American musical theater uses singing, dancing, and music to tell interesting stories in exciting ways. People come from all over the world to see musicals on Broadway, New York City's theater district. Musicals are also staged in many other places. Some musicals start as movies, or are made into movies. A few famous musicals are listed here. The date after the name of the show is the year
Annie (1977), by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin. Here's how Little Orphan Annie was adopted by Daddy Warbucks. One featured song: "Tomorrow." Tony Award 1977.
Beauty and the Beast (1994), by Alan Menkin, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice. First it was a story. Then it was a movie in French. Then it became an animated movie musical. Now the tale of Belle and the Beast she came to love is brought to life on a stage.
Cats (1982), by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Based on poems about all kinds of cats written by T.S. Eliot, this play closed in 2000 after a record 7,485 performances. Its best-known song was "Memory." Tony Award 1983.
A Chorus Line (1975), by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban. The story of dancers whose dream was to be on the musical stage. Tony Award 1976.
Grease (1972), by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Teenagers in the 1950s sing and dance their way through high school. Grease was made into a movie starring John Travolta.
The Lion King (1997), by Elton John, Tim Rice, Mark Mancina, Roger Allers, and Irene Meechi. Based on the animated Disney movie, this show uses masks and puppets to tell the story of animals progressing through "The Circle of Life." Tony Award 1998.
Seussical (2000), by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. The magic of The Cat in the Hat, Horton, and other Dr. Seuss favorites comes to the stage.
West Side Story (1957), by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. This groundbreaking show used music and dance to update the story of Romeo and Juliet to the West Side of Manhattan in New York City.
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