16 Musicals Face Off in Second Annual Broadway Brackets Championship March 21

Special Features   16 Musicals Face Off in Second Annual Broadway Brackets Championship March 21
Cast your vote to determine the 2018 Broadway Brackets Champion!
Broadway Brackets 2018

With March Madness underway, Playbill is giving theatre fans their own shot at deciding a Brackets Champion. For this year's Broadway Brackets, fans will decide which longest-running Broadway musical will reign supreme as the 2018 Broadway Brackets Champion.

Here’s how it works: Playbill looked at the 16 longest-running Broadway musicals and placed them into two “divisions”: 1960–1990 and 1991–present, according to the production's opening night date. We then tallied the total number of performances for each and ranked them accordingly.

For example, as of March 20, 2018, The Phantom of the Opera (1988) and the revival of Chicago (1996) have played 12,543 and 8,869 performances, respectively, making them the top-ranking shows in their divisions. They were then paired accordingly with a musical in their division that had the least amount of performances. Each bracket was then broken down into subsequent match-ups based on number of performances.

Here’s a look at the breakdown and ranking for the Sweet Sixteen Longest-Running Musicals (as of March 20, 2018):

(1) The Phantom of the Opera (1988) — 12,543 performances
(2) Cats (1981) — 7,485 performances
(3) Les Misérables (1987) — 6,680 performances
(4) A Chorus Line (1975) — 6,137 performances
(5) Oh! Calcutta! (1976) — 5,959 performances
(6) 42nd Street (1980) —3,486 performances
(7) Grease (1972) — 3,388 performances
(8) Fiddler on the Roof (1964) — 3,242 performances

(1) Chicago (1996) — 8,869 performances
(2) The Lion King (1998) — 8,489 performances
(3) Wicked (2003) — 6,005 performances
(4) Mamma Mia! (2001) — 5,773 performances
(5) Beauty and the Beast (1994) — 5,461 performances
(6) Rent (1996) — 5,123 performances
(7) Jersey Boys (2005) — 4,642 performances
(8) Miss Saigon (1991) — 4,092 performances

Broadway fans can print out their brackets and share their picks on social media using the hashtag #BwayBrackets.


Voting for Division 1, Round 1 has closed! Voting for Division 2, Round 1 will begin Friday, March 23 at noon ET. The 2018 Broadway Brackets Champion will be announced April 2.

Best of all—there are no wrong answers! This is all about the show you love best and the productions fans have enjoyed over the years!

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