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Broadway lovers worldwide often wonder what are the longest running Broadway shows. With such a rich and storied history, Broadway stages have showcased many long-running shows over the years. Several of the longest running shows are still playing today.
The Phantom of the Opera
The longest-running show in Broadway history officially opened on January 26, 1988 and is still playing at the Majestic The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical won 7 1988 Tony Awards® including Best Musical. The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a young soprano who becomes the object of obsession of a disfigured musical genius in Paris.
Earning 7 1983 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Cats has been performed worldwide and translated into over 20 languages. The musical with a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber is loosely based on the T.S. Eliot book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Cats closed on Broadway in September 2000.
This jazz age musical first appeared on Broadway in 1975, running over two years before closing in 1977. The current revival, playing now at the Ambassador Theatre, opened in 1996 and is still going strong. Chicago earned 6 1996 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical. In 1998, the musical earned a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. The show is set in Prohibition times in Chicago and is a satire of the corruption found in the criminal justice system and the concept of “celebrity” criminals.
The musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel tells the story of Jean Valjean, a French peasant in early 19th-century France who served 19 years in jail for stealing a loaf of bread. The show earned 8 1987 Tony Awards including Best Musical and received a Grammy for Best Musical Cast Show Album in 1988. The original Broadway production closed in 2003 and has been revived twice, the latest production opening in 2014.
Other Long-Running Shows
Also among the top 12 longest running Broadway shows are The Lion King (currently playing at the Minskoff Theatre), A Chorus Line (1975-1990), Beauty and the Beast (1994-2007), Rent (1996-2008), Mamma Mia! (currently playing at the Broadhurst Theatre), Oh, Calcutta! (1976-1989), Wicked (currently playing at the Gershwin Theatre) and Miss Saigon (1991-2001). The next longest-running Broadway show that is still playing is Jersey Boys, which opened on Broadway in 2005 at the August Wilson Theatre.
If you would like to learn more about what are the longest running Broadway shows, visit Broadway.org, the official website for Broadway tickets and information.