Every year, schools across the country perform the best high school musicals to packed auditoriums. Putting on a show is a time-honored tradition that teaches students more than just singing, acting, and dancing skills. Whether you're a choir teacher looking for ideas or just a fan of musical theater, consider the following top shows for your next performance.
1. High School Musical
Beyond its current popularity, High School Musical is one of the best high school musicals for several reasons. The plot is relevant to teen life, making it both more interesting to the actors and more likely to bring in student audience members. It's one of the few musicals set in modern times, making costuming and set design less complex. The musical numbers are also designed to be appealing to modern listeners.
2. The Music Man
The Music Man has been a popular choice for years. The antics of the con man "Professor" Harold Hill will keep the audience laughing, and a touch of romance broadens the play's appeal.
3. Beauty and the Beast
Audiences and performers alike will recognize this classic fairy tale and appreciate its timeless message of looking beyond appearances. With memorable musical numbers, actors can enjoy performing a show they grew up with and have been singing along to for years.
4. The 1940s Radio Hour
The 1940s Radio Hour offers a unique mix of stage play and variety show. Because of this, there is much room for tailoring the musical to your cast's strengths. It will be a nostalgic show for older community members, yet the underlying concept of supporting the troops overseas remains relevant.
5. Jekyll and Hyde
Drawing on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story of a man with split personalities, Jekyll and Hyde brings a welcome bit of darkness to the best high school musicals. Songs from the movie like In His Eyes and Once Upon A Dream have been popular choral music selections since the musical's debut.
6. Seussical the Musical
Seussical the Musical is a great choice for schools looking to bring in more community audience members; it's sure to be a hit with families. Celebrating the work of Dr. Seuss, it's a nonstop journey through stories like Horton Hears a Who!, Green Eggs and Ham, and The Lorax. The source material leads to colorful and imaginative sets and costumes.
7. The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is another musical based on a classic book, so it will find an instant audience in fans of the original work. The idea of finding a secret place to call your own speaks to audiences on a deeper level. In addition to having a mix of male and female leads, the musical also includes a chorus for flexible casting.
8. Guys and Dolls
While the main characters are criminals and gamblers, the musical never takes itself too seriously, so it's a fun play for performers and audiences alike. Instantly recognizable songs like Luck Be a Lady and A Bushel and a Peck are another draw.
9. A Christmas Carol – The Musical
The addition of songs adds a new twist to a beloved story. A musical performance of A Christmas Carol could become a great holiday tradition in your community.
Grease is just plain fun. Who doesn't know at least one of the show's iconic songs? Students will love donning leather jackets and poodle skirts to travel back to the past. However, directors should be cautious when choosing this piece due to the sexual themes in the story.