What are some perfect musical theater audition songs?

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Answered by: Jen, An Expert in the Be a Musician Category
When you walk into an audition room, you want to be as prepared as possible. You want to dazzle the casting directors with how versatile, talented, and professional you are (not to mention how cute your shoes look). Having a well rounded, varied audition book is a huge advantage. Make sure to include all of these musical theater audition songs in your book!

There are SIX categories that you should hit in your musical theater audition songs book:

1.) Contemporary Broadway - This includes anything after 1970. In this section, include at least one ballad and one uptempo. Also, give some thought to what kind of singer you are; are you a belter, or an ingenue, or a jack of all trades? Make sure each facet of your vocal stylings are represented. Also, consider what parts you'd be perfect for; for instance, do not sing "Good Morning, Baltimore" if you are too tall or thin to play Tracy. This category may have a LOT of songs in it depending on how many styles you choose. Below is an example of what this category could look like for a female belter who also has a great head voice.

"Astonishing" from Little Women (Ballad, Belt)

"The Wizard and I" from Wicked (Uptempo, Belt)

"Simple Little Things" from 110 in the Shade (Ballad, Legit)

"Lovely" from A Funny Thing Happened... (Uptempo, Legit)

2.) Classic Broadway - This includes anything before 1970, but can exclude jazz standards that happen to appear in musicals (some Gershwin and Porter get wrangled into that distinction.) Just like Contemporary, take into account your vocal style and what you would play best. Also, make sure to have at least one uptempo and one ballad. Below is a good mix for a female belter who also has a great head voice.

"Mr. Snow" from Carousel (Ballad, Legit)

"I Could have Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady (Uptemp, Legit)

"I Got Lost in his Arms" from Annie Get Your Gun (Ballad, Belt)

"Anything Goes" from Anything Goes (Ballad, Uptempo)

3.) Pop/Rock - This category includes any popular or rock music that has not appeared in a musical. No cheating and singing "I Need a Hero." Save that song for your Contemporary Broadway section. When you pick a pop song, make sure that it still shows off your singing voice well and also your acting chops; pick a song with a nice arc and story to it.

4.) Jazz Standards - This category is pretty self explanatory. Just like the Broadway categories, try to represent both an uptempo and a ballad.

5.) Operetta (optional) - If it is in your training, you should try to challenge yourself and have an operetta piece in your book. However, don't bore the casting directors with predictable choices. Hearing "Poor Wandering One" for the eleven thousandth time won't impress anyone. Do some research, listen to some soundtracks. If you are dead set on an overused song, try picking another song that the same character sings; often you will get the same effect and sound, however the auditors won't be itching to throw you out of the room.

6.) Miscellaneous and Children's Theater - The sky's the limit in this category. A fan of the Muppets? Throw your best "Rainbow Connection" right in here. Sing in a different language? This is where that song belongs. Do a great impression of Kristen Chenoweth? Put her song right up front.

So you've got a great pile of music, now what? Here are a few final tips to polish off your masterpiece.

- Put all of your music in a three ring binder with clearly labeled dividers. Bonus points for putting your headshot in the front to make a cover.

- Print all music double sided or tape pages back to back. You want to make sure the pianist has as few pages to turn as possible. You don't want them to grab for your book, drop the entire thing on the piano, and make you start the song again. Yes, this has happened to me.

- Clearly label all cuts and changes in the music, and write NOTHING ELSE. These copies should not be the same ones you scribble on during voice lessons. They should be pristene and professional.

This may seem like a lot of music to carry to each audition, but I promise you, it will make you feel more prepared, confident, and impressive. The best feeling in the world (aside from actually getting cast) is hearing the director say, "What else you got?" and being able to show off a beautiful menu of your talent.

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