The Best Female Duets from Musical Theatre

The Best Female Duets from Musical Theatre_550
Photo Credit: Monomoy Theatre via cc
Duets in musicals are not just sung by a man and a woman – very often the most beautiful are sung by duo’s of the same sex. Here is a collection of duets for females.
All of these songs will showcases you both at your best. No-one is going to be interested in you if it looks like you are showing off and stealing the limelight from you fellow actor, or if you are the one who is letting the limelight be stolen – so these duets are perfect picks for a graduating showcase or a recital.
Choose something which suits not only your ranges but your playing types. Work together on the characters and their relationship. I would really approach a duet just as you would an acting duologue scene. Build the characters and the acting of the song alongside all your work on getting the singing right.
Here’s our list of duets for girls which would work well at any audition or showcase. Click on the title or image to watch a video of the song. Bookmark this page and keep coming back as we are always updating and adding to these song lists.
Musical Theatre Female Duets
Have a look through our list of the best duets for females in musicals, have a watch of the video, listen to the song and see if you like it. If you choose a song then try and read the script or watch the full show so you understand the context. If you find something else or have a recommendation let us know via Twitter @actorhub and we can add your choice to the list.

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  • Godspell is a 1971 musical from Stephen Schwartz. It is loosely based on the Gospell of Matthew with music set mainly to the lyrics of traidtional hymns.
    The musical originally was a college project but has gone from strength to strength and has been probably performed somewhere around the world ever since!
    This song is sung by an adulteress who has been cast out by a community. Jesus shames the accusers “Let the one of you who is faultless cast the first stone.” He forgives the woman who sings this song to entreat him to remain with her.
    Where are you going?
    Can you take me with you?
    For my hand is cold
    And needs warmth
    Where are you going?
  • Mame is a musical with by Jerry Herman based on the 1955 novel Auntie Mame.
    It focuses on eccentric bohemian Mame Dennis, whose famous motto is “Life is a banquet and most poor sons of bitches are starving to death.”[1] Her fabulous life with her wealthy friends is interrupted when the young son of her late brother arrives to live with her. They cope with the Depression in a series of adventures.
    Bosom Buddies is sang by Mame and her best ‘frenemy’ Vera! The song is a brilliantly funny duet full of put downs amd humour.
  • ‘A Little Night Music’ is a deliciously funny comedy of manners from Stephen Sondheim, the show is most famous for the song Send In The Clowns.
    The song is sung by Countess Charlotte, the wife of the Count Carl-Magnus, and Anne, the young bride of Fredrik Egerman. Both of their husband’s are having affairs with the actress Desiree. Anne is shocked to discover her husband’s adultery – With this song Charlotte explains to Anne that such is the lot of a wife, and that marriage brings pain.
    The french for orgasm is la petite mort (little death) so could the hidden meaning of this song be that her husband’s daily petit-morts (with his mistress) are slowly killing her. Sondheim is a master at word-play and hidden meanings!
    “He smiles sweetly, strokes my hair,
    Says he misses me.
    I would murder him right there,
    But first I die.
    He talks softly of his wars,
    And his horses, and his whores,
    I think love’s a dirty business.”
  • ‘Class’ comes in Act Two of Chicago and is sung by the characters Mamma Morton, the corrupt Matron of the women’s block in Cook County Jail, and Velma Kelly a vaudeville performer who has murdered her adulteress husband.
    Velma had told her lawyer Billy Flynn all the little tricks she has planned for her trial which unbeknownst to her he has passed on to his other client chorus girl Roxie Hart and got her an acquittal. Velma and Mama Morton sing of their dismay at the loyalty and ‘class’ that the world has.
    The song is about the downfall of society but is all the more hilarious as it is sung by the two of the most corrupt characters in the musical and is packed full of swearing!
    “Whatever happened to, “Please, may I?”
    And, “Yes, thank you?”
    And, “How charming?”
    Now, every son of a bitch is a snake in the grass
    Whatever happened to class?”
  • Okay, so you all know the story of Cinderella right? If not where have you been for your whole childhood!
    The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of Cinderlla was originally a television musical starring Julie Andrews but has been adapted for the stage and in 2013 a production opened on Broadway starring Laura Osnes.
    The Stepsister’s lament comes in Act Two of the show and is a deliciously funny little duet sung by the two stepsisters who have been ignored by the Prince who has chosen to dance with the petite beauty Cinderella. The sisters wonder why he wouldn’t prefer a substantial “usual” girl like them
    “Why would a fellow want a girl like her?
    A frail and fluffy beauty?
    Why can’t a fellow ever once prefer
    a solid girl like me?!”
  • Side Show is a 1997 musical about the lives of Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twins who became famous stage performers in the thirties.
    This song is the final duet from Daisy and Violet in the show – if I tell you where and why this comes in the show it will be a massive spoiler, so check it out for yourselves. It is a beautiful song about the strength of family and friendship and the solidarity of women.
    Just like all the duets in Side Show it is full of gorgeous harmonies.
    “We were meant to share each moment
    Beside you is where I will stay
    Evermore and always
    We’ll be one though we’re two
    For I will never leave you”
  • “What is this Feeling?” is a musical number from the hit musical Wicked. It is sung between Elphaba, Galinda (later Glinda), and students at Shiz University expressing loathing for each other’s contrasting features as newly assigned roommates.
    The song is performed towards beginning of the first act. During the song, Galinda and Elphaba tell each other of their mutual, and “unadulterated loathing” for each other.
    Stephen Schwartz meant the song’s title and lyrics to be an ironic parody on love songs, the irony comes in when phrases traditionally used for love songs are revealed to be expressing hate.
  • Probably one of the most famous songs from the musical Chess by half of Abba, Beeny and Bjorn. Infact this song sounds so Abba-ish that you can just imagine Agnetha and Anni-Frid singing it.
    The song is a duet between the two women in the life of Russian chess champion Anatoly – Svetlana, his estranged wife, and Florence, his mistress. They sing of their bittersweet feelings for him as Florence admits it would be best for him to return to his wife and children.
    The song was made famous in the 80s by Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson but has also been sung by Whitney Houston with her daughter Cissy, Susan Boyle and Peter Kaye (in drag), Spice Girls Melanie C and Emma Bunton, and Kerry Ellis and Idina Menzel.
    “Looking back,
    I could have played it differently,
    Won a few more moments,
    Who can tell,
    But it took time to understand the man,
    Now at least I know
    I know him well”
  • Gypsy is a musical with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
    Gypsy is loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the striptease artist. The show focuses on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with “the ultimate show business mother.”
    It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life.
    ‘If Momma was Married’ is sung by Rose’s two children Baby June and Louise, they sing of how they wish their mother would find a nice husband and finish with showbusiness.
  • The Rink is a musical by Kander and Ebb, their tenth collaboration.
    The musical focuses on Anna, the owner of a dilapidated roller skating rink on the boardwalk of a decaying seaside resort, and her prodigal daughter Angel, who has returned to reconnect with the people and places she long ago left behind.
    Through a series of flashbacks the two deal with their pasts in their attempt to reconcile and move on with their lives.
    The Apple Doesn’t Fall opens Act Two and is sung as mother and daughter share a joint and get stoned together and come closer, realising they’re not so very different.
  • City of Angels is a musical comedy by Cy Coleman. The musical weaves together two plots, the “real” world of a writer trying to turn his book into a screenplay, and the “reel” world of the fictional film.
    The musical is a homage to the film noir genre of motion pictures that rose to prominence in the 1940s.
    ‘What You Don’t Know About Women’ is sung by the women in the life of Stone and Stine, the writer and his fictional hero. Its a funny song written in a wonderful 1940’s harmonising Andrews Sisters vibe!
  • Grey Gardens is a musical by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel, and lyrics by Michael Korie. It is based on the 1975 documentary of the same title about the lives of Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (“Big Edie”) and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (“Little Edie”)
    Set at Grey Gardens, the Bouviers’ mansion in East Hampton, New York, the musical tracks the two women’s lives from their original status as rich aristocrats to their eventual isolated existence in a home overrun by cats.
    Peas in a Pod is sung by Little Edie and Big Edith in Act One.
  • Near the end of Act Two of Guys and Dolls is the wickedly funny ‘Marry The Man Today’ sung by the female leads Sarah Brown and Miss Adelaide.
    After a save a soul prayer meeting is raided by the police Sarah runs into Adelaide and the commiserate about their ill-fated love lives – they realize they cannot fight love any longer and resolve to marriage the man today.
    “At Wannamaker’s and Saks and Kleins
    A lesson I’ve been taught
    You can’t get alterations on a dress you haven’t bought”
    “At any vegetable market
    From Borneo to Nome
    You mustn’t squeeze a melon till you get the melon home”
    This song is not featured in the 1955 movie as it was consdiered too derogatory!
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.