Wicked reigns again over Broadway! A fairly steady week at the box office saw the top four best-selling musicals remain unchanged: Wicked, Aladdin, The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera all held their positions from the week before. The only change to the top five was at number five: School of Rock snuck ahead of Hamilton.
If the musicals on this week’s top five have one thing in common, it’s their incredible music. The men and women behind the songs that power the top five are some of Broadway’s most celebrated. Let’s take a closer look:
Wicked Songwriter: Stephen Schwartz
Stephen Schwartz has been wowing theater fans for almost 50 years. Wicked is just one of his many Broadway hits, along with Godspell and Pippin. Even if you’re not a Broadway fan, you’ve probably heard his music in films like Enchanted, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Pocahontas. He’s won three Grammy Awards (Pippin, Pocahontas, Wicked) and three Oscars (2 for Pocahontas, 1 for Prince of Egypt).
Aladdin Songwriter: Alan Menken
If you’ve been to any Disney movie, chances are you’ve heard Alan Menken’s music. He wrote the memorable songs for hits like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and – of course – Aladdin. On Broadway he’s worked on virtually everything: A Bronx Tale, Newsies, Sister Act, Little Shop of Horrors and many more. Like Stephen Schwartz, he has shelves full of Oscars, Golden Globe and Tony Awards.
The Lion King Songwriter: Elton John
You know all about the legend behind The Lion King: Elton John needs no introduction. The Lion King has played to more than 8,000 audiences since its debut in 1997. Did you know: While The Lion King was nominated for a Tony in 1998, Elton actually won his first Tony two years later for Aida.
Phantom of the Opera Songwriter: Andrew Lloyd Weber
Andrew Lloyd Weber is the undisputed king of Broadway. He has four – yes, four – productions going right now: Cats, Sunset Boulevard, The Phantom of the Opera and School of Rock. As if that’s not enough, he also wrote music for Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
School of Rock: Andrew Lloyd Weber
This guy again. Not content to just write music, Andrew Lloyd Weber owns a host of theaters in West End – the London equivalent to Broadway. His business, Really Useful Group, works in musicals, films, music, magazines and more. He’s also a knight. Because why not.
Bonus: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Hamilton
We couldn’t justifiably cover Broadway music without talking Hamilton. Lin-Manuel Miranda is the musical brain behind the smash Broadway hit. Thought it seems like an overnight sensation, the music took him years to write. He first performed an early Hamilton rap at the White House in 2009. Three years later he had the Hamilton Mixtape going and, finally, Hamilton the musical hit Broadway in August 2015. The rest, as they say, is history.