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What are the Longest Running Broadway Shows?

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.

Chicago (revival)

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 Lion King

Since 1997, more than 60 million people around the world have come to discover the thrill, the majesty, the truly one-of-a-kind musical that is The Lion King. The musical won 6 1998 Tony Awards including Best Musical. 

Cats

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.

Les Misérables

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 A Chorus Line (1975-1990), Oh, Calcutta! (1976-1989), Mamma Mia! (2001-2015), Beauty and the Beast (1994-2007), Wicked (currently playing at the Gershwin Theatre), Rent (1996-2008), and Jersey Boys (2005-2017). 

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.