s-1940s


Little Me

Music: Cy Coleman  Lyrics: Carolyn Leigh  Book: Neil Simon

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1962)

When It’s Set: 1930s-1950s


Lorelei

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Adolph Green, Betty Comden, Leo Robin  Book: Kenny Solms, Gail Parent

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1974)

When It’s Set: 1920s-1940s


LoveMusik

Music: Kurt Weill  Lyrics: Various  Book: Alfred Uhry

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

When It’s Set: 1920s-1950s


Mame

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Book: Jerome Lawrence, Robert Edwin Lee

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

When It’s Set: 1920s-1940s


Miss Littlewood

Music/Lyrics/Book: Sam Kenyon

Musical Type: Contemporary (2018)

When It’s Set: 1910s-1960s


Mrs Henderson Presents

Music: George Fenton, Simon Chamberlain  Lyrics: Don Black  Book: Terry Johnson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

When It’s Set: 1930s-1940s


Scandalous

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

When It’s Set: 1910s-1940s


Sunset Boulevard

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1991)

When It’s Set: 1940s-1950s


The Who’s Tommy

Music/Lyrics/Book: Pete Townshend  Book: Des McAnuff

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

When It’s Set: 1940s-1960s


War Paint

Music: Scott Frankel  Lyrics: Michael Korie  Book: Doug Wright

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

When It’s Set: 1930s-1960s


More Musicals by Setting

Musicals set in the 1900s

Musicals set in the 1910s

• Musicals set in the 1920s

Musicals set in the 1930s

• Musicals set in the 1940s → You are here!

Musicals set in the 1950s

Musicals set in the 1960s

Musicals set in the 1970s

Musicals set in the 1980s

Musicals set in the 1990s


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

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