Best 10 Longest Running Broadway Show NYC

4 mins read
Longest Running Broadway Show NYC

It has not one but so many reasons why you should consider visiting it at least once in your life. One of them is the longest running Broadway show it hosts in the Broadway theatres.

New York City, the dream city of many individuals, gathers tourists all year round due to its varied attractions.

41 certified theatres seat around 500 or more people and are situated in the Lincoln Center and the Theatre District near Broadway. These are either called Broadway or Broadway theatres.

 Longest Running Broadway Show NYC
by Jule_Berlin/Unlimphotos

Many different shows are held in these theatres over the years. This article will list for you (in no significant order) the ten longest running Broadway shows up until now.

1. A Chorus Line (25 July 1975 – 28 April 1990)

2142146478 6d1865150e c
By thepismire/Flickr

A Chorus Line is a musical that gave a total of 6137 performances, thus making it on the list of ten longest running Broadway shows. It revolves around the story of seventeen dancers auditioning for a spot on the chorus line of the Broadway show. It won nine out of twelve nominations for the Tony Awards and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1976.

2. Rent (29 April 1996 – 7 September 2008)

Rent another musical is based on the Opera La Bohème, one of Puccini’s much-loved operas. It narrates the tale of a set of poor young artists who find it difficult to survive and make a living in the booming days of Bohemian Alphabet City in the East Village of Lower Manhattan while trying to sustain HIV/AIDS.

It won many awards like The Tony Award for Best Musical and Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It ran 5123 shows over the 12 years and made its place in this list of top ten longest running Broadway show.

3. Cats (7 October 1982 – 10 September 2000)

Cats is a musical based on a collection of poetry by T.S. Elliot called Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. It narrates a tale of a cat’s tribe known as the Jellicles and about the night when these cats choose the “Jellicle Choice” to decide which cat will move to the Heaviside Layer and then return to a brand new life.

It stands as the fourth longest running Broadway show with a total of 7485 performances. It won many awards, two of them being Best Musical at Tony Awards and Laurence Olivier.

4. The Phantom of the Opera (26 January 1988 – till today)

This musical named The Phantom of the Opera is based on the novel written by French author Gaston Leroux with the same name. Its plot comprises of a musical prodigy obsessing over a gorgeous soprano, Christine Daaé. He is a mysterious and disfigured man who lives beneath the Paris Opéra House in the subterranean labyrinth.

It is the most famous Broadway production up until now, with a total of 13370 shows. It has won awards such as the Tony Award and Olivier Award. It tops the list of the ten longest running Broadway show.

5. Mamma Mia! (18 October 2001 – 12 September 2015)


Mamma Mia! is a beautiful musical written by Catherine Johnson, a famous British playwright. A young lady dreams of her father giving her away on her wedding day, but the problem is she doesn’t know who her father is and her mother bluntly refuses to tell her.

Coming down to three possible candidates, she invites all three of them to her wedding to recognize her birth father.

The musical was a major hit with catchy songs. It has been nominated for the Tony Awards many times and also for an Oscar once.

6. Chicago (14 November 1996 – till today)

Longest Running Broadway Show NYC
By mchloe/Flickr

Chicago is a satirical musical based on a play written by Maurine Dallas Watkins of the exact name and has to date performed 9692 shows making it to number two on this list of longest running Broadway show.

This story is based on real-life crimes and criminals, and it’s a satire on criminal justice and corruption that makes a criminal seem like a celebrity. It has also won many Tony Awards after its revival.

7. Wicked (30 October 2003 – till today)

Wicked is a famous musical based on the well-known novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the West’s Wicked Witch by Gregory Maguire. It further takes reference from the movie The Wizard of Oz by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and L. Frank Baum wrote the novel called The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The musical is narrated from the witches’ perspective of the Land of Oz. It’s a story about two friends (a good witch and a bad witch) who fight against their different perspectives and personalities. There is also a good old rivalry between the two witches for the same love interest. 6836 performances have been performed till now, and it has also been nominated for Tony Awards 10 times.

8. The Lion King (13 November 1997 – till today)

1486278200 791d55b09e w
By Pedro Plassen Lopes/ Flickr

The musical, Lion King is based on the .famous Disney animated movie. The Lion King is one of the most loved musicals. If you have seen the movie, you must know how the story goes but if not, then let us tell you it revolves around a lion cub named Simba.

Simba’s uncle conspired with hyenas to murder Simba and his father, Mufasa, to become the ruling King. It performed a total of 9302 shows to this date.

9. Les Misérables (12 march 1987 – 18 May 2003)

Les Misérables is a musical based on a novel written by Victor Hugo with the same name. It’s a story about a French peasant who desires redemption after getting out of jail after nineteen years. He has set his mind to start his life all over again, but unfortunately, a police inspector is tracking him. This play’s characters are caught in between a revolutionary period when some budding idealists are revolting against the government. It performed a total of 6680 shows.

10 Jersey Boys (6 November 2005 – 15 January 2017)

Jersey Boys is a musical memoir or biography of the famous Four Seasons. 4642 performances of the Jersey Boys were performed over this period. It won Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical and also won a total of four Tony Awards.

Longest Running Broadway Show

These were the top ten longest running Broadway Shows that had been entertaining people for so long and had made a special place in their hearts. Each musical is unique in its own way and gives you an experience you’d never forget.

 Longest Running Broadway Show NYC
By Shutter Runner/Flickr

Click here to read more articles like this.

Infographic that explains the business statistics of the broadway industry in the US
USA Tales

Verified Content by Experts

USA Tales has content written by niche experts, travelers, students, and those with real-life experience. Our content is also periodically reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure content accuracy and relevancy. Have a question? Email us at team@usatales.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

Exclusive Guides & Discounts

Get how-to guides to shopping online, deals on things you love, & starting essentials to launch your business. Discounts when you use our content writing services. More details here.