Top 40 Obscure Musicals of All Time- BWW Readers Weigh In!

I think we theatre nerds can all agree that the ultimate sign of theatre knowledge is to mention your favorite musical to the cool kids in your theatre clique and realize that none of them have listened to it. We all LIVE for that moment. Almost as good is when the Karen to your Ivy starts arrogantly holding forth on a musical she's sure is too obscure for anyone else in the room to know, and you immediately start spouting facts about the show and singing songs from it. At the same time. Who cares if you didn't exactly make a coherent thought? You showed her who's Marilyn.

Anyway, all this to say: friendships in theatre communities are built on moments* like this, "Wait, you like THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL too?!"

So for our most recent BroadwayWorld Reader Question, we asked everyone on Facebook and Twitter to name their favorite forgotten or obscure musicals, because** I think we all need an avenue through which to express our true love for our favorite musical- and find the others out there who share our obsession.

Check out over 40 favorite musicals that the BroadwayWorld reader community considers to be forgotten or obscure!


  1. Reilly Lincavicks: [title of show] !!!!!
  2. Zee Theberge: Bare: a Pop Opera. I think it went under appreciated in both off Broadway productions.
  3. Elizabeth Tom Stuart: Ragtime. Secret Garden. Jane Eyre. Little Women. Parade.
  4. Paula Hoffman: Altar Boyz. It was fantastic. Off Broadway but...
  5. Glenn Ellison: Big Fish!
  6. Kathy Huynh: Heathers!
  7. Julee Jaquays-Rodriguez: Harmony by Barry Manilow - Danny Burstein, Rebecca Luker, James Clow, Thom Christopher Warren, and Patrick Wilson all were in this in the very beginning...look at where they are today....This musical didn't get the exposure it should have...it is a beautiful musicial with great music.
  8. Elizabeth Sollecito: Elisabeth das Musical! It's an Austrian musical based on the life of Empress Elisabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It's famous in Austria, but not much anywhere else...except for China, I think.
  9. Nathan Clift: My Favorite Year. No one remembers it, but I fell in love with the music and from YouTube videos
  10. Kelly A Griffith: First Date
  11. Ashley Vankirk: State fair, hot spot, and soo many more!
  12. Elijah Mancilla: Razia's Shadow: A Musical
  13. Johanna Bonno: Musical Chairs - did it in college. It's musical about an audience at a play. Fun stuff!
  14. Lauren Faerber: The Phantom of the opera! And A gentlemans guide to love and murder they are my forgotten ones since Hamilton came into my life.
    [^^I connect to your sentiment on a spiritual level, Lauren.]
  15. Connor Cook: Jane Eyre, Giant
    [^^yaaasss Giant!!]
  16. Hunter Emmett Burke: The Burnt Part Boys. The music is fantastic and the story is so moving.
  17. Matt Sowell: Parade!
  18. Skylar Phillips: Bull Durham
  19. Ron Baumanis: Charlotte Sweet, Romance/Romance, Weird Romance, Jane Eyre, Take Me Along, Ernest in Love, Baker Street
  20. Megan Grace Kennedy: How obscure are we talking? Because The Dolls Of New Albion, A Steampunk Opera is pretty awesome.
  21. Shannon Sigafoos: City of Angels. The West End revival at the Donmar Warehouse earlier this year was brilliant. The staging and color, costume and lighting design definitely gave it much more appeal than past Broadway productions that looked drab in comparison.
  22. Katie Fitzmorris: Dogfight!
    [^^did we just become best friends, Katie?!]
  23. Adriana Ortega: Whistle Down The Wind
  24. Ruth Frances-Leve: Post Dear World.
  25. Jan Tedesco: Working
  26. Robyn Rules: The Life
  27. John B. DeHaas: Twist
  28. Mark Ferguson: "Applause," "My One And Only," "The Vamp."
  29. Caprice Annette: Crutcher Sanders Stop the World I Want to Get Off. Saw it in junior high and have not seen it offered since. :(
  30. Brittany Hamilton: Blood Brothers!!!
  31. ‏@Leader_In_Red: The Pirate Queen. I'll Be There by @hadleyfraser was amazing.
  32. ‏@cheesyearthgirl: Half a Sixpence! Love the film. Sadly, I've only been able to see one production (Goodspeed).
  33. @javProjects: CRY FOR US ALL (though I don't know which of the many rewritten versions I'd prefer).
  34. @emmywilde2: Tanz der Vampires (dance of the vampires) or The Slipper and the rose
  35. @marykhamann: @BonnieClydeBway was amazing and definitely under appreciated. @loveneverdies needs to come to Broadway!
  36. @AlexaSumulong: jekyll and hyde..... Because i believe i am jekyll and hyde
  37. @fangzers: Romance/Romance - never saw it but I love the music from that show!
  38. @halgalloway: steel pier!!
  39. @ErinTheMusical: 35mm by Ryan Scott Oliver
  40. ‏@LeeColTheatre: Take Me Along deserves another look.

For more forgotten musical fangirling (and obviously eternal friendship), follow Sally on Twitter: @BwayGinger

*While we're talking, let me offer you some free advice: never tell your crush that you hate their favorite forgotten musical or that, say, the lyrics don't feel artfully constructed. He might not take it well.

**Nah. This question was actually just an excuse for me to get new music suggestions. AND IT WORKED, YOU GUYS.

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