Five Musical Theatre Audition Songs for Men

Most Popular Musical Theatre Audition Songs for Men
Photo Credit: Randy Le’Moine via cc
Casting Directors auditioning actors for Musical Theatre often hear the same songs over and over again. Are they bored of those songs? Sometimes. However these songs are often sung time and time again at castings because they are great to show off acting and vocal skills and they become the perfect musical theatre audition song.
With the internet it has become so much easier for people to get access to scores through sheet music download sites and also naughty bootleg sharing sites. Forums are allowing people to share hot tips and new favourites and Youtube makes searching for audition material much easier. It can be wise to try and find something new, something people are going to be surprised with, but often the favourites are the best. The casting director finds it easy to quickly compare you with others and the accompanist will know how to play the song!
The following are popular audition songs because they work for people, they are story songs, they are able to stand on their own and allow you to show off your singing to its best but also, which is so important and often overlooked when auditioning for musical theatre, these songs allow you to show off your acting skills too.
Five Audition Songs for Men (with videos):
Here is a list of Five Popular Audition Songs for Men.

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  • Larger than Life is from the musical My Favourite Year, by Flaherty and Ahrens. Flaherty and Ahren’s musical A Man Of No Importance is also worth checking out for the song’s On The Streets of Dublin and Welcome to the World
    My Favourite Year tells the story of Benjy Stone is a sketch writer for a live television variety show In the 1950s. He is given the task of keeping sober the alcoholic womanising movie idol Alan Swann until airtime. Benjy finds himself involved in a sequence of shenanigans unlike any he ever experienced before.
    Larger Than Life is a lovely stand alone song telling of Benjy’s love for the movies and for his hero Alan Swann. A great story song, and a gift for actors.
  • Big River is a musical version of The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, it is a great show full of bluegrass and country music which might make a nice change for any audition panel to hear.
    Waitin’ For The Light To Shine is sung by the leading role Huckleberry Finn, an iconic American character, a vagabond child from pre-civil war Missouri.
    Like a lot of terrific audition songs for young men, this is a ‘dreamer song’ just like Corner of the Sky from Pippin. Huck is thinking about the confines of his life and how one day he will be able to find meaning in his life.
    Country music doesn’t need to be belted. This song is all the better if it is played softly and with lots of heart. I say it all the time, but find the truth behind the lyrics. Great for drama school auditions.
  • Hallelujah is a beautiful song from Leonard Cohen which found fame through a cover by John Cale and has since been covered by Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright and Alexandra Burke.
    The song pops up a lot in movies and tv shows and Cohen himself has said ” “I was just reading a review of a movie called Watchmen that uses it and the reviewer said – ‘Can we please have a moratorium on “Hallelujah” in movies and television shows?’ And I kind of feel the same way…I think it’s a good song, but I think too many people sing it.”
    The John Cale version of the song features in the 2001 film Shrek but Rufus Wainwright’s version appears on the soundtrack – Wainwright suggests this might be because of his open sexuality.
  • King of the World is sung by a man in prison, as Songs for a New World doesn’t have a story as such, we have to create the back story from the song itself.
    For me the song is about a political activist who has been imprisoned for his beliefs but knows that the fight and the cause are bigger than him. Even in jail, even facing death, this is a man who survives.
    You could play this in a number of ways, might be interesting to play it as a serial killer who believes in himself and believes what he has done was for the greater good this might give it a darker interesting edge, or play it as a Martin Luther King Jr type of persecuted activist. Either way works and each gives it a unique slant.
  • The Baker’s Wife is a Stephen Schwartz musical which has never had a succesful West End or Broadway run, yet remains hugely popular amongst musical theatre afficianados.
    The story revolves around a small Parisian town which is enamoured by bread produced by the newly arrived middle aged baker and his beautiful young wife. The wife has an affair with a handsome gigolo and the baker loses his will to bake.
    Amiable the Baker has had to admit to himself and the townsfolk that his wife Genevieve has run off and left him. He sings If I Have To Live Alone, as he decides that he will live alone with dignity.
    The song is a lovely piece for any actor, it is the story of a broken man rebuilding his life. The character really goes on a journey and it is a gem for a baritone to sing at an audition.