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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  • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a musical telling the story of a fictional spelling bee (US spelling competition for school kids) set in Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally-quirky grown-ups.
    I’m Not That Smart is sung by one of the kids, Leaf Coneybear, when he has some trouble spelling one of the words he is faced with. He remembers how his family thinks he ‘is not that smart’.
    If you can really find the truth of playing a young kid then this song could be a winner, if you play it for laughs and put in all manner of ticks and thumb sucking ‘kid acting’ then I think you will stand out for all the wrong reasons.
    Look for the truth in the words, look at how you could relate to how the character is feeling. Work on how a kid would be able to express these feelings openly and not suppress them. Work on a few mannerisms which make you slightly kid-like but not over the top, and then go for it. If you take risks it will pay off in the long run.
    A comedy song which can show off your comic skills but also showcase your musicality.
  • Chess is the musical written by Abba long before Mamma Mia was a twinkle in Bjorn’s eye! The story involves a love triangle between two rival chess players, one from the US and one from Russia, and a woman who manages one but falls in love with the other. Sounds riveting, huh! The drama comes from the piece being played out during the Cold War between Russia and the US and the propaganda which went on behind these world chess championships.
    Anthem is the big number which ends Act One and is sung by the Russian Chess Champion Anatoly who has won the world chess championship and has immediately defected from the Soviet Union to be with his new love Florence. The song is sung to reporters who ask him why he is defecting and he sings of his love for his country but also how his countries borders lie around his heart.
    A big belty song which can show off your power but also a song full of emotion and heart. Really play this for the truth, act it with all you have.
  • Joseph:King Of Dreams is a 2000 Dreamworks animated feature which tells the story of Joseph and his dreamcoat. The songs are written by John Bucchino who has written off-broadway shows ‘Urban Myths’ Lavender Girl’ and ‘Its Only Life’
    This beautiful song comes when Joseph has spent two years in a jail, imprisoned wrongly for a crime he did not commit. During the song Joseph nurses and grows a fruit tree in his cell and sings this song to God as he realises that he should just have faith in God and stop celebrating himself and have faith in God, the world and nature.
    It is a wonderful song, full of raw emotion and when sung softly with a gentle realisation expressed through the song it can break hearts.
    “I saw one cloud and thought it was a sky
    I saw a bird and thought that I could follow
    But it was You who taught that bird to fly
    If I let You reach me will You teach me
    For You know better than I”
  • Carnival is a 1961 musical with a book by Michael Stewart and lyrics by Bob Merrill based on the 1953 film Lili. Interestingly the show was originally called Carnival! but the director made them drop the exclamation mark as he said the show is “not a blockbuster, its a gentle show”
    Lili a lonley orphan runs off with a travelling carnival and works the puppet act. the puppeteer Paul, and the magician Marco The Magnificent are in love with Lili and engage in a fierce rivalry for her love.
    I’ve Got To Find A Reason is sung by Paul early on in the show before he meets Lili. At this stage he is a lonely, bitter and crippled man unhappy with his life.
    The musical is an odd one with lots of singing to puppets! This song is a classic “I Wish” song which is usaully the domain of the tenor, so it is great to find a baritone I Wish song as they are perfect for auditioning as they help channel the emotions you will be feeling at an audition.
  • 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.