Musical Lists

85+ Musicals With Female Leads – The Full List

In honor of International Women’s Day this year, I decided to put together a list of musicals with female leads. The following list is broken down into a few categories – “Musicals With a Female Lead”, “Musicals with Multiple Female Leads”, and “All-Female Musicals”. Each category is sorted alphabetically.

For the purposes of this list, I’m selecting musicals that have very prominent female leads. Nearly every musical has some sort of a female lead, so I’m featuring the musicals where women carry the show (and not in conjunction with a leading male).

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Musicals With a Female Lead

A Little Princess

Music: Andrew Lippa  Lyrics/Book: Brian Crawley

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)

Female Lead: Sara Crewe

A Night With Janis Joplin

Music/Lyrics: Janis Joplin, Various  Book: Randy Johnson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Female Lead: Janis Joplin


Music: Elton John  Lyrics: Tim Rice  Book: Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, David Henry Hwang

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

Female Lead: Aida


Music/Lyrics: Daniel Messé  Lyrics: Nathan Tysen  Book: Craig Lucas

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Female Lead: Amélie Poulain


Music: Stephen Flaherty  Lyrics: Lynn Ahrens  Book: Terrence McNally

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Female Lead: Anya / Princess Anastasia

Anne of Green Gables

Music/Lyrics: Norman Campbell  Lyrics/Book: Donald Harron, Elaine Campbell, Mavor Moore

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1965)

Female Lead: Anne Shirley

Anne of Green Gables

Music: Nancy Ford  Lyrics/Book: Gretchen Cryer

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Female Lead: Anne Shirley


Music: Charles Strouse  Lyrics: Martin Charnin  Book: Thomas Meehan

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1976)

Female Lead: Annie

Annie Get Your Gun

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1946)

Female Lead: Annie Oakley

Anything Goes

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1934)

Female Lead: Reno Sweeney


Music: Charles Strouse  Lyrics: Lee Adams  Book: Betty Comden, Adolph Green

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1970)

Female Lead: Margo Channing

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Music/Lyrics: Gerry Goffin, Carole King, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil  Book: Douglas McGrath

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Female Lead: Carole King

Broadway Bounty Hunter

Music/Lyrics/Book: Joe Iconis  Book: Lance Rubin, Jason SweetTooth Williams

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

Female Lead: Annie Golden

Calamity Jane

Music: Sammy Fain  Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster  Adaptation: Ronald Hanmer, Phil Park

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1961)

Female Lead: Calamity Jane

Call Me Madam

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1950)

Female Lead: Sally Adams


Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Abe Burrows

Musical Type: Golden Age (1953)

Female Lead: La Môme Pistache

Caroline, or Change

Music: Jeanine Tesori  Lyrics/Book: Tony Kushner

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)

Female Lead: Caroline Thibodeaux

Everyday Rapture

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Dick Scanlan, Sherie Rene Scott

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

Female Lead: Sheri Rene Scott


Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Tim Rice

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1976)

Female Lead: Eva Perón

Fade Out – Fade In

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Female Lead: Hope Springfield


Music/Lyrics/Book: Yve Blake

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

Female Lead: Edna

Far From Heaven

Music: Scott Frankel  Lyrics: Michael Korie  Book: Richard Greenberg

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

Female Lead: Cathy Whitaker

Flora, the Red Menace

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: George Abbott, Robert Russell, David Thompson

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1965)

Female Lead: Flora Meszaros

Flowers for Mrs Harris

Music/Lyrics: Richard Taylor  Book: Rachel Wagstaff

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Female Lead: Mrs Ada Harris

Freckleface Strawberry

Music/Lyrics/Book: Gary Kupper  Book: Rose Caiola

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Female Lead: Strawberry

Funny Girl

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Bob Merrill  Book: Isobel Lennart

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Female Lead: Fanny Brice

Hallelujah, Baby!

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1967)

Female Lead: Georgina Franklin

Hello, Dolly!

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Book: Michael Stewart

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Female Lead: Dolly Gallagher Levi

Hell’s Kitchen

Music/Lyrics: Alicia Keys, Various  Book: Kristoffer Diaz

Musical Type: Contemporary (2023)

Female Lead: Ali


Music: Tom Kitt  Lyrics/Book: Brian Yorkey

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)

Female Lead: Elizabeth

I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road

Music: Nancy Ford  Lyrics/Book: Gretchen Cryer

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1978)

Female Lead: Heather

Junie B. Jones

Music: Zina Goldrich  Lyrics/Book: Marcy Heisler

Musical Type: Contemporary (2004)

Female Lead: Junie B. Jones

Kimberly Akimbo

Music: Jeanine Tesori  Lyrics/Book: David Lindsay-Abaire

Musical Type: Contemporary (2021)

Female Lead: Kimberly Akimbo

Legally Blonde

Music/Lyrics: Nell Benjamin, Laurence O’Keefe  Book: Heather Hach

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Female Lead: Elle Woods


Music/Book: Matt Gould  Lyrics/Book: Carson Kreitzer

Musical Type: Contemporary (2018)

Female Lead: Tamara de Lempicka


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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1974)

Female Lead: Lorelei Lee


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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

Female Lead: Mame Dennis

Mary Poppins

Music/Lyrics: Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, George Stiles, Anthony Drewe  Book: Julian Fellowes

Musical Type: 1964 Film/Contemporary Musical (2004)

Female Lead: Mary Poppins


Music/Lyrics: Tim Minchin  Book: Dennis Kelly

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Female Lead: Matilda Wormwood

Nymph Errant

Music/Lyrics: Cole Porter  Book: Romney Brent, Steve Mackes, Michael Whaley

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1933)

Female Lead: Evangeline Edwards

Panama Hattie

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1940)

Female Lead: Hattie Maloney


Music: Jerome Kern, Victor Herbert  Lyrics: Clifford Grey, B.G. De Sylva, P.G. Wodehouse, Anne Caldwell  Book: Guy Bolton

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1920)

Female Lead: Sally

Sister Act

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics: Glenn Slater  Book: Cheri Steinkellner, Bill Steinkellner

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Female Lead: Deloris Van Cartier

The Act

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: George Furth

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1977)

Female Lead: Michelle “Mike” Mayer

The Bodyguard

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Alexander Dinelaris

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

Female Lead: Rachel Marron

The Color Purple

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2005)

Female Lead: Celie

The Light Princess

Music/Lyrics: Tori Amos  Lyrics/Book: Samuel Adamson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Female Lead: Althea

The Little Mermaid

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics: Howard Ashman, Glenn Slater  Book: Doug Wright

Musical Type: 1989 Film/Contemporary Musical (2007)

Female Lead: Ariel

The Pirate Queen

Music/Book: Claude-Michel Schönberg  Lyrics: John Dempsey  Lyrics/Book: Alain Boublil, Richard Maltby, Jr.

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Female Lead: Grace (Grania) O’Malley

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Music/Lyrics: Meredith Willson  Book: Richard Morris

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1960)

Female Lead: Molly Tobin

Thoroughly Modern Millie

Music:  Jeanine Tesori  Lyrics/Book: Dick Scanlan  Book: Richard Morris

Musical Type: Contemporary (2002)

Female Lead: Millie Dillmount

Tuck Everlasting

Music: Chris Miller  Lyrics: Nathan Tysen  Book: Claudia Shear, Tim Federle

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Female Lead: Winnie Foster


Music: Jeanine Tesori  Lyrics/Book: Brian Crawley

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

Female Lead: Violet


Music/Lyrics: Sara Bareilles  Book: Jessie Nelson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Female Lead: Jenna Hunterson


Music: Cy Coleman  Lyrics: Carolyn Leigh  Book: N. Richard Nash

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1960)

Female Lead: Wildcat “Wildy” Jackson

Woman of the Year

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Peter Stone

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1981)

Female Lead: Tess Harding

Musicals With Multiple Female Leads

42nd Street

Music: Harry Warren  Lyrics: Al Dubin, Johnny Mercer  Book: Michael Stewart, Mark Bramble

Musical Type: 1933 Film/Pre-Contemporary Musical (1980)

Female Leads: Dorothy and Peggy

9 to 5

Music/Lyrics: Dolly Parton  Book: Patricia Resnick

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Female Leads: Violet, Doralee, and Judy

Anyone Can Whistle

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: Arthur Laurents

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Female Leads: Fay and Cora


Music: Michael Gore  Lyrics: Dean Pitchford  Book: Lawrence D. Cohen

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1988)

Female Leads: Carrie and Margaret


Music: John Kander  Lyrics/Book: Fred Ebb  Book: Bob Fosse

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1975)

Female Leads: Velma and Roxie


Music: Henry Krieger  Lyrics/Book: Tom Eyen

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1981)

Female Leads: Effie, Deena and Lorrell

Freaky Friday

Music: Tom Kitt  Lyrics: Brian Yorkey  Book: Bridget Carpenter

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Female Leads: Ellie and Katherine


Music/Lyrics: Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez  Book: Jennifer Lee

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)

Female Leads: Anna and Elsa

Grey Gardens

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Female Leads: Edith and Edie


Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: Arthur Laurents

Musical Type: Golden Age (1959)

Female Leads: Rose, June, and Louise

Mamma Mia!

Music/Lyrics: Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus  Book: Catherine Johnson

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1999)

Female Leads: Sophie and Donna

Mean Girls

Music: Jeff Richmond  Lyrics: Nell Benjamin  Book: Tina Fey

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)

Female Leads: Cady and Regina

Mrs Henderson Presents

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Female Leads: Laura, Vivian, & Maureen

Side Show

Music: Henry Krieger  Lyrics/Book: Bill Russell

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

Female Leads: Violet and Daisy


Music: Marvin Hamlisch  Lyrics/Book: Howard Ashman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1986)

Female Leads: Robin and Doria

Sweet Charity

Music: Cy Coleman  Lyrics: Dorothy Fields  Book: Neil Simon

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

Female Leads: Charity, Helene, and Nickie

The Cher Show

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Rick Elice

Musical Type: Contemporary (2018)

Female Leads: Star, Lady, and Babe

The Life

Music/Book: Cy Coleman  Lyrics/Book: Ira Gasman  Book: David Newman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1990)

Female Leads: Queen, Sonja, and Mary

The Rink

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Terrence McNally

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1984)

Female Leads: Anna and Angel

War Paint

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Female Leads: Helena and Elizabeth


Music/Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz  Book: Winnie Holzman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)

Female Leads: Elphaba and Galinda

Wonderful Town

Music: Leonard Bernstein  Lyrics: Betty Comden, Adolph Green  Book: Joseph Fields, Jerome Chodorov

Musical Type: Golden Age (1953)

Female Leads: Ruth and Eileen

Musicals With an All-Female Cast

Beehive: The 60’s Musical

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Larry Gallagher

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

Cast Size: 6

Bernarda Alba

Music/Lyrics/Book: Michael John LaChiusa

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Cast Size: 10

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World

Music/Lyrics: Miranda Cooper  Music: Jennifer Decilveo  Lyrics: Chris Bush

Lyrics: Chris Bush, Miranda Cooper

Cast Size: 5+

First Daughter Suite

Music/Lyrics: Michael John La Chiusa

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Cast Size: 7

Jerry’s Girls

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Concept: Larry Alford, Wayne Cilento

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

Cast Size: 3


Music/Lyrics/Book: Dan Goggin

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

Cast Size: 5


Music: Marvin Laird  Lyrics/Book: Joel Paley

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

Cast Size: 7

SHOUT! The Mod Musical

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Phillip George, David Lowenstein

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Cast Size: 5


Music/Lyrics/Book: Toby Marlow, Lucy Moss

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)

Cast Size: 6

Song and Dance

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1982)

Cast Size: 1


Music/Lyrics/Book: Shaina Taub

Musical Type: Contemporary (2022)

Cast Size: 15+

Tell Me on a Sunday

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Don Black

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

Cast Size: 1

The Marvelous Wonderettes

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Roger Bean

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1999)

Cast Size: 4

The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Roger Bean

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Cast Size: 4

The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Roger Bean

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Cast Size: 4


Music/Lyrics: David Kirshenbaum  Book: Jack Heifner

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Cast Size: 3

Winter Wonderettes

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Roger Bean

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Cast Size: 4

* Here’s where you can find a full list of musicals with an all-female writing team!

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Know of any other musicals with female leads?

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 With Female Leads.
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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