5 Not-So-Common Musicals for High Schools: Large Cast Edition

Beauty and the Beast. Seussical. Grease. Into the Woods. Footloose. The Wizard of Oz. You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. The Music Man. Once upon a Mattress. Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Does that list look familiar? If you’re a regular reader of the TicketPeak blog then you probably recognize it from our posts from a few weeks back on small cast musicals and medium cast musicals for high school performance. The musicals listed above are the top 10 most performed musicals in U.S. high schools.

It’s important to remember that the most performed musicals are not necessarily the best. There’s something a little bit comfortable and (dare I say it) safe about choosing an often performed musical such as The Music Man or Once upon a Mattress. Some of your prospective cast will likely have had some exposure to your selection and these highly performed musicals often perform well at the box office.

But…

Wouldn’t it be fun to stray off the beaten path and choose something that will challenge your performing troupe and appeal to an audience that just might have had enough of Beauty and the Beast? And really, there is such a wide selection of musicals out there for large casts of over 20 performers that you shouldn’t limit yourself. Read on for 5 not-so-common contemporary musicals for a large cast that can be performed in a high school theatre.

 1. The Truth About Cinderella

Cast: 23

No. of Act(s): 2

Written by Charles Strouse and David Rogers, this musical is based on Sir Osbert Sitwell’s book, The Cinderella Complex. You thought that Cinderella had it bad? Think again! This hilarious comedy turns the classic fairy tail on its head and is sure to keep your audience chuckling in their seats.

The Truth About Cinderella

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2. The Ragged Child

Cast: 21+

No. of Act(s): 2

The Ragged Child by David Nield, Jeremy James Taylor and Frank Whately was hailed as “moving” and “stirring” by critics and audiences alike. This musical strikes a more serious note as it examines the lives of the homeless in 1850’s London. This musical would provide an excellent creative and social awareness learning opportunity for your performing artists.

The Ragged Child

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3. Guys and Dolls

Cast: 21+

No. of Act(s): 2

A classic musical comedy, Guys and Dolls, by Frank Loesser is sure to be a hit with your artists and audiences (there’s a very good reason why it ran for 1,200 performances on Broadway in 1950!). With a wide variety of ensemble and starring roles, this musical offers a fantastic performance opportunity for each and every student involved in your production.

Guys & Dolls

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4. Adventures of Doctor Dolittle

Cast: 16-26+

No. of Act(s): 2

Looking to have a little fun with the animals? Look no further, Adventures of Doctor Dolittle, is for you! Written by Elliott Barry Baker and adapted from the book by Hugh Lofting, this musical offers a flexible ensemble of villagers, animals and pirates…which is of course a great recipe for good, old-fashioned family fun!

The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle

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5. The Roman Invasion of Ramsbottom

Cast: 21+

No. of Act(s): 2

Highly appealing to Monty Python fans and lovers of quick wit, The Roman Invasion of Ramsbottom, is a wonderful choice to keep your audiences entertained and the performers on their toes. The catchy tunes and clever humor will appeal to all parties involved!

The Roman Invasion of Ramsbottom

Click here for additional information and sample tracks.

Has my post sparked your creative fire for your upcoming high school musical? Do you have a fabulous large cast option that should be added to the list? If so, I’d love to hear about it – please drop me a message in the comments below.

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