Broadway is hot right now, with shows like Fun Home and Hamilton reaching audiences in a way that performances haven’t been able to do for the last few decades. So let’s take a look back at some of the most beloved Broadway musicals with a list of the most romantic Broadway shows of all time.
1. My Fair Lady
Based on the wildly popular play by George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion, the story in My Fair Lady tells the tale of Eliza Doolittle, a flower girl who undergoes a transformation when she begins to take elocution classes. But she gets more than she bargained for in her instructor, Henry Higgins, the abrasive man who took her on as a bet. Naturally, he quickly finds that he can’t live without her. Will she return his affection?
2. West Side Story
This is another musical based on a play, but this one is based on Shakespeare’s famous tragedy about star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet. West Side Story tells the tale of Tony and Maria, two love-struck people from completely different worlds. Much like Romeo and Juliet, these two also belong to warring factions within the same city. Given its timeless appeal, it’s not surprising that this is one of the most popular musicals of all time. The story was also produced as a popular movie that took home 10 Academy Awards.
3. Spring Awakening
Spring Awakening is a story of first love and lust. With a hugely popular score by pop artist Duncan Sheik, the show tells the story of what it’s like to be a teenager, just beginning to discover sexuality and all of the questions and angst that surround this confusing and potentially wonderful time of life. This beautiful show was recently revived by Deaf West Theatre, where sign language was used to augment the storytelling and choreography.
4. The Phantom of the Opera
This is a show of love and obsession. An ingénue named Christine Daae is skyrocketed to fame in a Parisian opera house after she is taken under the wing of the mysterious “angel of music,” also known as the Opera Ghost, who haunts the opera. He begins to threaten the people running “his” opera as his love for Christine turns dark. In the meantime, she has fallen for a handsome Viscount and secretly becomes engaged to him. The Phantom cannot let this stand, and he exacts his revenge.
This Tony-award musical is a sweeping love story with a number of pairings that the audience can’t help but root for, including Mimi and Roger, Joanne and Maureen, and Angel and Collins. It conveys well what’s really important in life as it captures a moment of New York City’s history. It was made into a movie, but the stage production really grew in popularity, seizing the nation’s imagination and the way Hamilton has more recently.