The 15 Biggest Broadway Hits

By Elycia Fishman

Originally published on Advocate.com February 01 2012 1:05 PM ET

Sure, there are some people who don't adore musical theater. But judging from the numbers of these shows, there aren't a ton in that contingent. From a show about big girls rocking out to one with a guy running around in a mask, we've got the 15 biggest hits to grace a Broadway stage (tabulated by the number of shows). Oh, and a couple of videos sure to have you humming along with Elphaba for the rest of the week. HITS LEAD ART X390 (FAIR) | ADVOCATE.COM

15. Monty Python’s Spamalot 

Broadway Run: 2005-2009
Total Number of Performances: 1,575

Below: Sara Ramirez sings "Whatever Happened to My Part?"

HITS SPAMALOT X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

14. Mary Poppins
Broadway Run: 2006-present
Total Number of Performances: 1,880

Below: "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"

HITS MARY POPPINS X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

 13. Jersey Boys

Broadway Run: 2005-present
Total Number of Performances: 2,286

Below: Jersey Boys Montage

HITS JERSEY BOYS X560 | ADVOCATE.COM12. The Producers
Broadway Run: 2001-2007
Total Number of Performances: 2,502

Below: Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick at the 2001 Tony AwardsHITS THE PRODUCERS X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

11. Hairspray

Broadway Run: 2002-2009
Total Number of Performances: 2,642

Below: "You Can't Stop the Beat"

HITS HAIRSPRAY X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

10. Wicked  

Broadway Run: 2003-present
Total Number of Performances: 3,131

Below: "Defying Gravity" (2004 Tony Awards)

HITS WICKED X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

9. Mamma Mia!
Broadway Run: 2001-present
Total Number of Performances: 3,560

Below: Mamma Mia at Broadway in Bryant Park, 2011: "Mamma Mia," "Dancing Queen," and "Waterloo"

HITS MAMA MIA X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

8. Miss Saigon
Broadway Run: 1991-2001
Total Number of Performances: 4,092

Below: "Last Night of the World"

HITS MISS SAIGON X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

7. Rent
Broadway Run: 1996-2008
Total Number of Performances: 5,123

Below: "Take Me or Leave Me"

HITS RENT X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

6. Beauty and the Beast
Broadway Run: 1994-2007
Total Number of Performances: 5,461

Below: "Be Our Guest," 1995, Los Angeles

HITS BEAUTY AND THE BEAST X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

5. The Lion King
Broadway Run: 1997-present
Total Number of Performances: 5,610

Below: "The Circle of Life" at the 2008 Tonys

HITS LION KING X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

4. Chicago (revival)
Broadway Run: 1996-present
Total Number of Performances: 6,024

Below: "Overture/All That Jazz"

HITS CHICAGO X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

3. Les Miserables (original run)
Broadway Run: 1987-2003
Total Number of Performances: 6,680

Below: Les Miserables at the Tony Awards

HITS LES MISERABLES X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

2. Cats
Broadway Run: 1982-2000
Total Number of Performances: 7,485

Below: "Memory," Original Broadway Cast

HITS CATS X560 | ADVOCATE.COM

1. Phantom of the Opera
Broadway Run: 1988-Present
Total Performances: 9,697

Below: Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford, "Past the Point of No Return"