Can You Guess the Musical From a One-Sentence Summary?


By: Staff Writer

6 Min Quiz

Image: Paramount Pictures/ Allan Carr Productions/ Robert Stigwood Organization/ Polydor Records

About This Quiz

"Give my regards to Broadway!" 

In the world of musical theater, Broadway is the biggest stage. Every year, millions of people flock to New York City to see grand performances, from "The Phantom of the Opera" to "Hamilton." Many of these musicals have changed the world of Broadway forever. Can you guess the name of these musicals from a one-sentence summary?

"The Black Crook" is often considered the first musical, and it debuted in September 1866. From then on, the musical world was destined to explode in size. The early 20th century gave us such gems as "Anything Goes."  The middle of the century gave us the gift of classics like "The Sound of Music" and "South Pacific." As time went on, Broadway lovers were introduced to the stories of "Wicked," "Chicago," "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera."

While many of the musicals were originally produced for the stage, a few were based on popular fairy tales, like "Beauty and the Beast" and "Cinderella." 

More recently, Broadway introduced the world to the international sensation, "Hamilton," a musical with serious influence from rap and hip-hop.

Grab a mic, and put on your dancing shoes! Are you ready to perform your way to a perfect score? Let's find out!

A governess cares for a group of children in the early days of WWII.

The legendary musical "The Sound of Music," stars Maria, governess to the singing Von Trapp family. It features such songs as "Do-Re-Mi" and "My Favorite Things," all set against the backdrop of Nazi Germany. This one is actually based on a true story!


A good girl and a bad boy fall for each other over the summer, but things get complicated when school starts.

1950s teenagers sing and dance through this funny high school musical. "Grease" tells the story of Sandy and Danny. They met over the summer and quickly fell for each other. When the school year starts, things get complicated.


Elphaba is totally a victim of circumstances and wasn't always so mean.

Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, "Wicked" tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West (otherwise known as Elphaba) before Dorothy came to Oz and dropped a house on her sister. She was actually a nice person before bad things kept happening to her!


It's Jets vs. Sharks as a pair of star-crossed lovers struggle to be together in 1950s NYC.

Tony and Maria fell in love despite their connections to rival gangs in "West Side Story." A 1961 film version of the musical starred Natalie Wood as Maria.


A group of struggling artists try to keep the bills paid in New York's East Village at the dawn of the 90s.

"Rent" premiered on Broadway in 1996, focusing on a group of artists in New York who struggled with everything from paying the rent to relationships to AIDS. The musical was inspired by Puccini's opera, "La Boheme."


A teen girl fights segregation while showing the world (or at least Baltimore) her far-out dancing skills.

"Hairspray" started as a 1988 John Waters film (that wasn't a musical) before moving to the Broadway stage in 2002. It stars typical 60s teen Tracy Turnblad, who works to fight segregation while teasing her hair high and trying to earn a spot on a local dance show.


A wrongly-convicted barber takes revenge by murdering his customers.

After spending 15 years imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, Sweeney Todd comes home to seek vengeance by murdering his customers. His amorous landlady, Mrs. Lovett, helps conceal his crimes by baking his victims into her meat pies.


Professor Henry Higgins is sure he can transform a Cockney flower girl into a woman of high society.

Based on the play, "Pygmalion," by George Bernard Shaw, "My Fair Lady" hit Broadway in 1956. Fans fell in love with Eliza Doolittle, who transformed from a simple flower seller to a proper lady with the help of Professor Henry Higgins.


Even living in an orphanage isn't so bad if you've got the right attitude.

Based on an old comic strip, the musical, "Annie," told the story of a young orphan's escape from the evil Miss Hannigan and her adoption by the generous Daddy Warbucks. It's known for songs like "It's a Hard Knock Life," and of course, "Tomorrow."


An English widow heads to the Far East to work as a tutor.

"The King and I," which hit Broadway stages in 1951, stars a widow named Anna who moves to Thailand to tutor the children of the King of Siam. This Rodgers and Hammerstein creation also features East vs. West cultural differences and a surprise romance.


Classic fairy tale characters cross paths in this 1987 Broadway musical.

"Into the Woods" stars such memorable characters as Jack and his beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, plus one classically scary witch. A Disney film of "Into the Woods" starred Meryl Streep as the Witch and Johnny Depp as the Big Bad Wolf.


A flower shop employee names a creepy plant after the girl he's crushing on.

In "Little Shop of Horrors," a flower shop employee named Seymour names a plant Audrey II after the girl of his dreams. As it turns out, the plant is hungry for human flesh and hard to keep satisfied. In the 1986 film version of the musical, Rick Moranis played the geeky Seymour.


Pretty girls who play it up to the press can get away with murder.

In the Broadway musical,"Chicago," showgirls Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart get away with murder in 1920s Chicago, thanks to the help of slick lawyer, Billy Flynn.


"Springtime for Hitler" is a huge surprise hit, much to the frustration of the show's creators.

In "The Producers," Max and Leo attempt to raise money to put on a musical, but hope to create a show that's so terrible they can take the money and run. Instead, their creation, "Springtime for Hitler," is a huge hit, putting the brakes on their crooked plan. The musical was inspired by a 1968 Mel Brooks film and premiered on Broadway in 2001.


A young girl survives cholera, only to be shipped off to live with mean relatives.

Young Mary Lennox survives the cholera that kills her family, only to be sent off to live with a mean old uncle in "The Secret Garden." The musical was inspired by the classic novel by Frances Burnett Hodgson and premiered on Broadway in 1991.


It's a modern tale that uses hip-hop to tell the story of an American Founding Father before, during and after the American Revolution.

Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote a hip-hop and rap-filled musical telling the life story of Alexander Hamilton. The show received more Tony nominations than any other show in history, and won 11, including one for Best Musical.


This tells the life story of a survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

Though loosely based on the life of Margaret Brown, the Broadway musical, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," fictionalizes the trials and tribulations of her life up to (and right after) the sinking of the Titanic. The show originally spent two years on Broadway, from 1960 to 1962.


A classic fairy tale about a girl with two evil stepsisters and some glass slippers.

Unlike a lot of other Broadway shows, this one was originally written for TV, but eventually it was adapted for Broadway. The first TV version starred Julie Andrews as the title character, Cinderella.


A young prince fights to take his rightful place on the throne.

Inspired by the 1994 Disney movie, "The Lion King" hit Broadway in 1997 and told the story of a cub named Simba who had to fight his Uncle Scar to become King of the Pridelands.


A thief turns his life around, but his former prison officer just won't leave him alone.

In "Les Miserables," Jean Valjean serves his time and becomes both a town mayor and a business owner. Despite his achievements, his former prison guard, Javert, just can't let him be, and the two play cat-and-mouse throughout the entire production.


The Jellicles croon tunes like "Memory."

In the Andrew Lloyd Webber show, "Cats," which hit Broadway in 1982, a group of cats known as the Jellicles meow their way through memorable tunes. The musical was inspired by a T.S. Eliot book and is known for its elaborate costumes.


Eager young recruits head to Africa to introduce the locals to religion.

A team of Mormon missionaries heads to Uganda to score new Mormon recruits in "The Book of Mormon." Unfortunately, they find that the locals have a little more on their minds than religion.


All Curly McLain needs to be happy is the love of neighbor, Laurey Williams.

Curly McLain is a good ol' boy from the farm who falls for his beautiful neighbor, Laurey Williams, in the musical "Oklahoma!" It premiered on Broadway way back in 1943.


A dancer at the Kit Kat Club finds herself involved in a love triangle.

The 1966 musical, "Cabaret," tells the story of Sally Bowles, a dancer at the Kit Bat Club in Berlin at the dawn of WWII. When the musical was made into a movie in 1972, Liza Minnelli won an Oscar for her portrayal of Sally.


A mysterious man falls for a singer named Christine.

In Andrew Lloyd Webber's, "The Phantom of the Opera," a disfigured fellow lurks beneath the Paris Opera House, tutoring a young protegee named Christine while terrorizing everyone else he comes in contact with.


Seventeen dancers bare their souls for a shot at Broadway glory.

"A Chorus Line" is one of those musicals that reveals what life is like for the dancers on the stage. This 1975 show features seventeen dancers vying for just eight roles. They are forced to open up to a director who wants to get to know them before making his final casting decision.


Parents of River City beware! A con man is coming to town.

In "The Music Man," Harold Hill comes to River City, Iowa, and convinces local parents to buy instruments and uniforms so their children can join the marching band. Things turn out okay for everyone when the con man falls for Marian the librarian.


Five daughters challenge their father, a struggling milkman.

"Fiddler on the Roof" tells the story of a poor Jewish father struggling to keep up with his wife Golde and his five daughters in a small Russian village during an era of violence and unrest. The musical features classic tunes like "Sunrise, Sunset" and "If I Were a Rich Man."


A 19th-century matchmaker falls for one of her own clients.

Dolly Levi is a tough matchmaker who struggles to find a mate for a rich client, and eventually ends up falling for him herself. Barbra Streisand played Dolly in the 1969 film version of the story.


A gambler bets he can win the heart of a religious gal in this musical.

"Guys and Dolls" hit Broadway in 1950 and told the story of a pair of gamblers operating in Depression-era New York. A 1955 film version starred Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.


A determined stage mom will stop at nothing to make sure her daughters become major stars.

Since "Gypsy" premiere on Broadway in 1959, the character of Rose has been seen as the very definition of stage mom. The production is based on the true story of entertainer, Gypsy Rose Lee, and her terrible mother.


A nurse almost gives up on love because of long-held prejudices.

Set during WWII, "South Pacific" tells the story of a nurse who falls in love with a French plantation owner, but almost walks away from the relationship because she can't accept his mixed-race children. Fortunately, she wises up, and they all live happily ever after (well, they almost all live happily ever after.)


This musical reveals how a wide-eyed girl from Allentown became a Broadway star.

Peggy Sawyer was just a fresh face from Allentown, PA, when she stepped off the bus in New York and tried to make it big. The musical "42nd Street," which premiered on Broadway in 1980, tells of her rise to fame.


An heiress, a holy-roller night club singer, a criminal and more crazy characters find themselves on an ocean liner. Wild antics ensue.

"Anything Goes" is a 1934 musical by Cole Porter that follows the story of a stowaway trying to stop an heiress from marrying a Lord. It has quintessential songs like "I Get a Kick Out of You," "It's De-lovely," "You're the Top" and, of course, "Anything Goes."


An Army recruit makes a detour to New York for a quick vacation before he is shipped off to Vietnam.

"Hair" hit Broadway in 1968, and told the story of a new Army recruit who makes a stop in New York City to hang with a bunch of hippies before heading off to war. The musical touched on serious topics of the period: sexuality, race, drug use, environmentalism and pacifism.


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