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Top 10 Female-Driven Musicals

Top 10 Female-Driven Musicals

(List updated as of July 20, 2018)

We've created a list of 10 musicals that are each a perfect, and unique, showcase for your school or community's most talented leading ladies! These musicals make way for soaring vocals, singular performances and characters that kick butt.

Heathers The Musical
by Kevin Murphy & Laurence O'Keefe
Based on the film by Daniel Waters

Heathers The Musical is the darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerously sexy new kid J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicized ass...but J.D. has another plan for that bullet. (8m, 9f)

(High School Edition also available for teen leading ladies)

Anne Of Green Gables
Adapted by Donald Harron
Music by Norman Campbell
From the Novel by L.M. Montgomery
Lyrics by Donald Harron and Norman Campbell
Additional Lyrics by Mavor Moore and Elaine Campbell

The classic tale of an orphan girl, Anne, who rises from destitution to happiness in the farm country entirely by virtue of her pluck and personality. Anne's adventures at Green Gables, the farm owned by her new caretakers, are both comical and heartwarming. Originating in Canada, the play left capacity audiences there to journey to London, where it opened to acclaim. The original Anne of Green Gables novel is the first in a prized series by writer L.M. Montgomery. (12m, 17f)

Chicago
Book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins
Script adaptation by David Thompson

In roaring twenties Chicago, chorine Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover and convinces her hapless husband, Amos, to take the rap...until he finds out he's been duped and turns on Roxie. Convicted and sent to death row, Roxie and another "Merry Murderess," Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, ultimately joining forces in search of the "American Dream": fame, fortune, and acquittal. This sharp-edged satire features a dazzling score that sparked immortal staging by Bob Fosse. (9m, 10f)

(High School Edition also available for young merry murderesses)

The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
Book by Larry L. King and Peter Masterson
Music and Lyrics by Carol Hall
Based on a story by Larry L. King

This happy-go-lucky view of small-town vice and statewide political side-stepping recounts the good times and the demise of the Chicken Ranch, known since the 1850s as one of the better pleasure palaces in all of Texas. Governors, senators, mayors, and even victorious college football teams frequent Miss Mona’s cozy bordello, until that Puritan nemesis Watchdog focuses his television cameras and his righteous indignation on the institution. (13m, 14f)

Leader Of The Pack: The Ellie Greenwich Musical
Music and Lyrics by Ellie Greenwich and friends
Liner notes by Anne Beatts
Additional material by Jack Heifner
Based on an original concept by Melanie Mintz

This hit Broadway musical retrospective celebrates the life and times of Ellie Greenwich, whose doo-wop sounds skyrocketed to the top of the 60s charts. The story of Ellie’s rise to fame and fortune is punctuated with the virtual hit parade of her music: “Chapel of Love,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Be My Baby,” “Hanky Panky,” Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” “And Then He Kissed Me,” and, of course, the title song, “Leader of the Pack.” (4m, 10f)

Smile
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Marvin Hamlisch

This touching and satiric musical by the creators of Little Shop of Horrors, A Chorus Line and They're Playing Our Song, follows the intrigue and exploits onstage and behind-the-scenes as Santa Rosa, California plays host to the Young American Miss Pageant. (6m, 10f, 2boy(s))

Side Show
Book and Lyrics by Bill Russell
Music by Henry Krieger

Based on the true story of Siamese twins Violet and Daisy Hilton who became stars during the Depression, Side Show is a moving portrait of two women joined at the hip whose extraordinary bondage brings them fame but denies them love. Told almost entirely in song, the show follows their progression from England to America, around the vaudeville circuit and to Hollywood on the eve of their appearance in the 1932 movie Freaks. (14m, 7f)

The Wiz
Book by William F. Brown
Music and Lyrics by Charlie Smalls

A beloved Broadway gem, The Wiz infuses L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with a dazzling mix of rock, gospel, and soul music. This timeless tale of Dorothy’s adventures through the Land of Oz is a fun, family-friendly, modern musical and one of the most popular shows of all time. (6m, 5f, 4m or f)

Steel Pier
Book by David Thompson
Music and Lyrics by John Kander and Fred Ebb
Conceived by Scott Ellis, Susan Stroman and David Thompson

In the honky tonk world of marathon dancing in Atlantic City in 1933, a captivating assortment of depression era souls eager to dance their way into fame and prizes gather on the Steel Pier. The spectacle is presided over by an oily tongued emcee who is secretly married to Rita Racine, the champion dancer. Her usual partner doesn't show up, so she is paired with a handsome pilot on leave. As the hours of dancing whirl on, Rita becomes increasingly disillusioned with her sleazy, conniving husband and more and more infatuated with the handsome young aviator and a vision of life in a peaceful cottage. Songs by the creators of Chicago, Cabaret and other Broadway classics perfectly capture the rhythms of the 1930's dance era. (15m, 13f)

Nunsense
Book, Music and Lyrics by Dan Goggin

The Little Sisters of Hoboken discover that their cook, Sister Julia, Child of God, has accidentally poisoned 52 of the sisters, and they are in dire need of funds for the burials. The sisters decide that the best way to raise the money is to put on a variety show, so they take over the school auditorium, which is currently set up for the eighth grade production of “Grease.” Here we meet Reverend Mother Regina, a former circus performer; Sister Mary Hubert, the Mistress of Novices; a streetwise nun from Brooklyn named Sister Robert Anne; Sister Mary Leo, a novice who is a wannabe ballerina; and the delightfully wacky Sister Mary Amnesia, the nun who lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head. (5f)

To license and purchase these fantastic female-driven musicals, and to explore more, click here.

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