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Highest grossing and longest running Broadway shows and musicals

Updated on June 9, 2014

There have been a lot of quality shows on Broadway, but only a few stand the tests of time... and money.

By many accounts, the "Phantom of the Opera" has been the highest grossing show on Broadway. "The Grinch Stole Christmas" beat out "Wicked" in 2006, breaking its 100 week-long streak... but the Phantom has a dear place in my heart, as it was the first musical I ever saw and continues to be my favorite.

Below is a list of the top 10 longest-running shows, which the Phantom also tops.

10 Longest Running Broadway Shows

1) Phantom of the Opera

(Shown at the Majestic Theater, where it previewed January 9, 1988, opened January 25, 1988 and still runs. It has shown 7,767 times!)

2) Cats

(Shown at the Winter Garden Theater, where it previewed September 23, 1982 and opened October 7, 1982. It closed September 10, 2000 and showed 7,485 times)

3) Les Miserables

(Shown in the Broadway Theater through 10/14/1990 and the Imperial Theater through its closing. It previewed February 28, 1987, opened March 12, 1987, and closed May 18, 2003, showing 6,680 times.)

4) A Chorus Line

(It showed in the Schubert Theater, where it opened July 25, 1975 and closed April 28, 1990 after showing 6,137 times.)

5) Oh! Calcutta! (1976 revival)

(Shown in the Edison Theater, where it opened September 24, 1976 and closed August 6, 1989, having shown 5,959 times.)

6) Beauty and the Beast

(In the Palace Theater until 9/5/1999, then the Lunt-Fontane Theater, where it still shows. It was previewed March 9,1994 and opened April 18, 1994, and has shown 5,093 times.)

7) Rent

(Shown in the Nederlander Theater, where it previewed April 16, 1996, opened April 29, 1996, and still plays after 4,315 or so shows.)

8) Chicago (1996 revival)

(In the Richard Rodgers Theatre through 2/9/1997 and the Shubert Theatre through 1/26/2003, then the Ambassador Theatre, where it still plays. It previewed October 23, 1996 and opened November 14, 1996 and has been performed 4,093 times.)

9) Miss Saigon

(In the Broadway Theater, where it previewed March 23, 1991, opened April 11, 1991, and closed January 28, 2001 after 4,092 performances.)

10) Lion King

(Shown in the New Amsterdam Theatre, where it previewed October 15, 1997, opened November 13, 1997 and still shows after 3,676 showings.)


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    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Nice hub! I came to know quite a few things from this hub.

    • profile image

      Corina 6 years ago

      I have only seem Rent the new off broadway one, AMAZING! but the show i love to most is either Anything goes and The book of Mormon! also catch me if you can but that closed

    • petertheknight profile image

      petertheknight 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Love the Phantom of the Opera. I'm listening to the soundtrack right now as a matter of fact. lol

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 7 years ago

      I loved Chicago and Phantom of the Opera

      don't forget the oldies on video: Oklahoma, West Side Story, etc :)

    • profile image

      Broadway Tour 7 years ago

      i just added this list to my Bucket list. I really have to see all this.

    • Ladybythelake55 profile image

      Ladybythelake55 7 years ago from I was Born in Bethesda, Maryland and I live in Chicago,IL

      The Secret Garden was one of them as well. Rent did not go very well here in chicago they went on strike. Wicked lasted pretty well here in Chicago and so did CATS.

    • chrismexx profile image

      chrismexx 7 years ago from Moscow, Russia

      I've seen 6 out of 10 in different countries (The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Chicago, Les Miserables, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast), so I'd like to have a chance to see the rest of the legends.

    • lovebuglena profile image

      Lena Kovadlo 7 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      This hub is an informative one. Thanks for sharing. I'd like to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. I think it will blow me away.


    • Swansong profile image

      Swansong 7 years ago from Oregon

      I saw the touring show of Cats for the first time last month, and I must confess that I was VERY disappointed. At least here in Portland, the show did not include a pit orchestra. The musicians consisted of 2 keyboards, a guitar, drums and a piano. The lack of orchestral music really slowed the whole show down, and you could feel the lack of energy on stage from the actors and dancers. I hope I get to see it again one day with a pit orchestra.

      POTO is still my all time favorite show! I've seen it 3 times live and would see it at least once a year if I could!

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you everyone! I must say, I think it would be difficult to beat Phantom, and Cats was fantastic... I came halfway into Cats and still found myself near to tears!

    • pianomusicteacher profile image

      pianomusicteacher 8 years ago

      I love Phantom of the Opera and Cats. They're my all-time favorites. It was not so long ago when i watched Cats, I was amazed with the choreo and vibrancy of the show!

    • RTaveras profile image

      RTaveras 8 years ago from New York

      yeah phantom of the opera is great it was my 1st broadway show , listen also some where you can upload video's and create this type of blogs for all your friends to see and enjoy its called and for more info check out my blog

    • Opera Ghost profile image

      Opera Ghost 9 years ago

      Phantom of the Opera is my favorite. Always will be. But Les Mis has a special place in my heart.

    • Andy Xie profile image

      Andy Xie 9 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      I would very much like to see Rent. My friends that have seen it all tell me it's fantastic. Unfortunately, I haven't seen many musicals. Of the top ten above, I've only seen The Lion King. (which, by the way, is absolutely fantastic!)

    • jacobworld profile image

      Jakub Wawrzyniak 9 years ago from Ireland

      I am going there next year . I havednt decided yet which one i should see