July 22, 2022

Broadway musicals on an epic scale

There's nothing like the power, scale, and sheer entertainment of a Lyric musical. Lyric has been thrilling Chicago with larger-than-life Broadway musicals since 2012 with extravagant sets and costumes, and talented stars from the stage and screen, all backed by the powerful sound of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

West Side Story

In 2019, Lyric premiered a new co-production of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s beloved 1957 musical, West Side Story. The energy was palpable as the curtain went up — and the buzz only grew as the Sharks and Jets began their dance toward mutual destruction. "There aren’t a lot of theaters in the country with the resources for a national search to draw a set of performers who can all execute at this level," raved the Chicago Sun-Times about the production, which featured nearly 100 artists and musicians, including a 43-piece orchestra.

Michaela Bennett as Maria and Corey Cott as Tony in Lyric's 2018/19 production of West Side Story.

Jesus Christ Superstar

This superstar production reflects a desire to return to the concept album's roots by imagining the staging as a kind of concert. The scenery was striking, spare, and industrial, in contrast to the costumes, which were soft, draped, and fluid. Artists surge onto the stage, dance together, then step out of the group and sing songs directly to the audience. Created in an extraordinary convergence of time, sound, story, and audience, Superstar remains an important touchstone in the history of popular and theatrical music. Following its success at Lyric, this production began a National Tour and has found critical acclaim across the United States.

Broadway stars Heath Saunders as Jesus and Jo Lampert as Mary Magdalene in Lyric's 2017/18 production of Jesus Christ Superstar.

My Fair Lady

Since its 1956 premiere, the memorable music and charming story of this Lerner and Loewe classic have enchanted audiences of all ages. Lyric produced My Fair Lady on the grand scale that it deserved, with sumptuous contributions from chorus and orchestra, as well as delightful choreography and elegant designs. The production originated at one of Europe’s most musically and theatrically adventurous houses, Paris’s Théâtre du Châtelet. The Chicago Theatre Review said the production was “Exquisite…sublime…as loverly as it gets. This new Broadway-caliber production is guaranteed to make theatergoers want to ‘dance all night.’”

Academy Award nominee Richard E Grant as Professor Higgins and Broadway star Lisa O'Hare as Eliza Doolittle face off in Lyric's 2016/17 production of My Fair Lady.

The King and I

In 2016, Lyric audiences were able to “get to know” the Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece The King and I. One of the most beloved musicals of all time, Lyric’s production of The King and I featured an all-star cast, sumptuous costumes, a dazzling ballet sequence and even a life-size elephant puppet! “Lyric does Rodgers and Hammerstein proud.” — Splash Magazine

The cast of Lyric's 2015/16 production of The King and I led by Kate Baldwin as Anna Leonowens (center).


Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, which TIME magazine called “the best musical of the century” has the sort of stakes we associate with the stories of the great operas. The tragic story of Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan is big enough to fill a space like Lyric. “I left Carousel realizing that I just witnessed the greatness of Rodgers and Hammerstein and the beauty of musical theatre itself. It was gratifying to see groups of high school students, dressed to the nines attending Carousel. I’m sure they were impressed with this show” Chicago Critic journalist, Tom Williams, reflected. It’s the musical that takes us for a spin around the dark side of the American dream and drives home the notion that while there is much to celebrate in life, there is much that is desperate, tawdry, cruel and unfair.

Steven Pasquale (Billy Bigelow) and Charlotte D’Amboise (Mrs. Mullin) look on as Abigail Simon (Louise) dances the dream ballet with Martin Harvey (Carnival Boy) in Lyric's 2014/15 production of Carousel.

The Sound of Music

It was in a Broadway theater in 1959 that audiences first fell in love with The Sound of Music. The love affair continues unabated, thanks to an eternally captivating story and songs that have carved a firm niche in the hearts of listeners everywhere. WGN-TV declared that Lyric’s production was “the sound of perfection.” All of this is accomplished through music and words that have never lost their freshness, their charm, or their power to inspire.

Film and television actor Billy Zane as Captain Von Trapp with his onstage children in Lyric's 2013/14 production of The Sound of Music.


Oklahoma! is one of the true miracles of American musical theater. This initial collaboration of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II isn’t simply a feast of memorable music and lyrics — it’s a pioneering, trailblazing masterpiece. “Listening to the increasingly rare treat of a full-sized orchestra playing the original orchestrations and watching a production that could afford to carry an ensemble of top-tier dancers who don't sing much, and formidable singers who don't dance much — it was impossible not to ponder anew the brilliance of these two masters of the musical-theater form” raved The Chicago Tribune.

Curtis Holbrook (center) as Will Parker with the cast of Lyric's 2012/13 production of Oklahoma.

From star-studded casts and operatic-sized sets, to lush orchestrations played by the renowned Lyric Opera Orchestra, this is musical theater on the grandest scale possible. Experience the power and joy of Broadway’s biggest hits, performed live on Chicago’s biggest stage with Fiddler on the Roof and West Side Story in Lyric’s 2022/23 Season.

Header photo: Iko Freese/Komische Oper Berlin

Photos: Todd Rosenberg, Dan Rest

September 17 - October 07, 2022

Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof

Experience a Fiddler like no other, with the full power of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and a production that is both grand in scale and intimate in its power to bring you directly to the heart of the village of Anatevka. Join us as Tevye, his wife Golde, and their five daughters experience the real joys and sorrows that have made this meaningful work an enduring part of our culture.

June 02 - 25, 2023

West Side Story

West Side Story

Tony and Maria are wide-eyed teenagers from two communities in conflict, who fall in love. As their friends and family battle with one another, Tony and Maria long for "a place for us...somewhere." Their songs illuminate every scene and permeate our culture, from the romance of "Maria" and "Tonight" to the exuberance of "America" and the humor of "Gee, Officer Krupke." Add to that the bold, sexy, iconic choreography of Jerome Robbins that smolders and sizzles with energy, and you have a timeless musical theater experience you'll never forget.

Header photo: Iko Fresse Komische/Opera Berlin

Other photos: Todd Rosenberg, Dan Rest