Here at the Actor Hub we know how difficult it is to choose an audition song. Where to start in itself can be massively overwhelming.
Hopefully our lists can help you start on your journey to finding the perfect song, have a look at our choices and if you don’t like these maybe you can investigate the shows further and find something else which suits. We always choose songs which we truly believe will give you the best chance to show off your acting skills which I think is just as important, if not more important sometimes, than hitting every note.
You must know the story of the song and the journey of the character when you are auditioning, you need to demonstrate to the director that you are an actor who can sing, if they wanted just a singer they would be looking elsewhere.
Alto’s have deeper voices than soprano’s but they also have songs which I think deliver more of a punch and tend to be the meatier characters in the musicals.
Keep checking back we are always adding to these lists and the list will change regularly, so you might just find the perfect song which will help you get the role.
Alto Songs for Musical Auditions
These are songs to help you find a musical theatre audition song, have a watch of the video, listen to the song and if you like it then you must read the script or watch the show, a lot of them are on Youtube, and get an understanding of the character. If you empathise with the character and the song then go for it. If not keep looking and if you find something else let us know via Twitter @actorhub and we can add your choice to the list.
Click on title to view the video
Click on image to buy from Amazon
Click on title to view the video
Click on image to buy from Amazon
Nine is a musical based on the Federico Fellini film 8 1/2. It tells the story of film director Guido Contini who is having a midlife crisis as his 40th birthday approaches. The musical has found recent fame as a movie starring Daniel Day Lewis.This song is a phone call from Guido’s mistress Carla who has arrived in Venice to see Guido and is lonely in her hotel room.The song is very naughty and pretty filthy and takes some bravery to really give it all in performance at an audition, but if you are able to really go for it and show you are a brave actor who doesn’t mind taking some risks then it could be a great audition piece.I would choose this one only if it really suits the character you are auditioning for, no point in singing this if you are auditioning to play a goody two shoes!
Gypsy by Jule Styne with lyrics by Sondheim is loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee the famous striptease artist.The stroy focuses on Gypsy’s mother Rose whose name is now synoymous with being the ultimate pushy showbiz mother, Toddlers, Tiaras and Tantrums has nothing no Rose! The story follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise her two daughters to perform on stage.By the end of the show the girls have grown up. Rose’s daughter June has run away and Louise her other daughter, all grown up, has been pushed in to perform as a striptease artist at a burlesque house. She has become a huge burlesque star and no longer needs her mother, she is now the sophisticated Gypsy Rose Lee.Rose relaises she is alone, she has lost her lover Herbie, her daughter June and now she has lost Louise too. She feels sad, useless and bitter and sings ‘Rose’s Turn’, she asks ‘Why Did I Do It, What Did it Get Me’. Her unrequited dreams of stardom and her personal demons surface. She fantasizes about her own lit-up runway and cheering audience, and finally admits “I did it for me.”“One quick look as each of ’em leaves you
All your life and what does it get you?
Thanks a lot and out with the garbage
They take bows and you’re battin’ zero”
Stars and The Moon is a popular one, so make it your own.A twist on the saying “Be careful what you wish for, because it might just come true”. The woman singing tells of the three men in her life and how she rejects the two dreamers and chooses the rich man. The song is about the misapprehension that being financially rich makes you rich in life. The women finds out only too late in life what she has missed out on.A gem of a song to show off storytelling, acting and singing ability.
This is a wonderfully funny character song about how an Alto never gets the chance to sing the melody!It is full of strong comedy moments for any character actress. The end of the song is pure genius where the Alto gets to demonstrate her fabourite tunes – but her alto parts …. the harmonies!If you want to showcase not only your comedy skills but your singing skills then you will have a blast with this truly fun number!
Tarzan is a Walt Disney animated movie from 1999 with music by Phil Collins. The song won a Golden Globe and Oscar for best original song. A stage musical played in Broadway in 2006.The beautiful song ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ is also known as ‘Lullaby’ and is sung by the gorilla Kala who is comforting the humna baby Tarzan whom she has ‘apodted’, she sings that he is safe and warm and will always be fine because “you will be in my heart always”The song speaks of that special bond between mother and child and how even though they are so different they can love each other. This version from the Broadway show is longer than the animated version and so is better for auditions as it has more variety and emotional range.“My arms will hold you
Keep you safe and warm
This bond between us
Can’t be broken
I will be here
Don’t you cry”
Hairspray is a 2002 musical based on the 1988 film Hairspray from cult director John Waters.The musical tells the story of plump Tracy Turnblad who wins a role as a dancer on the Corny Collins TV dance show and uses her fame to integrate the show. The musical us a commentary on the injustice of American society in the early 1960s.I Know Where I’ve Been is sung by Motormouth Maybelle owner a local record store and host of the Corny Collins monthly Negro Night show. She sings of the struggle and long fight for equality.A real powerhouse number, full of emotion and belting. Don’t just play it for power and fall victim to ‘over belting’, connect with the struggle, the dream and the pride of the people who after justice. The belting will come naturally from the emotion when you find the truth of the song.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a 1996 animated Disney feature which has music by Alan Menken and lyrics written by Stephen Schwartz. The story is of the famous deformed bellringer Quasimodo and his struggles to gain acceptance into society.‘Someday’ was originally intended to be sung by Esmeralda but was discarded and replaced with the song ‘God Help The Outcasts’.To understand the song you can look at the German stage version of the film. This song (translated as Einmal) occurs when Esmeralda is imprisoned and questioning her life and the world, she sings this song about how she hopes the world will learn after countless war and bloodshed to live with love and not hate.The song in the stage show ends with Esmeralda about to be put to death which makes the song more poignant and dramatic as it is possibly her dying wish for the world. Here is a link to the stage version Einmal“Someday
Our fight will be won then
We’ll stand in the sun then
That bright afternoon”
An amazing song which just begs to be performed and lived.The song is full of bitterness, resentment and depression.What begins as a witty, sardonic song sung by a clever, witty and sardonic character to a bossa-nova beat, suddenly changes as Joanne begins to sing it about herself and to Bobby.So here’s to the girls on the go, Everybody tries. Look into their eyes, And you’ll see what they know: Everybody dies.This powerful ending lets us see the terror behind the song, and the emotional heart of this song and character. Watch Elaine Stritch and how this ending happens not with showy vibrato but with guts and honesty.
Caroline or Change is a musical by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori which combines blues, motown, folk, classical and Jewish klezmer music. It has run on Broadway and in London.The musical deals with the American civil rights movement in 1963 in Louisana, the time of the assasintaion of JFK. Caroline is a black maid for a Jewish family and the musical follows her life and relationship with the family’s young son Noah, with whom she has a strong connection.‘Lot’s Wife’ is sung by Caroline towards the end of the show as she beg’s God’s forgiveness for keeping some money she had found in Noah’s trousers when doing the laundry and all the bad it has caused, it caused her hatefulness to come out and it made her into a person she didn’t want to become. She asks God to make her not want anything anymore, so that she can never be evil again.“Murder me God down in that basement,
murder my dreams so I stop wantin,
murder my hope of him returnin,
strangle the pride that make me crazy!”
From the Styles and Drewe musical Just So, based on the Rudyard Kipling book.A really beautiful ballad sung by the Kolokolo bird, she is wondering why her courage fails her, she wants to fly but is afraid to fall.This is one of those songs which will give you the opportunity to show a range of emotions whilst offering up something a little bit different from the usual shows.
Hairpsray is a musical based on the John Waters film, and is in fact now a movie musical in it’s own right.The show tells the story of Tracey Turnblad a plump teenager who lands a part as a dancer on a local TV show and manages to use that show as a platform to bring racial equality to her little corner of America.Good Morning Baltimore is the opening number and is sung by Tracey. It is a celebration of her life and her love for her hometown, dancing and her desire for fame.The song is intentionally funny and has great lyrics such as ” Good morning Baltimore, There’s the flasher who lives next door, There’s the bum on his bar room stool, They wish me luck on my way to school”. The best way with any comedy song is to play it straight, really play it for the truth of the song the fact that Tracey is full of zest for life and sees the world in a ‘glass half full’ way. Play it for the truth and the humour will be natural and not forced.
Bye Bye Birdie is a 1960 musical inspired by Elvis Presley and his draft notice into the US Army.Rock and roll star Conrad Birdie has been drafted into the army, his songwriter Albert and his secretary Rosie come up with a publicity stunt whereby Conrad will sing his song One Last Kiss and give a member of his fan club a kiss, his last kiss, before he heads off to the army.An English Teacher is sung by Rosie to her sweetheart, and boss, Albert as she makes him promise to quit the music business and become an English teacher.Its a lovely song full of character as Rosie persuades Albert to become An English Teacher, the comedy comes from how sexy she finds that profession compared to the glamour of the showbiz. It is a longing, dreamer song, and perfect for ‘playing the girl next door’ type.
Grand Hotel is based on a 1932 film telling the story of a weekend in a hotel in Berlin and the intersecting stories of the eccentric hotel guests.I Want To Go To Hollywood is a fun song sung by Flaemmchen a secretary who is dreaming of fame and fortune.The song is full of fun lyrics and is a typical dreamer number, giving you plenty of room for character and storytelling as you sing of the life you have and you life you dream of, also some room for a bit of 1920s dance to sneak in!
Cats Don’t Dance is a Warner Brothers animated film from 1996. The film is set in a world where human beings and anthropomorphic animals live side-by-side.The film’s music is written by Randy Newman and interestingly the film is dedicated to Gene Kelly who choreographed the film’s musical sequences.This song is sung by Sawyer a female Cat. She is a cynical persian cat, cynical because her dreams of being a Hollywood star were broken and she winded up a secretary!The song is a lovely ballad sung by someone who has failed at her dreams again, and has a wonderful bluesy quality about it.“I never believed that there was a rainbow
With a pot of gold at the end
I’m much too smart for fairy tales like that
Yet here I am again
I thought this time, this time we’re gonna make it”
Another Hundred People is one of those songs which just resonates perfectly with young actors. The dream of moving to the big city, the excitement of being a part of a bustling metropolis!It has a fast paced rhythm and a pulsing beat which echos the hustle and bustle of New York. The character of Marta is singing about the veneer which she has built up by living in this ‘city of strangers’, She sings of how she loves this disconnected city, she knows that she is not what Bobby needs, throughout the song we see glimpses and shadows of Marta’s yearning for vulnerability.A wonderful song full of character and emotion.
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.
Musical Theatre Actor Hub Advice