The Best Sung-Through Musicals Ranked

West End cast of Hamilton: Shan Ako as Eliza Hamilton, Ava Brennan as Angelica Schuyler and Simbe Akande as Peggy Schuyler.
West End cast of Hamilton: Shan Ako as Eliza Hamilton, Ava Brennan as Angelica Schuyler and Simbe Akande as Peggy Schuyler. Credit: Danny Kaan

Welcome to the ultimate showdown of the best sung-through musicals, where the drama’s as thick as a London fog and the tunes are catchier than a cold in winter.

10. Cats

Yes, Cats. It’s the musical you either love or love to hate. But there’s no denying its impact on the world of sung-through musicals. Where else can you see a cast of humans pretending to be felines, singing about their nine lives? Only in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s fever dream, and we’re all living in it.
 

9. Miss Saigon

A helicopter landing on stage? Only in Miss Saigon, folks. This heart-wrenching tale of love and loss during the Vietnam War pulls no punches. With its epic production and soaring ballads, it’s a show that sticks with you long after the curtain falls.
 

8. Jesus Christ Superstar

Another Lloyd Webber classic, Jesus Christ Superstar rocks the biblical era with its rock opera rendition of the final weeks of Jesus’ life. It’s got drama, it’s got betrayal, and it’s got some of the catchiest tunes in the history of musical theatre. Plus, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned rock riff in their religious narratives?
 

7. Hadestown

Hadestown on broadway

Kicking off our list is Hadestown, where Greek mythology meets the Great Depression in a folk opera. This musical reimagines the tragic tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, adding a toe-tapping score that’ll have you booking a one-way ticket to the underworld. It’s mythically modern and melodically magnificent.
 

6. Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Based on a slice of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, this musical brings the Russian classic to life with an eclectic mix of pop, electronic music, and classic Broadway. It’s immersive, it’s innovative, and it’s got enough pierogis to make you feel like you’re dining in 19th-century Moscow.
 

5. Les Misérables

LES MISERABLES. Barricades.
LES MISERABLES. Barricades. Credit: Johan Persson

No list would be complete without Les Mis, the behemoth of sung-through musicals. It’s got barricades, unrequited love, and one of the most memorable ensemble casts in musical history. It’s a masterclass in how to make people weep using nothing but melody.
 

4. Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton’s story as you’ve never heard it before—through rap battles and soulful ballads. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece is a game-changer, blending history with hip-hop in a way that’s as educational as it is entertaining. Plus, it’s the only show where you can see the Founding Fathers drop the mic.
 

3. Evita

Power, politics, and Patti LuPone—Evita has it all. This musical biography of Eva Perón is a roller coaster of ambition and tragedy, set to a score that’s as lush as the Argentine landscape. It’s a testament to the power of song to tell complex stories, and it does so with flair.
 

2. The Phantom of the Opera

Okay, so it’s mostly sung-through, and that’s good enough for us. With its haunting melodies and gothic romance, Phantom is a staple of musical theatre. It’s got mystery, it’s got chandeliers, and it’s got some of the most iconic music ever written for the stage.

 

1. Rent

Rent on Broadway

Topping our list is Rent, the rock opera that brought the struggles of New York’s East Village to the mainstream. With its raw portrayal of life and love in the shadow of HIV/AIDS, it’s a reminder to live fully and love fiercely. “Seasons of Love” alone is enough to secure its spot at number one, but every song in this show is

About the author: Rachel Wise

UK based freelancer journalist Rachel contributes regularly to Stageberry with features and interviews from the hottest new shows and stage stars.