Broadway fans know what they like, that’s for sure.
The top 5 selling shows on Broadway look a lot like last week’s lineup — identical, in fact. And though there have been a few shake-ups over the months, the top 5 this week have become accustomed to the limelight.
While there are a number of factors that keep the most popular Broadway musicals in the top 5 list, each show has its own unique set of songs that keep fans humming long after the curtain closes. And that has to count for something. In this post, we’ll focus on the music behind the nation’s favorite musicals.
If you ask die-hard Wicked fans, all of the songs included in the musical are the best among the rest. Stephen Schwartz is to thank for the music behind the consistently top musical. Considered a leading composer and lyricist, Schwartz’s contributions to Wicked have been hailed by fans and critics alike.
Not long after Wicked debuted on Broadway, under the direction of Schwartz, the musical won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. That only added to the list of Schwartz’s musical award accomplishments, stretching beyond Wicked. Still, Wicked is considered to be among Schwartz’s best.
Here is a look at the hits from Wicked soundtrack (in no particular order):
- No One Mourns the Wicked
- The Wizard and I
- What is This Feeling?
- Dancing Through Life
If you lived through the high times of Disney’s Aladdin on VHS, you might already be a fan of Aladdin on Broadway. And you definitely know the words to all the movie’s — and musical’s — songs. The musical is jam packed with the familiar sounds of Arabian Nights, Prince Ali and A Whole New World, along with its own share of original songs, including High Adventure and Proud of Your Boy.
Aladdin the musical is led by Alan Menken, a well-known composer and pianist who has also contributed to Disney music throughout the years, including The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the The Beast, among others.
Here’s a look at the lineup of top songs for the Aladdin musical soundtrack (in no particular order):
- Arabian Nights
- One Jump Ahead
- Proud of Your Boy
- Diamond in the Rough
- Prince Ali
The Lion King
Another Disney-based musical is regularly among the top 5 musicals in terms of ticket sales: The Lion King. Having debuted on Broadway in 1997, it has maintained its popularity for two decades — and attendance is still going strong. From baby boomers who recall watching the Disney classic with their kids, to Gen-Xers who are now reliving the music with their children, Lion King is reaching across the age divide and uniting audiences across the U.S.
With music by Elton John, Lebo M and Tim Rice, there’s really no question as to why the songs are known among the best. Who doesn’t get down to Circle of Life, Hakuna Matata and I Just Can’t Wait to Be King? Like so many musicals on the top 5 list, the music alone is enough to generate ticket sales on an ongoing basis.
- Can You Feel the Love Tonight
- Hakuna Matata
- I Just Can’t Wait to Be King
- Circle of Life
- They Live in You
The Phantom of the Opera
Not necessarily known as a children’s hit, the Phantom of the Opera consistently generates tremendous ticket sales wherever it goes. While famous for the plotline, the gentle — and dramatic — sounds of Phantom of the Opera make the 2004 musical the famous performance it’s now known as today.
Here’s a breakdown of popular Phantom of the Opera Songs (in no particular order):
- All I Ask of You
- Think of Me
- Angel of Music
- Phantom of the Opera
- Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory
The delightfully playful book-turned-movie-turned-musical has generated fans throughout the years. When Charlie & the Chocolate Factory hit the big screen, viewers fell in love with Pure Imagination, The Candy Man and Golden Ticket.
The new Charlie & the Chocolate Factory musical kept the songs that movie-goers grew to adore, while also adding new numbers under the direction of Marc Shairman, with contributions from Scott Whittman. While it might seem like a no-brainer to include the classic hits from the movie, it wasn’t announced until a year before the musical’s debut that it would, in fact, include the original hits, Pure Imagination being one of them.
Let’s take a look at the top Charlie & the Chocolate Factory hits (in no particular order):
- Pure Imagination
- The Candy man
- Golden Ticket
- Veruca Salt
- Loompa Land
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