Check out these Broadway shows featuring pop music hits
These musicals feature songs from classic rock stars and modern pop stars.
Turn on the Top 40 radio or your throwback rock playlist, and you might just hear… showtunes? Pop music on Broadway isn’t a new phenomenon, with jukebox musicals like Mamma Mia!, featuring the songs of ABBA, fueling the craze years ago. But now, there’s a whole host of Broadway shows that feature pop music, from classic Motown tunes to ’80s and ’90s hits to chart-toppers from the last decade. Whether you’re an original cast album fan looking for something different or a pop music junkie that’s new to musical theatre, you’ll find a Broadway show you can groove along to.
The Lion King
Go to The Lion King and you’ll hear the music of one of the best-selling musical artists of all time: Sir Elton John. He composed the original music for the original 1994 Disney film (collaborating with lyricist Tim Rice), and much of that music features in the Broadway production.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with The Lion King, you may recognize songs like “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and “Circle of Life,” which John released as radio singles, making them into commercial hits in the 1990s that remain famous today. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” even won John the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance alongside an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1995.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical
Baz Luhrmann’s original film was also a jukebox movie musical, almost exclusively featuring covers of songs previously recorded by pop artists. For example, “Lady Marmalade,” now widely associated with the film, was originally made famous in the 1970s by the girl group Labelle, and “Your Song,” sung by the leading character Christian, was first an Elton John hit.
Moulin Rouge! The Musical follows suit, incorporating both those songs from the movie (as well as plenty of others including Carol Channing’s “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” Madonna’s “Material Girl,” and Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy”) and piles on dozens of pop songs that have topped the charts since the movie’s 2001 release. It’s impossible to name them all, but know that you’ll hear an eclectic mix of songs from artists ranging from Adele to Britney Spears to Soft Cell to Tina Turner. It’s nothing short of a pop spectacular (spectacular).
We're confident that you'll know the words to most of the songs in this larger-than-life musical. After roaring with laughter and applause the first time, you'll want to go, baby, one more time. & Juliet features 30 pop songs from the '90s and '00s, all from the catalog of Swedish writer and producer Max Martin. He's behind Britney Spears's, the Backstreet Boys', and Katy Perry's biggest hits, plus many more.
All these songs are set to an original, new story from Schitt's Creek writer David West Read. The musical follows Juliet, of Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, and imagines what would happen if she didn't die at the end of that classic play. She journeys to Paris, finds new friends and lovers, and finds herself. It's gonna be you that lives out your teenage dreams at this show.
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
The title says it all: go to Tina, and you’ll feel like you’re at a rollicking concert of all the Queen of Rock and Roll’s biggest hits. This bio-musical is all about Tina Turner’s life and career, beginning with her upbringing in Nutbush, Tennessee, where she developed her love of singing in church. Her hit song “Nutbush City Limits” kicks off the show, and from there, hit after hit takes you through every low and (mountain) high of her career.
“Proud Mary,” “Disco Inferno,” “The Best,” “River Deep, Mountain High,” and “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” are just a few of the songs in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, all accompanied by glittery costumes and Tina’s high-octane dance moves.
Once Upon a One More Time
It’s Britney, baby, one more time! This new musical features the princesses from classic fairytales at a book club meeting, which is crashed by a fairy godmother who brings them The Feminine Mystique to read. The princesses realize there’s more to life than being rescued by a prince — and their journey is powered by the fierce hits of none other than Britney Spears. Many of her biggest hits, like “Oops!… I Did It Again,” “Lucky,” “Stronger,” and “Toxic” all feature in the show. Once Upon a One More Time isn’t on Broadway yet; it recently wrapped a pre-Broadway run in Washington, D.C., and the musical may soon hit the New York stage stronger.