70+ 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/Jukebox (2013)

Female Lead: Janis Joplin


Aida

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

Female Lead: Aida


Amélie

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Female Lead: Amélie


Anastasia

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Female Lead: Anya


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


Annie

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1976)

Female Lead: Annie


Applause

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/Jukebox (2013)

Female Lead: Carole King


Bella: An American Tall Tale

Music/Lyrics/Book: Kirsten Childs

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Female Lead: Bella


Broadway Bounty Hunter

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

Female Lead: Annie Golden


Call Me Madam

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1950)

Female Lead: Sally Adams


Caroline, or Change

Music: Jeanine Tesori  Lyrics/Book: Tony Kushner

Musical Type: Contemporary (2003)

Female Lead: Caroline


Everyday Rapture

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

Female Lead: Sheri Rene Scott


Evita

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Tim Rice

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1976)

Female Lead: Eva Perón


Fangirls

Music/Lyrics/Book: Yve Blake

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

Female Lead: Edna


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


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


If/Then

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


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)

Female Lead: Lorelei


Mame

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

Female Lead: Mame


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


Matilda

Music/Lyrics: Tim Minchin  Book: Dennis Kelly

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Female Lead: Matilda


Miss Littlewood

Music/Lyrics/Book: Sam Kenyon

Musical Type: Contemporary (2018)

Female Lead: Joan Littlewood


Panama Hattie

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1940)

Female Lead: Hattie Maloney


Sally

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


The Act

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1977)

Female Lead: Michelle “Mike” Mayer


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


Thoroughly Modern Millie

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2002)

Female Lead: Millie


Tuck Everlasting

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Female Lead: Winnie Foster


Violet

Music: Jeanine Tesori  Lyrics/Book: Brian Crawley

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

Female Lead: Violet


Waitress

Music/Lyrics: Sara Bareilles  Book: Jessie Nelson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Female Lead: Jenna


Wildcat

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


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


Chicago

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1975)

Female Leads: Velma and Roxie


Dreamgirls

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


Frozen

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)

Female Leads: Anna and Elsa


Gypsy

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/Jukebox (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


Side Show

Music: Henry Krieger  Lyrics/Book: Bill Russell

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

Female Leads: Violet and Daisy


Sister Act

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Female Leads: Deloris and Mother Superior


Smile

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/Jukebox (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


Wicked

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


In the Green

Music/Lyrics/Book: Grace McLean

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

Cast Size: 5


Jerry’s Girls

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

Cast Size: 3


Nunsense

Music/Lyrics/Book: Dan Goggin

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

Cast Size: 5


Ruthless!

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


Six

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


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/Jukebox (1999)

Cast Size: 4


The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Roger Bean

Musical Type: Contemporary/Jukebox (2013)

Cast Size: 4


The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Roger Bean

Musical Type: Contemporary/Jukebox (2016)

Cast Size: 4


Vanities

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


 

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