39 Best Christmas Musicals

Sometimes, it can take a little bit of effort to get into and embody the holiday spirit. But as each year passes, it seems there is a never-ending plethora of songs and stories that can help induce that feeling.

Musicals are an especially joyous way of tapping into the cheer, and there are plenty that involve Christmas in some way or another. Check out the following musicals the next time Christmas is nearing.

A Christmas Story: The Musical

If you’re like me, one of your yearly Christmas traditions involves watching the classic film, A Christmas Story. For those of you wanting to spice up that tradition, why not check out A Christmas Story: The Musical? 

This musical follows the same plot as the film, meaning you’ll get to see the iconic leg lamp and witness Ralphie shooting his eye out. Infused with unforgettable show tunes, A Christmas Story: The Musical is a must for any fan of the original film.

A Christmas Story: The Musical

Whistle Down The Wind

Whistle Down The Wind is a relatively new musical that came out in 1996, and features music by the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber. The musical is based on the 1961 film that has since become critically acclaimed among British viewers.

Its mention of Christmas is based on a pair of tales told to children, which act as a sort of parable. Both Act 1 and Act 2 of the musical features these sequences. 

Whistle Down The Wind

Rent

Rent has become one of the most popular modern musicals. If you haven’t seen it on the stage, you’ve more than likely seen the film version that came out in 2005.

While it isn’t exactly a Christmas musical per se, Rent uses Christmas as a significant date, which acts as both an opening and closing setting. Despite this, Rent does have a Christmas song, called Christmas Bells, which is sung in Act 1. 

Rent

A Christmas Carol

Just about everybody who celebrates Christmas is familiar with the story in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. The tale of Scrooge facing the ghosts of Christmas past has become timeless and could almost be considered folklore at this point.

It only makes sense that A Christmas Carol would find its way to the stage in 1994. For 9 years, it was an annual tradition that the musical would be performed at Madison Square Garden.

A Christmas Carol

The Who’s Tommy

If you’ve seen the 1975 film, Tommy, Christmas is probably the last thing you remember about it. But in the 1992 musical, Christmas plays a central role in Act 1, displaying Tommy’s natural gravitation toward music (while being clueless about the holiday).

During this scene, the song, Christmas, is played, which segues into the iconic track, See Me, Feel Me, by The Who. Any fan of the band needs to see this if they haven’t already.

The Who’s Tommy

Annie

Annie, a musical about everyone’s favorite orphan, is frequently performed around Christmas. That’s because Christmas is central to its plot, and despite its obviously politicized characters (looking at you, Warbucks), Annie has a major Christmas miracle at the end. 

Annie has some of the most iconic show tunes, many of which have found success outside of the musical. It also found its way to the big screen in 1982, directed by the legendary John Huston.

Annie

Sherry!

Sherry! is a musical that you might not be completely familiar with, but you might be familiar with its title track. The song, Sherry! was released by Marilyn Maye in 1967, and had moderate success.

What’s wild about this musical is that its musical score was lost to time for nearly 30 years. It wasn’t until 2004 that the score was recorded for the first time.

The plot of this musical involves somebody having to recuperate from injuries at home during Christmas. 

Sherry!

White Christmas

One of the most popular songs to be played during the Christmas season is Bing Crosby’s recording of White Christmas. You’re probably familiar with the fact that this track comes from a film that Crosby also starred in, in 1954.

Considering that Irving Berlin wrote all of the music for the film, it only made sense that White Christmas would make it to the stage. The musical debuted in 2000 and has enjoyed over 20 years of touring productions. 

White Christmas

Mame

Have you ever had the chance to attend a Disney Christmas Parade? If so, you’ve probably heard the well-known song, We Need A Little Christmas, which comes from the 1966 musical, Mame. 

Mame was an instant hit, featuring Angela Lansbury and, eventually Lucile Ball in a film version. We Need A Little Christmas is sung during Act 1 and makes a reprise during the ending curtain call. 

Mame

Here’s Love

Unless you know your musical history, you probably don’t recognize Here’s Love by its title. However, you probably do recognize its inspiration, being based on the iconic film, Miracle On 34th Street.

Santa Claus plays a central figure as a main character in this musical as he attempts to prove that he is real. Considering that watching Miracle On 34th Street is a holiday tradition for many, seeing Here’s Love can make for an unforgettable experience. 

Here’s Love

Elf

2003’s film Elf, featuring Will Ferrel, has become one of the most significant Christmas films of the new millennium. Any fan of the movie is sure to love the musical version, which made its debut in 2010.

As you can imagine, this musical follows the story of Buddy as he tries to navigate his way in the modern landscape of consumerist society. It’s packed to the brim with Christmas-based songs that are sure to be stuck in your head.

Elf

She Loves Me

How many of you are familiar with the cult romance film, You’ve Got Mail? Did you know that the foundational story actually comes from a play called Parfumerie, which has been adapted multiple times?

The musical, She Loves Me, is one such adaptation that debuted in 1963 that uses the Christmas holiday season as a central plot setting. In fact, just before the finale in Act 2, a song called, 12 Days To Christmas, is sung in one of the main character’s shops. 

She Loves Me

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

The Grinch has become one of the most celebrated characters in Christmas lore. Who can resist the story of this grumpy holiday hater having his heart grown and warmed up to feel the Christmas spirit? 

The musical, Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! takes the story from the animated film to the stage. Since the Jim Carrey film, the musical itself has been adapted, though its original form has been consistently performed across the world.

Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas!

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