Musical tier list


Peter Wujek and Aarti Gupta

With Tony Award Nominations rapidly approaching, we wanted to rank some of the most popular musicals. The shows listed below can be currently running or closed completely.

We don’t feel a need to explain most of these, but we can talk about the highest tier and the lowest tier.

Starting at the top:

Urinetown: Great jazz music with a great album. Super fun to listen to and has a deeper message that really makes you think.

Great Comet of 1812: Amazing album. The music is so interesting, and the story is really wild. I wish I could’ve seen it on Broadway, because the way it’s staged, with the show happening around the audience, is really unique.

Chicago: My go-to driving music. There isn’t a ton of story, but the music is so phenomenal.

A Christmas Story: Unbelievably underrated music! No one ever knows about this show, but you should give it a listen.

Hadestown: Our current favorite musical. The music is amazing, and the staging is incredible. I love the band on stage, the turntable and the lighting. (Side note from Peter: I cry every time I listen to the finale).

West Side Story: Great classic musical. The new movie is a really good adaptation of the musical, and we appreciate the way it embraces the source material while updating it.

Sweeney Todd: Objectively, Sondheim’s greatest music. Seeing this onstage is a life-changing experience. The music and book are so complex, and every listen leads us to discover more words we’ve never heard.

Cabaret: Peter’s favorite overall musical, both to watch, and to be in. The show is a perfect blend of fun and dancing, combined with a huge emotional punch that leaves us feeling empty. If you have never listened to this show, please take the time to do so and read about the show. 


Now, for the worst of the worst. We hate these shows with a deep passion. *Disclaimer* If you like these shows, we don’t hate you, but really open your ears and eyes. 

Shrek: Awful musical. Boring music that relies on potty humor to be funny. Can’t stand this show at all.

The Sound of Music: So so boring. Three hours long with literally no redeemable reason for it to be that long. It has the same message as Cabaret, but you care a million times less because you’re also sleeping.

Mean Girls: So unoriginal. The movie didn’t need to be a musical, and the actual music is so lame. It’s not rock, it’s not jazz, and it’s not remarkable. The Broadway staging relies on screens instead of a set, so it’s a lazy cash grab.

Dear Evan Hansen: Ugh. High musical tenors with a lame script. (Peter comment: I hate shows that only use tenors that can sing insanely high). The movie adaptation was the worst thing I’ve ever seen.

Cinderella: Literally just boring. Nothing else to say.

Elf: God-Awful. Deserves to be set on fire. The music is bad, the script is trash, and everything about it is painfully unfunny.

The Music Man: Also incredibly boring. Does not deserve to be on Broadway right now, because they didn’t put any effort to make the show better. They slapped Sutton Foster and Hugh Jackman in the show and called it a day. And yet, the show is still bad. 

Side note from Aarti: High School Musical is the realest musical to ever exist. If it has a million fans, I am one of them. If it has ten fans, I am one of them. If it has no fans, I am no more on the earth. If the world is against High School Musical, I am against the world.