Musical Lists

48+ Upbeat & Feel-Good Musicals – A Full List

Looking for a musical that will get you in a good mood? Then check out this list of the most happy and feel-good musicals out there! Whether you’re feeling down or just need a little pick-me-up, these musicals keep things light and upbeat for the entire performance.


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Contents:

Upbeat Jazz Age Musicals

Upbeat Golden Age Musicals

Upbeat 1960s-70s Musicals

Upbeat 1980s-90s Musicals

Upbeat Contemporary Musicals


Upbeat Jazz Age Musicals

Anything Goes

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

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1934)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Girl Crazy

Music: George Gershwin  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  Book: Guy Bolton, John McGowan

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1930)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Good News!

Music: Ray Henderson  Lyrics/Book: B.G. DeSylva  Lyrics: Lew Brown  Book: Laurence Schwab

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1927)

Genre: Comedy


Kitty’s Kisses

Music: Con Conrad  Lyrics: Gus Kahn  Book: Philip Bartholomae, Otto Harbach

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1926)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Lady, Be Good!

Music: George Gershwin  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  Book: Guy Bolton, Fred Thompson

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1924)

Genre: Comedy


Life Begins at 8:40

Music: Harold Arlen  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin, E.Y. Harburg

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1934)

Genre: Revue


Me and My Girl

Music: Noel Gay  Lyrics/Book: Douglas Furber, L. Arthur Rose

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1937)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


No, No, Nanette

Music: Vincent Youmans  Lyrics: Irving Caesar  Lyrics/Book: Otto Harbach  Book: Frank Mandel

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1925)

Genre: Comedy


Oh, Kay!

Music: George Gershwin  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  Book: Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1926)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Pardon My English

Music: George Gershwin  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  Book: Herbert Fields, Morrie Ryskind

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1933)

Genre: Satire/Farce


Strike Up the Band

Music: George Gershwin  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  Book: George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1927)

Genre: Political Satire


The Girl Friend

Music: Richard Rodgers  Lyrics: Lorenz Hart  Book: Herbert Fields

Musical Type: Jazz Age (1926)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Upbeat Golden Age Musicals

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Music: Jule Styne  Lyrics: Leo Robin  Book: Joseph Fields, Anita Loos

Musical Type: Golden Age (1949)

Genre: Comedy


Louisiana Purchase

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Morrie Ryskind

Musical Type: Golden Age (1940)

Genre: Satire


On the Town

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1944)

Genre: Comedy


Something for the Boys

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1943)

Genre: Comedy


The Music Man

Music/Lyrics/Book: Meredith Willson

Musical Type: Golden Age (1957)

Genre: Comedy


Wildcat

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

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1960)

Genre: Dramedy


Wish You Were Here

Music/Lyrics: Harold Rome  Book: Arthur Kober, Joshua Logan

Musical Type: Golden Age (1952)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Wonderful Town

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

Musical Type: Golden Age (1953)

Genre: Comedy


Upbeat 1960s-70s Musicals

70, Girls, 70

Music: John Kander  Lyrics: Fred Ebb  Book: David Thompson, Norman L. Martin

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1971)

Genre: Comedy


Bye Bye Birdie

Music: Charles Strouse  Lyrics: Lee Adams  Book: Michael Stewart

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1960)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Grease

Music/Lyrics/Book: Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1971)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Hello, Dolly!

Music/Lyrics: Jerry Herman  Book: Michael Stewart

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1964)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Music/Lyrics: Frank Loesser  Book: Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, Willie Gilbert

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1961)

Genre: Comedy


She Loves Me

Music: Jerry Bock  Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick  Book: Joe Masteroff

Musical Type: Post-Golden Age (1963)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Tintypes

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Mel Marvin, Gary Pearle, Mary Kyte

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1979)

Genre: Revue


Upbeat 1980s-90s Musicals

Beehive: The 60’s Musical

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Larry Gallagher

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

Genre: Revue


Lucky in the Rain

Music: Jimmy McHugh  Lyrics: Dorothy Fields, Harold Adamson  Book: Sherman Yellen

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1997)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Mamma Mia!

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

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1999)

Genre: Romantic Dramedy


Nunsense

Music/Lyrics/Book: Dan Goggin

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1985)

Genre: Comedy


Nunsense II

Music/Lyrics/Book: Dan Goggin

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1992)

Genre: Comedy


Singin’ in the Rain

Music/Lyrics: Nacio Herb Brown, Arthur Freed  Book: Adolph Green, Betty Comden

Musical Type: 1952 Film/Pre-Contemporary Musical (1983)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


The Drowsy Chaperone

Music/Lyrics: Lisa Lambert, Greg Morrison  Book: Bob Martin, Don McKellar

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1998)

Genre: Comedy


The Marvelous Wonderettes

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Roger Bean

Musical Type: Pre-Contemporary (1999)

Genre: Comedy


Upbeat Contemporary Musicals

Aladdin

Music: Alan Menken  Lyrics/Book: Chad Beguelin  LyricsTim Rice, Howard Ashman

Musical Type: 1992 Film/Contemporary Musical (2011)

Genre: Fairy Tale


An American in Paris

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

Musical Type: 1951 Film/Contemporary Musical (2014)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Elf

Music: Matthew Sklar  Lyrics: Chad Beguelin  Book: Bob Martin, Thomas Meehan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2010)

Genre: Comedy


Hairspray

Music/Lyrics: Marc Shaiman  Lyrics: Scott Wittman  Book: Mark O’Donnell, Thomas Meehan

Musical Type: Contemporary (2002)

Genre: Dramedy


Holiday Inn

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2014)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Honeymoon in Vegas

Music/Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown  Book: Andrew Bergman

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Genre: Comedy


Kinky Boots

Music/Lyrics: Cyndi Lauper  Book: Harvey Fierstein

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

Genre: Dramedy


Legally Blonde

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2007)

Genre: Comedy


Nativity!

Music/Lyrics: Nicky Ager  Lyrics/Book: Debbie Isitt

Musical Type: Contemporary (2017)

Genre: Comedy


Nice Work If You Can Get It

Music: George Gershwin  Lyrics: Ira Gershwin  Book: Joe DiPietro

Musical Type: Contemporary (2012)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Only Fools and Horses

Music/Lyrics/Book: Paul Whitehouse, Jim Sullivan  Music: John Sullivan, Chas Hodges

Musical Type: Contemporary (2019)

Genre: Comedy


Shucked

Music/Lyrics: Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally  Book: Robert Horn

Musical Type: Contemporary (2022)

Genre: Comedy


Sister Act

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2006)

Genre: Dramedy


The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes

Music: Michael Kooman  Lyrics/Book: Christopher Dimond

Musical Type: Contemporary (2018)

Genre: Comedy


The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Roger Bean

Musical Type: Contemporary (2013)

Genre: Comedy


The SpongeBob Musical

Music/Lyrics: Various  Book: Kyle Jarrow

Musical Type: Contemporary (2016)

Genre: Comedy


Thoroughly Modern Millie

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

Musical Type: Contemporary (2002)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Top Hat

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: Matthew White, Howard Jacques

Musical Type: 1935 Film/Contemporary Musical (2011)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


White Christmas

Music/Lyrics: Irving Berlin  Book: David Ives, Paul Blake

Musical Type: 1954 Film/Contemporary Musical (2000)

Genre: Romantic Comedy


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Which of these upbeat and feel-good musicals is your favorite?

Have you seen or performed in any of these happy musicals? Make sure 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 Upbeat 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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