Music and theatre have made a major impact on today’s culture. With the elaborate costumes, catchy tunes, and incredible talent that goes into each stage production, it’s easy to see why Broadway has always captured the world’s imagination.  

Popular musicals such as HamiltonDear Evan Hansen, and Wicked have entranced a new generation of fans. And technology has made listening to popular show tunes easier than ever before. Most are accessible through CDs and downloads, allowing more people to tap into the excitement that musicals bring. 

Here are just a few fun facts about the biggest shows of the Great White Way: 

While there have only been fifteen people to play the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera on  Broadway in New York, over 300 masks have been made for the  actor to wear for the iconic role. 

The Lion King is the highest grossing Broadway musical, having made over eight billion dollars since it opened in 1997. 

Dear Evan Hansen is one of the youngest and and most successful musicals on Broadway, having only begun production in 2016.

West Side Story is based off of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

Cats is based off of a collection of poems written by T.S. Eliot called Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which was published in 1939. 

Hairspray is one of the only musicals to go from being on screen to being on-stage, and then back to being on screen again. The Lion King joined  Hairspray on this very short list with its live-action adaptation appearing earlier this year. 

The Phantom of the Opera is the longest running Broadway show since its debut in 1988, and has been on stage for over 13,000 productions. Chicago and The Lion King are the next longest running Broadway productions.  

Chicago is based on a real life murder that happened 1924. It was then adapted into musical form by a reporter. The rest, as they say, is history.  

In the upcoming months, theaters in Jacksonville are going to be showcasing some of the most famous Broadway productions, from Wicked to the Christmas classic Elf.

Wicked will be at the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville November 20. 

We Will Rock You: The Queen Musical will be at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville November 3.

In spring of 2020, the blockbuster Hamilton will be coming to Jacksonville March 17 to 29 at the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts.