Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Check out these Broadway shows featuring pop music hits

These musicals feature songs from classic rock stars and modern pop stars.

Gillian Russo
Gillian Russo

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 rock 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.

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Broadway shows with pop music

Hear pop music from all different eras at these Broadway shows. Audiences of all ages will get to hear the hits they grew up hearing on the radio and streaming on Spotify.

MJ The Musical

Rock with Michael Jackson all night at MJ The Musical. With more than 25 hits from Jackson, the Jackson 5, and more, this musical will have you dancing into the sunlight. Jackson's hits are reframed in new, creative ways in this musical, as they bring back key memories from Jackson's life and career while he rehearses for his 1992 Dangerous World Tour.

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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.

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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 For example, "Lady Marmalade," now widely associated with the film, was originally made famous in the 1970s by the girl group Labelle, and "Your Song," sung by the leading character Christian, was first an Elton John hit.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).

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& Juliet

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.

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A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical

Good times — and good music — never seemed so good. The greatest hits of Neil Diamond hit the Broadway stage this fall in a new bio-musical about the bestselling artist's life. Two actors play Diamond as a young up-and-coming musician from Brooklyn and as an older man with multiple lifetime achievement awards, two hall of fame inductions, and lots of bestselling records under his belt. Discover how Diamond became an international sensation and hear all his classic songs, like "America," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "Song Sung Blue," and of course, "Sweet Caroline."

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Titanique is an Off-Broadway show, but it features the hits of an artist with one of the most titanic music careers in recent history: Celine Dion. Known for singing the Titanic movie's iconic theme song, "My Heart Will Go On," Dion is now a character in this campy parody of James Cameron's film. She narrates a kooky retelling of what really happened to Jack and Rose, and the story incorporates lots of her career hits, like "Tell Him" and "All By Myself."

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Hell’s Kitchen

She’s won 16 Grammys. Her songs “No One,” “Fallin’,” “Empire State of Mind,” and more have captured countless listeners with their soulful lyrics, soaring melodies, and deep emotion. She got her start as a teenager and has sustained a successful career ever since. Yes, we’re talking about Alicia Keys, whose own upbringing in the Manhattan neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen is the loose basis of the new musical of the same name. All of Keys’s greatest hits score this coming-of-age story.

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The Heart of Rock and Roll

News flash: Huey Lewis and The News is having a moment right now. The band's megahit, "The Power of Love," features briefly in the Back to the Future musical alongside "Johnny B. Goode," but now, Lewis gets a musical all his own. His band's discography entirely powers The Heart of Rock and Roll, a musical rom-com about 30somethings who know what they want in life — until the other comes along.

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A Wonderful World: The Louis Armstrong Musical

Technically, this musical features jazz music, not pop — but Louis Armstrong is iconic precisely because he was one of the first artists to bring jazz music into the mainstream, earning global popularity and numerous awards as a result. Songs like "What a Wonderful World" and "La Vie En Rose" score this show, which tells Armstrong's life story from the perspectives of his wives.

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Broadway shows written by pop stars

Some Broadway musicals have famous singer/songwriters behind them, but they've written original scores instead of lending their chart-topping hits. If you like these artists, check out these musicals to hear their work in a new style and experience songs by them that you wouldn't hear otherwise.

The Notebook

Ingrid Michaelson is no stranger to Broadway: She performed in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 when it was running. She's now making her Broadway debut as a songwriter with The Notebook, an adaptation of the beloved romance book and film. It's a natural combination of her talents, considering that she's most famous for her career as a pop singer/songwriter that's earned her acclaim since 2005.

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