This volume in the Routledge Key Guides series provides a round-up of the fifty musicals whose creations were seminal in altering the landscape of musical theater discourse in the English-speaking world.

Each entry summarises a show, including a full synopsis, discussion of the creators' process, show's critical reception, and its impact on the landscape of musical theater.

This is the ideal primer for students of musical theater – its performance, history, and place in the modern theatrical world – as well as fans and lovers of musicals.

chapter |7 pages


ByRobert W. Schneider, Shannon Agnew

chapter 1|8 pages

The Black Crook

BySebastian Trainor

chapter 2|8 pages

HMS Pinafore; Or, the Lass Who Loved a Sailor

ByRichard, Rupert Holmes

chapter 3|5 pages

The Merry Widow

ByAndrew Child

chapter 4|5 pages

Shuffle Along

ByJerrell L. Henderson

chapter 5|6 pages

Show Boat

ByBenjamin Nissen

chapter 6|6 pages

Of Thee I Sing

ByLaura Frankos

chapter 7|7 pages

Anything Goes

ByScott Miller

chapter 8|5 pages

Porgy and Bess

ByIsaiah Matthew Wooden

chapter 9|6 pages

The Cradle Will Rock

ByJohanna Pinzler

chapter 10|8 pages

Pal Joey

ByLaurence Maslon

chapter 11|5 pages


ByKevin David Thomas

chapter 12|5 pages

Guys and Dolls

ByThomas S. Hischak

chapter 13|7 pages

The Threepenny Opera

ByLauren T. Mack

chapter 14|6 pages

My Fair Lady

ByPeter Filichia

chapter 15|6 pages

West Side Story

ByJennifer Delac

chapter 16|4 pages


ByRobert W. Schneider

chapter 17|5 pages

The Fantasticks

ByDavid Arthur

chapter 18|4 pages

Hello Dolly

ByPhillip Fazio

chapter 19|5 pages

Fiddler on the Roof

ByBeth Burrier

chapter 20|5 pages


ByBruce Kimmel

chapter 21|5 pages


ByWes Drummond

chapter 22|6 pages

Promises, Promises

ByDavid Spencer

chapter 23|5 pages


ByRick Pender

chapter 24|6 pages

No, No Nanette (1971)

ByRobert W. Schneider

chapter 25|5 pages

The Wiz

ByDavid Ward, Jerrell L. Henderson

chapter 26|5 pages

A Chorus Line

ByRon Fassler

chapter 27|5 pages


ByCharles Kirsch

chapter 28|5 pages

Ain't Misbehavin'

ByRichard Dueñez Morrison

chapter 29|6 pages

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

ByAlison Morooney

chapter 30|6 pages


ByBill Russell

chapter 31|5 pages


ByStephen Mo Hanan

chapter 32|5 pages

La Cage Aux Folles

ByRobert W. Schneider

chapter 33|6 pages

Les Misérables

ByRobert Meffe

chapter 34|4 pages

The Phantom of the Opera

BySusan B. Russell

chapter 35|5 pages

Miss Saigon

ByJeanmarie Higgins

chapter 36|8 pages

The Secret Garden

ByElizabeth Bonjean

chapter 37|5 pages


ByJack Lechner

chapter 38|5 pages

Beauty and the Beast

ByEden Hildebrand

chapter 39|6 pages

Grease (1994)

ByMark Madama

chapter 40|5 pages


ByJordan Dragutsky

chapter 41|4 pages


ByNathan Brewer

chapter 42|4 pages

The Producers

ByKasey R.T. Graham

chapter 43|5 pages

Mamma Mia

ByMalcolm Womack

chapter 44|6 pages


ByLauren Haughton Gillis

chapter 45|5 pages

Jersey Boys

ByJamie Buxton

chapter 46|6 pages

In the Heights

ByDevon Hunt

chapter 47|5 pages

Next to Normal

ByJoe Dziemianowicz

chapter 48|9 pages

Fun Home

ByCourtney Laine Self

chapter 49|6 pages


ByW. Jerome Stevenson

chapter 50|5 pages

Dear Evan Hansen

ByFrederick D. Miller