• Broadway's Best

Broadway’s Best Tony Award-Winning Musicals

June 21, 2024

by Ben Togut

On Sunday June 16th, The Outsiders was announced Best Musical at the 77th Tony Awards. To celebrate this win, let’s take a look at the current Broadway productions that have won this coveted award in the past.

Cabaret (1967)

Fred and Kander’s beloved musical Cabaret originally opened on Broadway in 1967. Based on the novel  Goodbye Berlin by Christopher Isherwood, the musical tells the story of Sally Bowles, a cabaret performer living in Berlin during the Weimar Republic, and follows her relationship with writer Clifford Bradhaw. Cabaret’s Tony-winning score by John Kander and Fred Ebb includes Broadway classic hits such as “Maybe This Time” and “Cabaret.” The musical was revived in 1998 and then again in 2014 with Alan Cumming in a Tony-winning turn as the Emcee. The current revival, Cabaret at the Kit Cat Club, stars Eddie Redmayne as The Emcee and Gayle Rankin as Sally Bowles, and is playing at the August Wilson Theatre, refurbished to resemble a Berlin nightclub.

The Wiz (1975)

Bringing 70s flair to The Yellow Brick Road, The Wiz opened on Broadway in 1975. A contemporary retelling of The Wizard of Oz in the context of Black culture, the musical features classics such as “A Brand New Day” and “Home,” made famous by Stephanie Mills, who originated the role of Dorothy in the adaptation. The original production went on to win seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score for composer Charlie Ross. Now running at the Marquis Theatre, the musical’s 2024 revival stars Broadway newcomer Nichelle Lewis as Dorothy and Wayne Brady as The Wizard.

The Lion King (1997)

Based on the 1994 film of the same name, The Lion King premiered on Broadway in 1997. With a score by Elton John and Tim Rice, The Lion King features Broadway favorites such as “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” The production went on to win six Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical for Julie Taymor, who became the first woman to win the award. Still on Broadway after almost 27 years, The Lion King continues to attract Disney and theatre lovers from around the world. 

The Book of Mormon (2011)

The Book of Mormon opened on Broadway in 2011. A musical comedy written by the creators of South Park, the musical tells the story of two LDS missionaries as they preach Mormonism to people living in a village in Uganda. The original production, which starred Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad, won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Featured Actress in A Musical for Nikki M. James.

Hamilton (2015)

When Hamilton premiered on Broadway in 2015,  it transformed  the story of a Founding Father into a cultural phenomenon. Inspired by the 2004 biography by Ron Chernow, the musical follows the life of Alexander Hamilton and his participation in the American Revolution. In addition to creating the musical, Lin Manuel Miranda starred in the title role alongside Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr and Philipa Soo as Eliza Schuyler Hamilton. Hamilton went on to win 11 Tony Awards in 2016, including Best Musical and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Odom Jr. It is one of only ten musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Hadestown (2019)

Inspired by Anaïs Mitchell’s concept album of the same name, Hadestown opened on Broadway in 2019. A contemporary re-telling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the original production of this steampunk musical starred Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, and André DeShields. At the 2019 Tonys, Hadestown took home eight awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score for Anaïs Mitchell and Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for André DeShields.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical (2019)

Based on the 2001 movie by Baz Luhrmann, Moulin Rouge! The Musical opened on Broadway in 2019. Set in Belle Èpoque Paris, the show tells the story of a poet who falls in love with cabaret performer Satine. A jukebox musical, Moulin Rouge! features both original songs as well as popular music such as “Your Song” by Elton John and “Chandelier” by Sia. The original production won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Aaron Tveit, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for Danny Burstein.

The Outsiders (2024)

The Outsiders premiered on Broadway in 2024. Based on the beloved 1967 novel by S.E. Hinton, the musical follows the rivalry between two gangs in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the 1960s and features a score by Jonathan Clay and Zachary Chance, members of the folk-rock band Jamestown Revival, and a book by Adam Rapp. The Outsiders won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Direction of a Musical for Danya Taymor.