Musical theatre

The Black Crook was a hit musical in 1866.
A Gaiety Girl (1893) was one of the first hit musicals
George Gershwin
Chinese opera performers
A view of Rhodes by John Webb, to be painted on a backshutter for the first performance of The Siege of Rhodes (1656)
Poster, c. 1879
Cover of the Vocal Score of Sidney Jones' The Geisha
Victor Herbert
Sheet music from Sally, 1920
Rodgers and Hart
Rodgers and Hammerstein (left and right) and Irving Berlin (center) at the St. James Theatre in 1948
Mary Martin starred in several Broadway hits of this era
Julie Andrews with Richard Burton in Camelot (1960)
Leonard Bernstein, 1971
Bernadette Peters (shown in 2008) has starred in five Sondheim musicals
A Chorus Line was one of 55 productions that Joseph Papp's Public Theatre has brought to Broadway
Cameron Mackintosh
Audra McDonald
The cast of Hamilton meets President Obama in 2015
Zac Efron and Zendaya (pictured), along with Hugh Jackman, brought star power to The Greatest Showman
Dove Cameron has starred in such TV musicals as Descendants, Hairspray Live! and Schmigadoon!
Marquee of the In the Heart of the Beast Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the COVID-19 pandemic
Japan's all-female Takarazuka Revue in a 1930 performance of "Parisette"
Naples Players' teen Thoroughly Modern Millie, 2009
The Lion King on Broadway

Form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance.

- Musical theatre

500 related topics


The Producers (musical)

Original Broadway Playbill
The Producers at the St. James Theatre
The Producers at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

The Producers is a musical with music and lyrics by Mel Brooks, and a book by Brooks and Thomas Meehan.

Of Thee I Sing

First edition 1932

Of Thee I Sing is a musical with a score by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and a book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind.

Hair (musical)

1968 rock musical with a book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot.

Original Broadway poster
In these two measures of "What a Piece of Work Is Man", the red notes indicate a weak syllable on a strong beat.
Bill Öhrström and 1968 Swedish cast-mates sing Hair songs (Stockholm 2015).
Butler (front) and Rado (behind Butler, in black T-shirt and cap) with a 2006 Hair cast in Red Bank, New Jersey

The work broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of "rock musical", using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-In" finale.


Any professional theatre venue in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, inclusive.

New World Stages, an off-Broadway theatre complex in Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan

An "off-Broadway production" is a production of a play, musical, or revue that appears in such a venue and adheres to related trade union and other contracts.

Regional theater in the United States

Professional or semi-professional theater company that produces its own seasons.

Companies often round out their seasons with selections from classic dramas, popular comedies, and musicals.


Cover of a 1921 libretto for Giordano's Andrea Chénier
The composer of Cavalleria rusticana, Pietro Mascagni, flanked by his librettists, Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci
Pages from an 1859 libretto for Ernani, with the original Italian lyrics, English translation and musical notation for one of the arias
Henry Purcell (1659–1695), whose operas were written to English libretti
Poster for La figlia di Iorio where the librettist, Gabriele D'Annunzio, is given top billing

A libretto (Italian for "booklet") is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical.

Edward Harrigan

Irish-American actor, singer, dancer, playwright, lyricist and theater producer who, together with Tony Hart (as Harrigan & Hart), formed one of the most celebrated theatrical partnerships of the 19th century.

Ed Harrigan

His career began in minstrelsy and variety but progressed to the production of multi-act plays full of singing, dancing and physical comedy, making Harrigan one of the founding fathers of modern American musical theatre.

Broadway theatre

Broadway theatre, or Broadway, are the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats, located in the Theater District and the Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

The John Golden Theatre, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, and Booth Theatre on West 45th Street in Manhattan's Theater District
Interior of the Park Theatre, built in 1798
The Black Crook (1866), considered by some historians to be the first musical. Poster for the 1873 revival by The Kiralfy Brothers.
Sheet music to "Give My Regards to Broadway"
Victor Herbert
Broadway north from 38th St., New York City, showing the Casino and Knickerbocker Theatres ("Listen, Lester", visible at lower right, played the Knickerbocker from December 23, 1918, to August 16, 1919), a sign pointing to Maxine Elliott's Theatre, which is out of view on 39th Street, and a sign advertising the Winter Garden Theatre, which is out of view at 50th Street. All but the Winter Garden are demolished. The old Metropolitan Opera House and the old Times Tower are visible on the left.

Most Broadway shows are musicals.


Study or practice of writing music for an orchestra or of adapting music composed for another medium for an orchestra.

A hand-written musical score for Act 2 of the opera Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber, written in the 1820s. The score contains all the parts for the singers and the accompaniment parts and melodies for the orchestra.
Orchestral introduction to 'et misericordia' from Bach's Magnificat, BWV 243. Listen
Opening orchestral introduction to J.S. Bach's Cantata, BWV65.
'L'Entrée de Polymnie' from Les Boréades by Rameau.
Rameau 'Rossignols amoureux' from Hippolyte et Aricie
Haydn, Symphony 97, third movement, bars 109-118
Haydn, Symphony 94, second movement bars 143-156
Symphony 39, first movement, bars 102-105
Symphony 39, first movement, bars 106-109
Symphony 39, first movement, bars 110-114
Symphony 39, first movement, bars 115-119
Trio section of the Minuet from Mozart's Symphony No. 41.
Mozart Piano Concerto K482 first movement bars 1-6
Mozart Piano Concerto K482 first movement bars 7–12.
Symphony 2 scherzo bars 1-8
Second subject theme from the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 (Emperor)
Minor version of the theme.
Major version of the theme, with horns playing the melody.
Minor key version of the theme, with piano right hand elaborating the melody in triplets.
Tutti statement of the theme.
Solo piano statement of theme in the cadenza.
Final statement of the theme in a major key by the horns after the end of the cadenza.
Berlioz, March to the Scaffold from the Symphonie fantastique
Berlioz, Queen Mab scherzo from Romeo et Juliette
Berlioz, orchestral texture from Queen Mab scherzo
Wagner, Prelude to Lohengrin Listen
Wagner Fire Music from Die Walküre
Parsifal Prelude Opening
Contrasting orchestral groups from the Prelude to first Act of Parsifal
Wagner, Tristan prelude, opening.
Wagner, Tristan Prelude, closing bars.
Mahler, Symphony No. 4, first movement, Figure 5.
Mahler Symphony No 4, third movement, Figure 13.
Debussy, Prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune, opening bars
Debussy, Prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune, Figure 7, bars 11-13
Debussy, Jeux opening bars

However, in musical theatre, film music and other commercial media, it is customary to use orchestrators and arrangers to one degree or another, since time constraints and/or the level of training of composers may preclude them orchestrating the music themselves.

Music director

Person responsible for the musical aspects of a performance, production, or organization.

Major Tim Cooper, Director of Music of The Blues and Royals mounted band in London.

In musical theatre and opera, the music director is in charge of the overall musical performance, including ensuring that the cast knows the music thoroughly, supervising the musical interpretation of the performers and pit orchestra, and conducting the orchestra.