Musical Lists

Musicals Set in the 1940s – The Full List of Shows

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! Here’s the full list of musicals set in the 1940s.

The following list is broken down into three categories – “Musicals Fully Set in the 1940s”, “Musicals Partially Set in the 1940s”, and “Musicals Set Around 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  Book: Jessie Nelson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Amour

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


An American in Paris

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

Musical Type: 1951 Film/Contemporary Musical (2014)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Bandstand

Music/Lyrics/Book: Richard Oberacker  Lyrics/Book: 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 (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


Kiss Me, Kate

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1948)

When It’s Set: The 1940s (and theatre scenes in the 1500s)


Lady in the Dark

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1941)

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: Herbert Kretzmer  Lyrics/Book: Alain Boublil  Book: Claude-Michel Schönberg, Jonathan Kent

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


New York, New York

Music/Lyrics: John Kander, Fred Ebb  Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda  Book: David Thompson, Sharon Washington

Musical Type: Contemporary (2023)

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


One Touch of Venus

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Operation Mincemeat

Music/Lyrics/Book: David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson, Zoë Roberts

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

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


Something for the Boys

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)

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


Texas, Li’l Darlin’

Music: Robert Emmett Dolan  Lyrics: Johnny Mercer  Book: John Whedon, Sam Moore

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)

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  Libretto: William Dumaresq

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1983)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Tokyo Rose

Music: William Patrick Harrison  Lyrics/Book: Maryhee Yoon, Cara Baldwin

Musical Type: Contemporary (2021)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


What Makes Sammy Run?

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

When It’s Set: The 1940s


Yank!

Music: Joseph Zellnik  Lyrics/Book: David Zellnik

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

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  Lyrics/Book: 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


Bombshell

Music/Lyrics: Marc Shaiman  Lyrics: Scott Wittman  Book: Patrik Komljenović

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

When It’s Set: 1930s-1960s


Bright Star

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)

When It’s Set: 1920s/1940s


Bubbling Brown Sugar

Music: Various  Book: Loften Mitchell  Concept: Rosetta LeNoire

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1976)

When It’s Set: 1920s/1930s/1940s/1970s


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: 1940s/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


I Do! I Do!

Music: Harvey Schmidt  Lyrics/Book: Tom Jones

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

When It’s Set: 1890s-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


King Kong

Music/Lyrics: Todd Matshikiza  Lyrics: Pat Williams  Book: Harry Bloom

Musical Type: Golden Age (1959)

When It’s Set: 1940s-1950s


Legacy – Two Song Cycles

Music: Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens

Musical Type: Contemporary (2020)

When It’s Set: 1850s/1940s/1950s


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: Leo Robin, Adolph Green, Betty Comden  Book: Anita Loos, Joseph Fields, 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 E. Lee

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

When It’s Set: 1920s-1940s


Mr. Saturday Night

Music: Jason Robert Brown  Lyrics: Amanda Green  Book: Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel

Musical Type: Contemporary (2021)

When It’s Set: 1940s/1950s/1990s


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 Color Purple

Music/Lyrics: Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray  Book: Marsha Norman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

When It’s Set: 1900s-1940s


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


Musicals Set Around the 1940s

Guys and Dolls

Music/Lyrics: Frank Loesser  Book: Jo Swerling, Abe Burrows

Musical Type: Golden Age (1950)

When It’s Set: Between the 1930s-1950s


More Musicals by Setting

Musicals Set in the 1800s

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

• Musicals Set in the 2000s

• Musicals Set in the Future


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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 holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.


 

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