For some, there's nothing more exciting than being in a beautiful, grand, old-fashioned theater when the lights start to dim and the orchestra begins playing their first melody. There's really no other experience like it, which makes it fitting to go to the theater for some inspiration for another extraordinarily exciting life event — having a baby. If you're looking to get into the Broadway spirit, you'll want some baby names inspired by Broadway for that ol' razzle dazzle.
Broadway holds a special place in my heart because theater is my first love. Since the days of preschool, I've loved playing pretend and getting lost watching imaginary worlds come to life on stage. It's hard not to get swept away in the elaborate stories and designs created by some of the world's most brilliant and creative minds. The costumes, the sets, the songs — it's hard not to feel a tingle on your skin as the curtain comes up and the first song begins to play. If you're also a theater lover — and specifically a Broadway enthusiast — then you're going to love some of these awesome Broadway-inspired baby names that highlight both old and new Broadway classics.
1. Christine, 'Phantom of the Opera'
Phantom (which is what us New Yorkers call Phantom of the Opera for short) premiered on Broadway in 1988 and is still running strong, making it the longest running show in Broadway history. It's a fan favorite and a classic Broadway hit, so if you're looking for a true New York Broadway experience, it is a must-see. The lead character, Christine, holds a name with many meanings. It can mean "anointed" if taken for the Hebrew meaning or "French, English, German, Scandinavian, Dutch, Irish, and Scottish cultures, and it is often associated with the meaning 'follower of Christ.'"
2. Erik, 'Phantom of the Opera'
The male lead in Phantom is named Erik, and he's the actual Phantom of the Opera. According to Baby Name Wizard, Erik is an old Norse name meaning "eternal ruler," and your kid's bound to have some pizzazz with this one.
3. Cosette, 'Les Misérables'
OK, I admit I'm slightly biased on this one because Les Misérables is my favorite musical of all time, but if you're looking for some classic Broadway names, Cosette is one of them. According to Name Berry, Cosette is a French given-name meaning "little thing."
4. Éponine, 'Les Misérables'
One of my favorite characters from the musical Les Misérables is Éponine, which means "French Horse Goddess," according to Baby Names.
5. Victoria, 'Cats'
Cats is one of the longest running Broadway shows of all time, so I had to sneak it in. But with character names like Mister Mistoffelees, Rum Tum Tugger, and Grizabella, Cats-inspired baby names are pretty scarce (although if you decide to name your baby Mister Mistoffelees, no judgement here). The beautiful white cat in the musical is named Victoria though, which is a lovely name. It means "victory" or "conquer," and originates from Ancient Rome.
6. Roxie, 'Chicago'
Another Broadway classic, Chicago is the second longest running show in Broadway history, and one of the lead characters is named Roxie Hart. Roxie is usually short for the name Roxanne, which means "dawn of day," according to Baby Name Wizard.
7. Oliver, 'Oliver!'
Oliver! is the musical adaptation from the Charles Dickens novel, Oliver Twist. According to She Knows, the name Oliver is an English boy's name meaning "the olive tree," which symbolizes a peace offering. The name Oliver also has roots in English, French, German, Latin, Norse, Shakespearean, and American, where it means "affectionate."
8. Tracy, 'Hairspray'
Tracy is the main character in the hit Broadway musical, Hairspray. The name Tracy can be used for either a boy or girl, and it has both English and Irish origins that hold various meanings such as "war-like," "fighter," "higher", "more powerful" or "superior."
9. Belle, 'Beauty and the Beast'
Beauty and the Beast ran on Broadway for 13 years, so it definitely deserves to get a shoutout on this list. Take note, if this show has a revival, put it on your list and take the kids. I saw it when it first opened and again as a teenager, and it's suitable for kids and adults of all ages. The name Belle is usually a short form of Isabelle and means "beautiful" in French, according to Behind the Name.
10. Mimi, 'Rent'
If you were a kid in the late '90s, then there is no way you haven't heard of the hit Broadway musical Rent, and you've probably heard the songs thousands of times because all your musical theater friends were singing them. One of the lead characters, named Mimi, holds an interesting name because its meaning is up for debate, according to Baby Name Wizard. Mimi is considered a pet name for Miryam, which is Hebrew for either "sea of sorrow" or "sea of bitterness," but alternative meanings are much more appealing. Some say Mimi means, "wished for child," "rebellion" or "mistress or lady of the sea." If you're looking for a Rent-inspired boy's name, there's always Mark, Roger, and Angel.
11. Nala, 'The Lion King'
The Lion King has been running on Broadway since 1997, making it a musical icon in my humble little hometown of New York, NY. If you haven't seen it yet, you should, and definitely take the kids. It's one of my personal favorites and if you grew up in the '90s, chances are it's one of yours, too. A friend of mine was in the original Broadway cast and I'll never forget going to see him in the show as a kid. I've always liked the name Nala (also spelled Nahla) which means "successful" in African languages.
12. Sophie, 'Mamma Mia!'
Mamma Mia! is a feel-good musical featuring the popular music of the band ABBA. Sophie is one of the main characters, and her name is derived from the Greek version of Sophia, which means "wisdom, skill," according to Baby Name Wizard.
13. Glinda, 'Wicked'
Like Cats, the Broadway musical Wicked is lacking in character names that are baby-name-worthy, but Glinda isn't so bad, is it? After all, she is the good witch of the north and Wicked has been on Broadway since 2003 and is — in my opinion — one of the best musicals on Broadway today. This name also doubles in points if you're a Wizard Of Oz fan. Glinda is a Welsh baby girl's name that means, "fair, good," according to She Knows.
14. Leo, 'The Producers'
The Producers is a musical comedy about Broadway musical comedies, so you literally cannot get more Broadway than that. While I didn't get to see it on Broadway, I did get to see a friend of mine who was in it on The West End (London's version of Broadway). It's funny, entertaining, and oh-so New York. One of the main characters is named Leo which, according to Baby Center, is Latin for "lion." Leo can also be short for Leon or Leopold, which means "brave people."
15. Vivian, 'Pretty Woman'
Yes, Pretty Woman: The Musical is now on Broadway and it's on my list of shows to check out. It debuted in 2018 and if you aren't familiar with the story, the main character (who's basically a modern day Cinderella with an adult twist) is named Vivian, which holds roots in French meaning "alive," according to Baby Name Wizard.
16. Kate, 'Avenue Q'
If you haven't seen it, Avenue Q is another hilarious Broadway hit that I definitely recommend seeing. While it features puppets in their cast of characters that resemble a cross between Sesame Street and The Muppets, save this one for an adult-only date night and leave the kids at home. The show's content is great for adults, but definitely not for kids. The list of characters features some classic names though, like Kate. According to She Knows, the name Kate means "clean, pure" and has roots in English, Irish, American, French, Latin, and Greek.
17. Sky, 'Guys and Dolls'
Guys and Dolls is another Broadway classic with several revivals since it's original debut in 1950. Sky is actually a male character in the show, but Sky is a beautiful name for either a boy or girl. Sky refers to the "upper regions of the atmosphere," but can also mean "cloud" in Old Norse, according to Oh Baby Names.
18. Eliza, 'Hamilton' or 'My Fair Lady'
The name Eliza is featured in the new Broadway hit Hamilton as well as the classic My Fair Lady. Whether you're partial to modern or old school Broadway, Eliza is a great choice for a baby girl and means "My God is bountiful, or "God of plenty," according to She Knows.
19. Dolly, 'Hello, Dolly!'
Another classic Broadway favorite, Hello, Dolly! has come back to life through many revivals since it first opened in 1964 and has since gone down in Broadway Hall of Fame — literally. Dolly is the name of the lead character, and her name means "gift from God," or "a vision," according to She Knows.
20. Pearce, 'My Fair Lady'
Pearce is being turned into a first name, but is taken from the character Mrs. Pearce of My Fair Lady. The name Pearce means "rock," according to She Knows.
21. Annie, 'Annie'
22. Jack, 'Newsies'
Jack Kelly is the lead character in the Broadway hit Newsies. The name Jack is an English name meaning "God is gracious," according to Name Berry.
23. Britney, 'Once Upon A One More Time'
If you haven't heard, a Britney Spears-inspired musical is due to hit Broadway after it's stint in Chicago this fall. The show, Once Upon A One More Time, will feature some of the pop star's most famous chart topping hits and we're here for it. The name Britney (also spelled Brittany) is an English baby girl's name meaning "from Brittany or Breton," which is a "former provence in northwestern France," according to Baby Name Wizard.