Best Songs for Musical Theatre Auditions for Tenors

Tenor Songs For Musical Theatre Auditions
Photo Credit: Family M W R via cc
There are so many shows, and only so much time! Choosing the perfect song for a musical theatre or drama school audition can sometimes be pretty overwhelming. We hope Actor Hub can help.
It is important that you choose a song which not only shows off your singing voice but demonstrates your acting ability, a musical director will need to know you can sing but what is possibly most important when auditioning for a role rather than as a company member is that you can act.
Choose a song which moves you, which connects with you. Look at the character who sings the song, could you play that role, does it speak to you? It is vital you research the character, where the song comes in the show, and what it is there for, why is the song sung?
If they just wanted singers, then they would hire a singer. You are an actor, you have trained in acting, in bringing alive a character, so make sure you choose a song which can demonstrate that.
Here is a list of Tenor songs which we feel would work well at any audition. 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 this list.
Tenor Songs for Musical Auditions
This list will hopefully guide you when looking for a musical theatre audition song, have a watch of the video, listen to the song and see if you like it. Do try and read the script or watch the show. If you find something else or have a recommendation 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
  • Meet The Robinsons was released in 2007 and is loosely based on the book ‘A Day With Wilbur Robinson’. The films has twists and turns as the characters travel back and forth through time.
    The central character, an orphan, Lewis is desperate to be able to find out why his mother abandoned him and perhaps even stop her doing it. This song is sung at the very end of the movie when Lewis has come to a realisation that he must appreciate what life has given him and the family and friends he already has – and keep moving forward.
    The song is more pop-rock than traditional broadway musical, but could really suit the right voice and the right audition. I love it, I think it tells a story about living for the here and now, living for today and appreciating the ‘little wonders’ of life.
    “Our lives are made,
    In these small hours,
    These little wonders,
    These twists and turns of fate,
    Time falls away,
    But these small hours,
    These small hours still remain.”
  • One of Sondheim’s few flops ‘Merrily We Roll Along’ has recently been revived to great acclaim thanks to the wonderful Menier Chocolate Factory.
    The song appears in the show twice. Sung once by a man and once by a woman – this means it should be easy for you to find the song in both male and female keys.
    This also lets you choose which way you want to sing this song – once it is sung at the beginning of a romance, full of the initial glow and thrill of love, it is also sung full of hurt and pain as it is looking at a relationship which just won’t heal.
    The version in this video is the male version full of the excitement of new love. Sung by Frank as vows at his wedding to Beth.
  • The 1980s Kevin Bacon film Footloose was turned into a musical in the late 1990s. Any musical set in a town where dance is banned is bound to be a winner with me!!
    Ren a Chicago teenager moves to a small town in the middle of nowhere and finds that rock and roll is considered the root of evil and a law has been passed forbidding dance!
    Mama Says is sung by Willard Hewitt, a slow witted cowboy teenager who has become Ren’s best friend and who Ren is trying to teach to dance. Willard sings Mama Says when he is trying to give Ren the confidence to face the town council and ask if he and his friends can throw a dance for the teenagers.
    Some Country and Western fun for a fella with tonnes of character and comic timing, and lots of dumb fun to be had with the lyrics!
  • Floyd Collins is a 1996 musical by Adam Guettel (rhymes with kettle!)
    William Floyd Collins was a celebrated pioneer cave explorer. in 1925 whilst exploring some new caves in Kentucky he slipped and became trapped in a narrow crawlway seventeen metres below the surface, the battle to save him became a media sensation. The gap in the cave where he was getting water and food collapsed after four days and although they could keep in voice contact with Collins after fourteen days he died of exposure, thirst and starvation.
    The song How Glory Goes is the final song in the show and is hugely moving. It tells of his faith, and how he is now ready for death and to be in heaven with his mother and his God.
    The song keeps hold of Floyd’s inquisitive character, of the explorer desiring something new. Floyd is a fascinating character for any actor and this song is a real tour de force of emotion, acting and singing.
  • 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”
  • The eighties movie Footloose was terrific (I remember it at the cinema … yes, Im that old!) in 1998 a stage musical opened and has played both Broadway and the West End.
    It tells the story of Ren a Chicago teen who moves to a small town in which, as a result of the efforts of a local minister, dancing and rock music have been banned!
    This song opens the show (and the movie!) Ren is dancing off his stress of his long work day on his last visit to his local dance club before he moves to the small town of Bomont!
  • Empty Chairs at Empty Tables is Marius’s big solo from Les Miserables – it occurs in Act Two after the battle. Sitting on his own in the cafe he is the last of his friends to survive and sings of regret as he reminisces the loss of his friends at the barricade.
    This song again did not feature in the original French version of this Musical theatre masterpiece, some of the tune the same as ‘The Bishop of Digne’
    The song is pretty heartbreaking and needs a huge amount of emotion behind it. I think this version from the film is particularly strong as it is so underplayed.
  • 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.
  • ‘Luck Be a Lady’ is a song which is now better known as a stand alone song rather than being a song from a show. The song is from the point of view of Sky Masterson, a gambler, who hopes that he will win a bet – the outcome of which decides whether or not he will save his relationship with the girl of his dreams.
    It has become a signature song of Frank Sinatra’s and a ‘Rat Pack’ classic.
    The song was sung by Marlon Brando in the 1955 film version of Guys and Dolls and has been recorded by all manner of artists from Dee Snyder to Chrissie Hynde to Barbra Streisand!
    The song was named #42 in the American Film Institutes top 100 movie songs.
  • Not While I’m Around from the deliciously macabre and dark Sweeney Todd makes a wonder audition song.
    The song is sung by Tobias a young boy to Mrs Lovett who he has come to care for as a mother. He is trying to warn her of the ‘dangers’ of Mr Todd. It is a sweet and simple song but behind that sweetness is a real danger, the fear of a serial killer and the all encompassing protective love which Toby feels for Mrs Lovett.
    The singing of this must not be sweet and saccharine you need to give it emotional truth and it must be both real and felt.
  • Dancing Through LIfe is from Act One of the hit show Wicked, it is sung by Fiyero but also Elphaba, Glinda, Nessarose and Boq! However, it can easily be sung at auditions as a solo.
    Fiyero, the famed Winkie prince, is new to Shiz University and sings about his beliefs about the problems with education and how he believes people should be allowed to live the “unexamined life.”
    The song hints at Fiyero’s later transformation to the Scarecrow as he sings about ‘the brainless’ and ‘when you’re thoughtless’
  • The wonderful Giants in the Sky is sung by Jack – of the Beanstalk fame! – in Act One of Into The Woods.
    Jack has been up his beanstalk and he sings this song to explain his exciting and thrilling adventures he has been on.
    The song for me has hidden meaning, as it is all about Jack turning from boy to man and his relationship with ‘the female giant’. Its about Jack growing up, experiencing the real world, seeing scary but wonderful things and missing his childhood innocence.
  • Saturday Night was Sondheim’s first musical which was written in 1954 but was never produced until 1997 due to an unfortunate set of events!
    Set in 1929 in Brooklyn a group of friends spend their Saturday Nights restless because they have no dates. Gene, who works in Wall Street in a menial job dreams of escaping Brooklyn and becoming a member of the exciting Manhattan society.
    The group have decided to head out for a Saturday Night and Gene has arrived in elegant clothes which has impressed everyone. He tells them how his smart clothes will be the ticket to the beautiful world and people of Park Avenue!
    This is a terrific mid tempo number is charming and a great opportunity for a singer to be cheeky, fun and likeable.
  • This is one of my favourite songs by Jason Robert Brown. It is a beautiful song about the relationship between brothers, it hits home for me being the acting-geek of a family of sporty brothers!
    Jason write this for his brothers wedding where he was asked to deliver a toast but decided to do it with a song. If it connects with you like it did with me then it will be a lovely number to deliver at audition, full of emotion and telling a real story about differences and how they come to mean nothing when a relationship is so strong.
  • Later comes from the musical A Little Night Music and is sung by Henrik a frustrated young man who is in love with his father’s new young wife. He is constantly teased for being a seminary student and no-one takes him seriously or let’s him talk.
    The video here is Sondheim himself helping a student to work on the song. It is tremendously useful to see how he works with the young man on the emotion of the song.
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.