Five Popular Musical Theatre Audition Songs for Men

Popular Musical Theatre Audition Songs for Men
Photo Credit: Family M W R via cc
As an actor it can often be really tricky finding the right piece for any audition. Here at actor hub we like to help with occasional lists of audition pieces which we know work, these are pieces we have witnessed at auditions and have been humdingers!
At a musical theatre audition it is really important that you choose a piece which not only shows off your vocal ability but more importantly which demonstrates your acting ability. If a director just wanted great singers in a show then it is unlikely they would be approached you or your agent, they would choose someone who had spent years at a classical school perfecting their voice! They want an actor who can tell a story, and show a character out there on stage, and your audition piece should do just that.
When you are presenting a song at an audition you want to know that the accompanist can play the song, so don’t choose something madly obscure or too tricky. Don’t worry yourself endlessly about choosing something which they haven’t already heard that day, yes you want to be memorable but if you sing something that your competition has just sung, don’t fret, just know that you will be interpreting it completely differently.
If you are certain that a life on the musical theatre stage is for you then you need to be building your repertoire and learning about musicals all the time. Go to shows (at present loads of fringe theatres seem to be doing musicals, so you wont have to break the bank), search youtube, visit forums, get listening on itunes. The more familiar you are with the different styles, genres and periods of musical theatre the more prepared you will be for any audition which comes your way.
Remember to be bold, be brave and to go in as an individual and make the choices you want to make. If you slip up or fail, that’s ok, laugh it off and do it in style.
Audition Songs for Men
The songs below are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to male audition songs. I have chosen these as they demonstrate both your vocal ability but also your acting skills. They should also introduce you to some songs or shows you didnt already know or that you might have overlooked. I will keep adding lists as I find new songs. If you find something else, or have a favourite you would like to share, let us know via Twitter @actorhub and we can add your choice to one of our lists.

Click on title to view the video

Click on image to buy from Amazon
  • 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.
  • Finishing The Hat is a perfect song for us actors, artists and creatives to relate to. It is about our creativity at work – how we can put something out there which wasn’t there before and the sacrifices we have to make.
    For me personally this song is a tour-de-force of songwriting with music which seems to perfectly capture the spirit of the song.
    Handle with care if you choose to do it for an audition or casting but if you do then really handle it as an acting piece and act the socks off it!
  • 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.
  • A theatre is closing and a reunion is held to honor the Follies shows that once performed there. All of the showgirls return to the theatre where they had once performed as young woman.
    The show focuses on two couples, Buddy & Sally and Ben & Phyliss. Both couples are very unhappy in their marriages. At the end of the show the confusions, anger and madness become too much and a fantasy ‘Loveland’ sequence happens and we get to see the real and emotional lives of the couples in a kind of musical breakdown!
    Buddy, a travelling salesman, has been having an affair on the road. His ‘Loveland’ song is ‘Buddys Blues’ performed in a vaudevillian style with an imaginary Sally and his girlfriend Margie. It is a real comic tour-de-force but also needs the real and emotional breakdown which makes the soul of the song so heartfelt.
  • Sweet Smell of Success is a musical based on the 1957 movie of the same name telling the story of the powerful newspaper columnist J J Hunsecker and how he uses his connections to ruin the life of a man who he deems inappropriate for a relationship with his siter.
    Sidney Falcone a struggling press agent has met JJ’s sister Susan, Susan is hiding her real relationship from her brother JJ and introduces Sidney as her new “partner in her acting class”. JJ appears to take Sidney under his wing and befriend him. He buys him a new suit, get’s Sidney’s girlfriend a fancy job and introduces Sidney to the movers and shakers of NYC. JJ gets Sidney clients, and urges his new friend to “keep the ‘O’ and change his name to Falco.” Sidney can’t believe his luck, he has the life he has always dreamed of and he sings ‘At The Fountain’
    “Yes, go with your gut and your heart,
    It’s time to tear through that door,
    It’s time now to soar,
    So let my life story start.”