Tuesday, July 9, 2013

TOP FIVE LONGEST RUNNING BROADWAY SHOWS OF ALL TIME

Broadway is basically the oldest, the longest and the busiest street in New York which is popularly known for their musical theaters which emerged since the 18th Century but the term "Musical" was generally used since the early 20th century. The Broadway musicals have evolved dramatically all through the years, producing different variety and genre of musical performances. We can confidently say that Broadway has shaped up both society and Hollywood. Hollywood films, however, and Broadway shows have huge differences in terms of many aspects. Interestingly, most Broadway Musicals have this so-called "Open ended runs" which means the duration of length of their presentation are not set and it could possibly extend or end depending on its critical response. Some of these Broadway shows managed to stay for such an impressive amount of time and listed below are five of the longest running Broadway Shows of all time

TOP FIVE LONGEST RUNNING BROADWAY SHOWS OF ALL TIME
Author's Note : This list were taken from websites like IBDB (Internet Broadway Database) and Wikipedia. The list are updated as of July 7, 2013. 

TOP 5 LONGEST RUNNING BROADWAY SHOWS OF ALL TIME 
"THE LION KING"
Number of Performances : 6500. The Lion King Musical debuted on November 13, 1997. Generally, it is not an original Broadway film and is merely based on the successful 1994 Disney animated film with the same name. The show is relatively new compare to the Broadway shows on our list but is considered as a massive success. The amount of performances that they have so far is truly impressive considering the fact that they are running for 16 consecutive years. In addition to that, Lion King, as of April 2012 is considered as the highest grossing Broadway of all time. As of the plot, well, i don't think it needs any more explanation and we all know that it's about Simba and his journey to become the Lion King.  The characters for this play is portrayed by actors in life-sized puppets and costumes. The Lion King have won various awards too including Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards and a Grammy. 

TOP 4 LONGEST RUNNING BROADWAY SHOWS OF ALL TIME 
"LES MISERABLES"
Number of  Performances : 6,680. I believe that this Broadway show is still fresh in our minds after its highly successful film adaptation last year. Les Miserables debuted on March 12, 1987 and ended on May 18, 2003. Therefore, there is a huge possibility that Lion King can outrank the Les Miserables in the near future. Les Miserables is also not an original Broadway piece and is adapted from the book of the same title written by Victor Hugo. It is considered as one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It is a story of a young peasant named Jean Valjean who was once an ex-convict and became a successful businessman under a new identity. The Broadway, the book and the film are all commercially successful. Les Miserables won various awards from Tony, Drama Desk and Grammy. The song " I Dreamed a Dream" has become one of the most popular and highly embraced Broadway musical shows of all time. 

TOP 3 LONGEST RUNNING BROADWAY SHOWS OF ALL TIME 
"CHICAGO"
Number of Performances : 6909. Chicago is originally based on a 1926 play of the same name which tells a story of  two women who were both suspected and later acquitted for murder in which reporter Maurine Dallas Watskin is assigned to cover at Chicago Tribune. The original play debuted in 1975 (with 936 performances) but was later revived on Broadway in 1996 making it as the longest musical revival on Broadway history. It is also considered as the longest running American musical in Broadway. The play was also adapted into film in 2002 which is also a commercial success and earn recognition in different award bodies like Oscars. 

TOP 2 LONGEST RUNNING BROADWAY SHOWS OF ALL TIME 
"CATS"
Number of Performances: 7485. Cats is another highly successful Broadway show which is originally based on a collection of whimsical poems entitled "Old Possum's : Book of Practical Cats. The musical is composed by Andrew Llyod Webber which tells a story of a tribe of cats called Jellicles and their ritual known as the Jellicle choice in which they have to decide which cat should ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. The Cats debuted on 1982 and ended last 2000 so basically, there is a possibility for the "Chicago" to outrank the show. Interestingly, the show was performed in many parts of the world and has been translated to 20 different languages. It also introduced the song "Memory" which was also recorded by different successful artists including Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Shirley Bassey, Petula Clark, Sarah Brightmand and Celine Dion. 

THE LONGEST RUNNING BROADWAY SHOWS OF ALL TIME 
"THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA"
Number of Performances : 10,583. If Hollywood has James Cameron who directed two of the highest grossing and most successful films of all time, Andrew Lloyd Webber is probably his equivalent in Broadway. The Phantom of the Opera is another musical created and composed by him and is undeniably the longest running Broadway show. It is originally based on a French novel of the same title which tells a story of a beautiful soprano who became an obsession of a mysterious, disfigured musical genius. The play is a massive success grossing an estimated amount of  $5.6 Billion (including West End and other international plays). It also gained awards and recognition from Tony and Drama Desk. 
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The list is generally based on the number of performances as listed and compiled in Wikipedia and IBDB (check it here) but if we are going to list down top five of those Currently running shows, we will come up with this list (from greatest to least): 1. The Phantom of the Opera , 2. Chicago , 3.The Lion King, 4. Mamma Mia! and 5. The Wicked.
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