A “Complete” List of Contemporary Musicals: 2000-2015

This blog is a part of The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers, found online at www.contemporarymusicaltheatre.com
[UPDATED 3/16/15 – Now with additional shows and links to vocal scores, cast recordings and MP3 recordings! Please note most 2015 shows do not yet have recordings or vocal selections available. We will continue to update this list.]

At the beginning of our exploration of contemporary musical theatre repertoire in 2012, Lorene Phillips and I went to the (now sadly defunct) Colony Records to see how many scores we could find for contemporary shows.  Click here to read more about our initial research.

To our amazement, we found over seventy selection books for shows presented on Broadway and Off-Broadway from 2000 to the present.  We thought this roster was rather impressive, and quite possibly exhaustive.  That wasn’t far from true, but thanks to Lorene’s initial research, we began a more complete list of shows

Below is the updated list, broken down by genre: Legit, Contemporary Mix, Pop/Rock (Original Score), Pop/Rock (Jukebox), World Music and Miscellaneous.

You may notice some of the shows were not on our initial list, which means we were able to find a score elsewhere (most likely through amazon.com).  While we always encourage people to buy locally, it’s hard to speak ill of Amazon’s amazing selection and zippy delivery.

There are several shows for which a vocal selections book was never released (or hasn’t yet been released).  Those musicals are still listed here because a soundtrack is available.

Again, shows marked with a (+) are ones we believe are particularly worth your time.


As you would expect, “legit” shows demand the performers sing in a more classically trained way.  These shows tend to utilize singing actors who can use their strong technical backgrounds in music and drama to bring the characters to life.  On the whole, these “cross-over” musicals are much more intricate and demand excellent musicians.  Works like Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel’s breathtaking Light in the Piazza are being performed by opera and theatre companies alike.  

Contemporary performers who fall into this category include: Victoria Clark, Christine Ebersole, Aaron Lazar, Marc Kudish, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kelli O’Hara, among others.

Adding Machine (2008) VS CR
Amour (2002)*+ CR
Beautiful Game, The (2000) VS CR mp3
Chaplin (2012) VS CR mp3
Christmas Story, A (2012) VS CR mp3
Dance of the Vampires (2004)* CR
Death Takes a Holiday (2011) VS CR mp3
Dr. Zhivago (2015)
Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, A (2013)+ VS CR mp3
Grey Gardens (2006)+ VS CR mp3
Honeymoon in Vegas (2015)+* CR mp3
It Shoulda Been You (2015)+
Jane Eyre (2000) VS CR mp3
Jerry Springer, the Opera (2003) VS CR mp3
Light in the Piazza, The (2005)+ VS CR mp3
Love Never Dies (2010) VS CR mp3
Matilida (2012)+ VS CR
People in the Picture, The (2011)* CR
Visit, The (2015)
White Christmas (2008)+ VS CR

+ – Particularly noteworthy

* – Recording only


These scores highlight more variety in singing styles from legit (Marc Kudish in See What I Wanna See) to belt (Megan Hilty in 9 to 5).  The shows feature diverse musical influences, from Classical to Pop/Rock and everything in between.

Contemporary performers who fall in this category include: Heidi Blickenstaff, Norbert Leo Butz, Sutton Foster, Brian D’arcy James, Julia Murney and Aaron Tveit, among others.

13: The Musical (2008) VS CR mp3
9 to 5 (2009) VS CR mp3
Addams Family (2010) VS CR mp3
Aladdin (2014) VS CR mp3
Avenue Q (2003)+ VS CR mp3
Big Fish (2013) VS CR mp3
Billy Elliot (2008) VS CR mp3
Bonnie and Clyde (2012)* CR mp3
Book of Mormon, The (2011)+ VS CR mp3
Caroline or Change (2003)* CR mp3
Catch Me if You Can (2011) VS CR mp3
Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang (2005)+ VS CR mp3
Class Act, A (2001) VS CR mp3
Color Purple, The (2005) VS CR mp3
Curtains (2007) VS CR mp3
Dessa Rose (2005) VS CR
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (2005)+ VS CR mp3
Dogfight (2012)+* CR mp3
Dracula (2004)* CR mp3
Drowsy Chaperone, The (2006)+ VS CR mp3
Elegies (2003)+ VS CR
Elf: The Musical (2010) VS CR mp3
Everyday  Rapture (2010)* CR mp3
Fun Home (2015)+* CR mp3
Ghost (2012) CR mp3
Giant (2012) CR mp3
Glorious Ones, The (2007) VS CR mp3
Immigrant, The (2004)+* CR
It’s Only Life (2006) VS CR mp3
Last Five Years, The (2002)+ VS CR mp3
Last Ship, The (2014)* CR mp3
Legally Blonde (2007) VS CR mp3
Little Mermaid, The (2008) VS CR mp3
Little Women (2005) VS CR mp3
Man of No Importance, A (2002)+ VS CR mp3
Marguerite (2008) VS CR mp3
Mary Poppins (2006) VS CR mp3
Newsies (2012)+ VS CR mp3
Pirate Queen, The (2007) VS CR mp3
Producers, The (2001)+ VS CR mp3
Rocky (2014) CR mp3
Scottsboro Boys, The (2010)+* CR mp3
See What I Wanna See (2005)+ VS CR mp3
Seussical (2000) VS CR mp3
Shrek (2008) VS CR mp3
Silence: The Musical (2012)* CR mp3
Sister Act (2011) VS CR mp3
Something Rotten (2015)
Spamalot (2005) VS CR mp3
Spelling Bee, The 25th Annual Putnam County (2005)+ VS CR mp3
Story of My Life, The (2009) VS CR
Sweet Smell of Success (2002)+ VS CR mp3
Tale of Two Cities, A (2008) VS CR mp3
Thing About Men, The (2003) VS CR
Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002)+ VS CR mp3
Title of Show (2008)+ VS CR mp3
Urinetown (2001)+ VS CR mp3
Violet (2014)+ VS CR mp3
Wicked (2003) VS CR mp3
Wild Party, LaChiusa (2000) VS CR mp3
Wild Party, Lippa (2000)+ VS CR mp3
Witches of Eastwick, The (2000) VS CR mp3
Woman in White, The (2005) VS CR mp3
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (2011) VS CR mp3
Wonderland (2011) VS CR mp3
Year with Frog and Toad, A (2004)+* CR mp3
Young Frankenstein (2007) VS CR mp3
Walmartopia (2006) CR mp3
+ – Particularly noteworthy
* – Recording only


These scores are decidedly pop/rock influenced, though that still covers a broad range of styles, from R&B/Hip-Hop (In The Heights) to Indie Folk-Rock (Spring Awakening).  Performers auditioning for these shows will almost always be asked to sing a pop/rock song at their audition.  For the more hard rock shows, much is demanded of these singers, and often times, there are more replacement casts because of the difficulty of sustaining an eight-show week.  

Contemporary performers who fall into this category include: De’Andre Aziza, Coleman Domingo, John Gallagher, Jr., Chad Kimball, Lin Manuel Miranda, Sherie Renee Scott and Stew, among others.

Aida (2000) VS CR mp3
Altar Boys (2005)+ VS CR mp3
Bat Boy (2001)+* CR mp3
Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson (2010)* CR mp3
Bring it On (2012) VS CR mp3
Brooklyn (2004) VS CR mp3
Carrie (2011)* CR mp3
Finding Neverland (2015)
First Date (2013)* CR
Full Monty, The (2000) VS CR mp3
Hairspray (2002) VS CR mp3
Hedwig and The Angry Inch (2014)* CR mp3
Holler If Ya Hear Me (2014)
If/Then (2014) VS CR
In The Heights (2008)+ VS CR mp3
Kinky Boots (2013)* CR mp3
Leap of Faith (2012)* CR mp3
Lysistrata Jones (2011)* CR mp3
Memphis (2009) VS CR mp3
Murder Ballad (2013)* CR mp3
Next to Normal (2009)+ VS CR mp3
Once (2012)+ VS CR mp3
Passing Strange (2008) VS CR mp3
See Rock City (2010)* CR mp3
Spider-man, Turn of the Dark (2011) VS CR mp3
Spring Awakening (2006) VS CR mp3
Striking 12 (2006) VS CR
Taboo (2004)* CR
Toxic Avenger, The (2009) VS CR mp3
Wedding Singer, The (2006) VS CR
Zanna Don’t (2003)* CR mp3

+ – Particularly noteworthy

* – Recording only


Jukebox musicals have grown in popularity over the last decade.  They often feature songs from one artist or group (i.e. – Green Day in American Idiot, or The Four Seasons in Jersey Boys), which are tied together with some sort of narrative or plot.  These theatrical hybrids bring together musical theatre and a rock concert, sometimes in very entertaining ways.   Again, much is demanded of these singers, especially if the show has a hard rock score (i.e. Rock of Ages).

Performers who have worked in this category include: Stephanie Block, Michael Cavanaugh, Christian Hoff, Cheyenne Jackson and Amy Spangler, among others.

All Shook Up (2005)+ VS CR mp3
American Idiot (2010) VS CR mp3
Beautiful The Carol King Musical (2014)+* VS CR mp3
Boy from Oz (2003) VS CR mp3
Come Fly Away (2010)+ VS CR
Jersey Boys (2005) VS CR mp3
Here Lies Love (2013)* CR mp3
Let It Be (2013)
Mamma Mia (2002) VS CR mp3
Marvelous Wonderettes, The (2001) VS CR mp3
Million Dollar Quartet (2010) VS CR mp3
Movin’ Out (2002) VS CR mp3
Motown (2013) VS CR mp3
Night With Janis Joplin, A (2013) VS mp3
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (2011) VS CR mp3
Rain (2010) VS CR mp3
Rock of Ages (2009) VS CR mp3
 * – Recording only
+ – Particularly noteworthy


These two shows utilize specific musical influences from the particular countries in which the musicals take place.  As such, they don’t easily fall into the above categories.

Bombay Dreams (2002)* CR mp3
Fela! (2010)* CR mp3

 * – Recording only


There are always shows that don’t seem to really fit in a particular genre. We’ve classified them to the best of our ability below.
Legit (Jukebox)
After Midnight (2013)
Bullets Over Broadway (2014)* CR mp3
End of the Rainbow (2012)* CR mp3
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (2014)* CR mp3
Love Musik (2007)* CR mp3
Soul Doctor (2013)

* – Recording only

Legit (Review)
An American in Paris (2015)
Nice Work if You Can Get It (2012)+ VS CR mp3

* – Recording only


In full disclosure, Laura Josepher and I have been overwhelmed by this growing list of musicals.  Not only has it taken considerable time to gather and edit the information, it’s hard not to feel personally responsible for knowing each show. But, frankly, it’s not possible. If all we had to do each day was listen to a new musical, maybe we’d be able to manage, but as active theatre artists, we struggle to keep up with contemporary work.

We hope you’ll use this categorized roster of shows as a jumping-off point to become familiar with some contemporary musicals. Start with the shows we’ve highlighted as being worth your time.  Follow your gut.  Ask your colleagues what shows they know.  Compare notes.

And I highly recommend not only researching the shows, but also the performers.  The above artists are all at the top of their game in this business. You should have a working knowledge of who they are and what they’ve done. It will help you understand a performer’s “type” (which we’ll discuss in an upcoming blog) and give you a sense of their career development.

Keep in mind many performers fluidly move from one genre of show to another.  My favorite example is dynamo Lauren Molina, who was in John Doyle’s revival of Sweeney Todd, then went to Rock of Ages and recently played Cunegonde in Bernstein’s Candide in several regional productions.  That’s versatility!

It’s inevitable we’ve missed something. If we did, let us know by writing a comment.  We’ll be happy to add the information to our list. Questions? We’ll happily answer them to the best of our ability.

We hope this growing list gets you excited about exploring new work.  There’s a ton of good stuff out there just waiting to be discovered.

Go to it!!