Musical Lists

25+ Tragic Musicals – The Full List of Shows

Whether you’re looking for a musical tragedy to produce or simply looking for some new shows to get into, there are lots of options at your disposal. Here’s a full list of tragic musicals, sorted alphabetically. The following musicals feature devastating events, especially for the main character. And often time these musical tragedies don’t have happy endings.

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Tragic Musicals

21 Chump Street

Music/Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)

Genre: Dramedy

Bat Boy

Music/Lyrics: Laurence O’Keefe  Book: Keythe Farley, Brian Flemming

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

Genre: Comedic Horror

Blood Brothers

Music/Lyrics/Book: Willy Russell

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1983)

Genre: Drama

Bonnie & Clyde

Music: Frank Wildhorn  Lyrics: Don Black  Book: Ivan Menchell

Musical Type: Contemporary (2009)

Genre: Drama


Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: Joe Masteroff

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1966)

Genre: Drama

Carmen Jones

Music: Georges Bizet  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)

Genre: Drama


Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics/Book: Oscar Hammerstein II

Musical Type: Golden Age (1945)

Genre: Romantic Drama


Music: Michael J. Lewis  Lyrics/Book: Anthony Burgess

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1973)

Genre: Romantic Drama


Music/Lyrics/Book: William Finn  Book: James Lapine

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

Genre: Drama

Floyd Collins

Music/Lyrics: Adam Guettel  Book: Tina Landau

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1994)

Genre: Drama


Music: Mark Baron  Lyrics/Book: Jeffrey Jackson

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Genre: Horror


Music/Lyrics/Book: Anaïs Mitchell

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Genre: Mythic Fantasy/Romance


Music/Lyrics/Book: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Musical Type: Contemporary (2015)

Genre: Biography

Into the Woods

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: James Lapine

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1986)

Genre: Fairy Tale

Jesus Christ Superstar

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics: Tim Rice

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1970)

Genre: Religious Drama


Music/Lyrics: Marc Blitzstein  Book: Joseph Stein

Musical Type: Golden Age (1959)

Genre: Drama

Les Misérables

Music/Lyrics: Claude-Michel Schönberg  Lyrics: Alan Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer, Jean-Marc Natel

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1980)

Genre: Drama

Love Never Dies

Music/Book: Andrew Lloyd Webber  Lyrics/Book: Glenn Slater  Book: Ben Elton, Frederick Forsyth

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Genre: Drama

Love Story

Music/Lyrics: Howard Goodall  Lyrics/Book: Stephen Clark

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Genre: Romantic Drama

Mack & Mabel

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Book: Michael Stewart

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1974)

Genre: Drama

Miss Saigon

Music: Claude-Michel Schönberg  Lyrics: Alain Boublil, Richard Maltby, Jr.

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1989)

Genre: Romantic Drama


Music/Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown  Book: Alfred Uhry

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

Genre: Drama


Music/Lyrics/Book: Jonathan Larson

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1996)

Genre: Drama

Spring Awakening

Music: Duncan Sheik  Lyrics/Book: Steven Sater

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Genre: Drama

Summer of ’42

Music/Lyrics: David Kirshenbaum  Book: Hunter Foster

Musical Type: Contemporary (2000)

Genre: Romantic Drama

Sunset Boulevard

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1991)

Genre: Drama

Sweeney Todd

Music/Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: Hugh Wheeler

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

Genre: Horror

The Great Gatsby

Music: Jason Howland  Lyrics: Nathan Tysen  Book: Kait Kerrigan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2023)

Genre: Drama

The Hatpin

Music: Peter Rutherford  Lyrics/Book: James Millar

Musical Type: Contemporary (2008)

Genre: Drama


Music/Lyrics: Maury Yeston  Book: Peter Stone

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

Genre: Drama

West Side Story

Music: Leonard Bernstein  Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim  Book: Arthur Laurents

Musical Type: Golden Age (1957)

Genre: Romantic Drama

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Which of these tragic musicals is your favorite?

Or have you ever played a role in any of the above tragic musicals? 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 Edgy Musicals.
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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