Only 1 in 19 People Can Name These Broadway Shows From a Single Image. Can You?

By: Khadija Leon
Image: Youtube

About This Quiz

When you hear the word Broadway, you immediately think of people singing and dancing in some type of musical or show and rightfully so, as it refers to theatrical performances which are held in the Theatre District in Midtown Manhattan in New York City.

Some of the first theatrical performances in New York date back to the 18th century where Shakespearean plays were performed at a theatre on Nassau Street with only 280 seats. Almost 300 years later, the city that never sleeps now has over 40 professional theatres in what is now called the Theatre District which spans from West 40th to West 54th Street from Sixth Avenue to Eighth Avenue. 

Every year, the popular tourist attraction brings in over 10 million people and grosses over $1 billion in ticket sales. Some of the most popular shows include The Lion King, Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon, each having won multiple Tony Awards and performing more than 1,000 shows. 

Have you ever seen any of these Broadway shows? If you have, would you be able to identify them from just an image? The only way to find out is to take this quiz and to see how well you do!

The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated films with the same name and features music from Sir Elton John and a score created by Hanz Zimmer. It made its debut at the Orpheum Theatre in Minnesota in July 1997, then later moved to the New Amsterdam Theater in October of that same year.

Rent is a rock musical which is loosely based on an opera called La Boheme by Giacomo Puccini. The musical tells the story of a group of struggling artists who try to survive and make a name for themselves in New York City’s East Village. It made its premiere in 1993 and is one of the longest-running shows.

The Producers is a musical based on the 1967 film with the same name. It follows two producers whose get rich quick scheme of overselling a Broadway musical goes terribly wrong. It made its premiere in 2001 and after 2500 performances and 12 Tony Award wins, ​went on tour around the world.

Anastasia is a musical based on the 1956 and 1997 films of the same name. It tells the story of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia and her alleged escape from the execution of her family. It made its premiere in April of 2017 and has since been nominated for several awards.

Mary Poppins is a musical based on P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins children’s books and on the 1964 Disney film. The music was written by the award-winning Sherman Brothers and had over 2,600 performances before officially closing on March 3, 2013.

Once is a musical based on the musical drama film with the same name. The eight-time Tony Award winning musical made its premiere at the New York Theatre Workshop in 2001 and moved to Broadway in 2012.

The Phantom of the Opera is a musical based on the French novel Le Fantome de l’Opera by Gaston Leroux. It focuses on a mysterious musical genius and his obsession with the beautiful Christine Daae. It first opened in London’s West End in 1986 and two years later, on Broadway.

The King & I is a musical based on the novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. It is the fifth musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The Tony Award-winning musical opened in March 1951 and has been adapted several times.

Cats is a musical based on the Old Possum’s Book of Practical by T.S. Eliot. Composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the musical tells the story of a tribe of cats and the night they make “the Jellicle choice." The first performance was in 1981 and as of 2016, it was named​ one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history.

Springsteen on Broadway is Bruce Springsteen’s concert residency located at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York City. It officially opened in October 2017 and features Springsteen playing the piano, guitar, as well as reading excerpts from his autobiography called Born to Run.

The Sound of Music is a musical based on Maria von Trapp’s memoir entitled The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. The musical is set in 1938 Austria and follows Maria, a woman who takes the job as a governess to a family while deciding if she should become a nun. The original production opened in 1959 and was the inspiration for the 1965 film with the same name.

Billy Elliot the Musical is based on the 2000 film with the same name and revolves around a young British boy named Billy, who decided to trade in his boxing gloves for a pair of ballet shoes. The musical made its premier in London’s West End in 2005 and later on Broadway where it has won ten Tony Awards.

Hairspray is a musical which was based on John Water’s Hairspray film in 1988. After successes at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, it opened on Broadway in 2002 and has since had over 2,600 performancs and eight Tony Awards wins.

Cabaret is a 1966 musical based on a 1951 play called I Am a Camera by John Van Druten, which was originally adapted from a 1939 short novel called Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood. It ran until 1969 then went on be revived multiple times.

West Side Story is a musical which has been said to be inspired by the play, Romeo and Juliet. The musical follows the rivalry between two teenage gangs of different ethnic backgrounds, the Jets (a white gang) and the Sharks (from Puerto Rico). The show ran for over 700 performances and soon after went on tour.

Frozen is a musical based on the 2013 Disney animated film with the same name. The showl made its debut at the Denver Performing Arts Center in August 2017 and is scheduled to open at the St. James Theatre on Broadway in 2018.

Pippin is a Broadway musical which made its first appearance in 1972 and tells the story of the leader of a performance troupe called Pippin who also happens to be a prince searching to find his significance in the world. There have been rumors that the award-winning musical is going to be adapted into a feature film which might be produced by The Weinstein Company.

Memphis is a musical which is loosely based on a disc jockey by the name of Dewey Phillips. It played on Broadway between 2009 and 2012, and has also been on tour in places like London, Australia, Tokyo and Philadelphia.

Dreamgirls is a Broadway musical which took its inspiration from R&B acts like James Brown, The Supremes, and Jackie Wilson. It tells the story of a young female singing group who go on to become superstars. The musical opened in December 1981 and has won the Tony Award for Best Musical six times.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a musical thriller based on the 1973 play by Christopher Bond. It opened on Broadway in 1979, then on the West End a year later. The Tony Award-winning musical has been revived several times and was the inspiration for the Golden Globe award-winning 2007 film adaptation.

42nd Street is a musical based on a novel by Bradford Ropes with the same name. The musical made its Broadway debut in August 1980, and after 3,400 performances, it closed in January 1989.

Les Miserables is a musical based on Victor Hugo’s novel of​ the same name. It premiered in Paris in 1980 and has since won more than ten Tony Awards and three Laurence Olivier Awards. Set in early 19th century France, it follows French peasant Jean Valjean who is on a quest for redemption after serving 20 years in prison.

Miss Saigon is a musical based on Giacomo Puccini’s Madame Butterfly opera. Set during the Vietnam War, the musical and the opera both tell the story of an Asian woman and her American lover, who later abandoned her. It first premiered in London in 1989 and opened on Broadway in 1991.

Chicago is a musical based on a 1926 play with the same name. The production opened in 1975 and ran until 1977. It was revived in 1996 and holds the record for being the longest-running American musical in Broadway’s history.

Hamilton: An American Musical is a show about the life of one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton. The musical was inspired by Alexander Hamilton’s 2004 biography. The music and lyrics were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Waitress is a musical based on a 2007 film of the same name. It tells the story of a waitress who is in an unhappy marriage and after becoming pregnant, starts an affair with her gynecologist. After looking for a way out of her situation, she enters a pie contest and aims for its grand prize.

Guys and Dolls is a musical based on two short stories, “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown” and “Blood Pressure,” by Damon Runyon. It premiered on Broadway in 1950 and ran for 1,200 performances. It was revived several times after that, the latest of which was in 2009.

Beauty and the Beast is a musical adapted from Disney’s 1991 animated film with the same name. They were both based on a French fairy tale about a selfish prince who was transformed into an ugly creature and the only way to be changed back, was for someone to love him for who he wa​s.

Wicked is a Broadway musical based on Gregory Maguire’s 1995 novel titled Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, an alternative story of Frank Baum’s 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It premiered in October 2003 and in August of 2017, it became the seventh longest-running musical on Broadway.

School of Rock is a rock musical based on the 2003 movie with the same name. It follows an unemployed rock singer and guitarist who pretends to be a substitute teacher at a very prestigious preparatory school. The musical opened in December 2005 at the Gramercy Theatre in Manhattan.

Evita is a musical which focuses on the life of Eva Peron, the second wife of Juan Peron, the president of Argentina. It made its Broadway debut in 1976 and after winning numerous awards, it was the inspiration behind the 1996 film with the same name starring Antonio Banderas and Madonna.

My Fair Lady is a musical which was based on a play called Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. It follows young Eliza Doolittle as she takes speech lessons in order to pass as a lady. It first appeared on Broadway in 1956 and one year later went on tour in the United States.

The Book of Mormon is a musical comedy about two missionaries who travel to Uganda, Africa, in order to teach their religion to the locals. Since its Broadway premier at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre in 2011, the musical has been, and still is, one of the most popular on Broadway.

Annie is a musical based on the Little Orphan Annie comic strip by Harold Gray. The original production ran for six years from its premier in 1977, thereafter going on tour around the world and having revivals in 1997 and 2012.

A Chorus Line is a musical about 17 Broadway dancers vying for a spot on a chorus line. It opened on Broadway in 1975 and has won three Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Drama Olivier Award and is the sixth longest-running Broadway show in history.

Mamma Mia! Is a musical based on some of the songs by the group, ABBA. The musical, which premiered in 1999, has grossed over $2 billion to date. In 2005, it was adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Collin Firth.

Jersey Boys is a 2005 musical about the 1960’s rock group, The Four Seasons. It focuses on the formation, their rise to fame, as well as their breakup. The musical ran until 2017, and after winning Tony and Laurence Olivier Awards, went on its international tour.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical is based on one of Nickelodeon’s animated television series called SpongeBob SquarePants. The musical is new to Broadway as it only made its debut in December 2017 but so far, has received positive feedback from a number of magazines and newspapers.

Kinky Boots is a musical based on a 2005 film with the same name which was inspired by true events. The show tells the story of Charlie Prince who after inheriting a shoe factory, becomes business partners with a drag queen in order to produce high heeled boots. The musical made its Broadway debut in 2013 and received 13 Tony Award nominations

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the story of Carole King’s life and career. The original Broadway production began in 2014 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and after receiving many award nominations, ​went on tour in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.

Newsies is a based on a 1992 film with the same name. Both the musical and the movie were inspired by the New York City newsboy strike of 1899. Since opening in 2012, the musical has won two Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards.

Rock of Ages is a musical which was built around some of the most famous 1980’s rock bands and songs. It first appeared on Broadway in 2009, and after 2,328 performances, the show ended in January 2015. Since then, it has been on tour around the world.

Grease is a 1971 musical based on a 1950’s subculture called the greasers. Much like the movie, the musical is set at a fictional high school where an exchange student has a summer fling with one of the school’s bad boys. It was first performed in 1971 at a Chicago nightclub and made its Broadway debut just a year later.

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is a rock musical inspired by the hippie culture of the 1960’s. The musical, which first premiered in 1968, has made headlines for its nudity, profanity and use of illegal substances and as such, is not for the general public.

Aladdin is one of many musicals based on a Disney film, this one being based on the 1992 animated movie with the same name. Although it made its debut in 2011, it only opened on Broadway in 2014, where it was nominated for five Tony Awards.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark is a musical based on the Marvel’s Spider-Man comic book series. It tells the classic story of how he became the superhero, his relationship with Mary Jane Watson, and his fight against the green goblin.

Aida is a musical based on an opera by Giuseppe Verde with the same name. It made its Broadway premiere in March 2000 and after winning four Tony Awards and running for over 1,800 shows, it came to an end in September 2004.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a musical which is based on a 1964 Roald Dahl children’s novel with the same name. The show made its Broadway debut in April 2017 and ran for just over nine months before closing in January 2018 due to negative reviews and poor reception.

The Children is a musical about two married and retired nuclear engineers living in a coastal cottage in England. Outside of their cottage, the world as they know it is falling to pieces. The show opened in December 2017 and closed in February of 2018.

Once on This Island is a musical based on a book called My Love, My Love or The Peasant Girl, written in 1985 by Rosa Guy. The musical takes its viewer to the French Antilles where a peasant girl uses love to bring people from different social classes together.

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