In terms of on-stage entertainment, the USA simply can’t be beaten. Not only did the country give the world Broadway, it also gave birth to some of the planet’s most adored stage acts in other genres including music and comedy. When thinking about the biggest and best stage shows over the years, it’s hard to whittle the long list down to a mere few. So, instead, let’s take a look at some of the most famous stage shows to have come out of the American nation.

Elvis Presley

Despite having sadly passed away in 1977, Elvis Presley still has a strong influence over the music industry to this day. The late musician was known as the King of Rock and Roll because of the fact that he completely dominated the industry during his performing years.

Elvis made a name for himself as being one of the best live performers ever to grace a stage, and he spent a long time playing shows in Las Vegas. Indeed, between 1969 and 1976, The King played a reported 636 shows, and his act was considered to be one of the most famous stage shows in Las Vegas history. Elvis actually attracted a great number of people to the Nevada city, and helped increase the notoriety of the American gambling hub.


There are so many amazing Broadway musicals to choose from in a list of the best stage shows ever, but up there with the very greatest of them has to be Chicago. The show, which was written by John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Bob Fosse was conceived in the 1970s and opened in 1975 at the 46th Street Theater. Initially, the show ran for 936 performances over two years and ended in 1977. When it came back for a revival in 1996, it broke the record for the longest-running music revival in American history. In addition to this, there was a film adaptation in 2002 directed by Rob Marshall. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture, making it the first musical to do so since Oliver! in 1968.

David Copperfield

According to Forbes, David Copperfield is the most successful magician in history. The 62-year-old has been in show business for over forty years, and his exploits have earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His television specials have been nominated for 38 Emmy Awards, and he has won 21 of those. In addition to all these incredible achievements, Copperfield has broken or set 11 Guinness World Records. While Copperfield is well-known as a prolific television presence with various series and specials over the years, he has excelled most with his live performances. To date, the illusionist has grossed over $4 billion, which is more than any other solo entertainer in history. He has sold 33 million tickets to his stage shows, and always puts on a spectacle for those who make the trip to see him live. Copperfield captivates his audiences with a brilliantly crafted combination of storytelling and illusion.

Penn & Teller

Fans of magic and deception don’t just have Copperfield to turn to when it comes to great stage shows. Penn & Teller are American legends who seem to have been around forever. Indeed, the pair made up of Penn Fraser and Raymond Teller started performing together in the 1970s and are the longest-running headline act in Las Vegas history. The Los Angeles Times referred to the duo as the “single best show in Vegas,” and they have also been awarded stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as recognition for their exceptional careers.

On top of all the amazing stage shows, Penn & Teller have been in a great number of television shows dating back to 1985. Their program, Penn & Teller: Fool Us has been aired since 2011 and is still going strong to this day. The series features aspiring magicians who go on stage and have to try to impress the magical legends. It was originally hosted by Johnathan Ross for the first two seasons, but then the British presenter made way for Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Alyson Hannigan.

These acts have gone down in history as some of the best stage shows in American history, but there are plenty more to choose from. Liberace deserves a notable mention, as the talented pianist was one of the first major performers in Las Vegas. He started playing there in 1944 and was the highest-paid entertainer in the world throughout the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.