What Are the Longest Running Broadway Shows? 

If you are a theater lover then you probably have a mental list of your favorite shows that includes when you saw them, and where. Shows can stay with us for a long time and leave a lasting impression on our lives. But what are those shows, especially the performances that lasted the longest on Broadway? 

In order to make it to Broadway, a show must prove itself. There is no “one” surefire way to make it to the Great White Way, but many start off as Off-Broadway productions, in Summer Theaters, or as part of a Workshop. Once a show makes it on to the famed street, there is no guarantee that it will last. That’s why it is amazing the number of shows that have stood the test of time in Broadway Theaters. 

Broadway theaterPhantom of the Opera 

One of our favorite shows that has lasted over two decades is Phantom of the Opera. It has run for well over twelve thousand shows. The classic tale that was first a novel by Gaston Leroux is also known for the genius songwriting of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Phantom is still running and continues to entertain countless New York residents and visitors and will for years to come.


This show has been trying to move into the number one spot held by Phantom for years. First opening at the 46th Street Theatre, the first Broadway production of Chicago opened in June of 1975. It has since seen a revival which took place in 1996. It opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and this production instantly received much more critical acclaim than the original production. Currently, Chicago’s revival holds the title of longest running revival on Broadway. 

Chicago Musical

The Lion King 

This show first made its appearance in Minneapolis in the fall of 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. The Disney adaptation from the film has since moved to NYC and sits on the list of highest-grossing at the box office. The combination of Elton John’s musical hits and the original costume designs make this one of the longest running shows at 7,883 performances and counting. 


This feline-centered performance once held the spot as London’s longest-running musical until Les Misérables took its place in 2006. Cats has actually seen a revival, just like other popular shows that have made their way back to the stage. The original production saw 6,138 shows over the course of 18 years and closed in 2000. Recently the musical has seen a massive revival that is still running today and continues to break records at the box office, recently pulling in more than a million dollars in just a week.

What is your favorite long-running Broadway musical? We love so many but would love to hear about yours! Drop us a line in the comments or on our Facebook page