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
  • 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.
  • A Man Of No IMportance is a musical by Flaherty and Ahrens based on the 1994 Albert Finney film about an amateur Dublin theatre company putting on a production of Salome at their local church. Alfie Byrne the director of the theatre company is struggling with his own sexuality as well as with the church’s objections to his theatrical endeavours.
    The Streets of Dublin is sung by Aflie’s colleague Robbie who is is trying to get into the cast of his play, and who he is also secretly in love with. Robbie is having none of Alfie’s theatrical wishes and urges Alfie to come out with him and see the real world and how vivid and vibrant real life can be.
    The song is a celebration of the characters and gritty life of Dublin and when done well is a joy to listen to. When singing it really imagine the sights you are singing about and how alive it is making you feel to be in the hear and now.
  • 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.
  • Stephen Schwartz’s work became so popular after the success of his musical Wicked, but the song Corner of the Sky from the musical Pippin has always been a favourite for auditions.
    The musical Pippin tells the story of a young prince on his search for meaning and significance. Pippin, the young man, sings Corner of the Sky right at the top of the show and it tells of his dreams to find where he belongs and his quest for an extraordinary life.
    Although overdone, it really is a classic I Dream/I Wish song and is perfect for young actors. It has innocence and vulnerability in bucket loads and will show off your type, your acting and your singing all in one making it great for casting purposes. And lets not forget it has a fantastic falsetto ending to boot!
  • A terrific story song about being in a relationship with a woman who you know is no good for you, but you just can’t escape from. Its one of those brilliant JRB songs which takes you as an actor on a real journey of emotions.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Road Show is a Stephen Sondheim musical which was previously called Bounce, it was workshopped in 1999 and opened in 2003 and a revised version opened 2008.
    It tells the story of the Mizner brother’s , Addison and Wilson, and their adventures across America at the turn of the 20th century.
    Addison has left behind is gabling, swindling brother Wilson and is heading to Florida to take advantage of the property boom there in the early 1920s. On the train he meets Hollis Bessemer who he falls in love with.
    Hollis has been cut off from his family for persuing his love of art, he hasn’t the talent to become an artist but is heading to Florida to create an artist’s colony on Palm Beach with his aunt. This is the told via the song Talent.
    Any Sondheim song at an audition is always a brave choice, but this is from his most recent show which was not a success and is so probably not done as often as the other classics.
    It is a great song for auditioning as it is about love for art and is a lovely ‘story song’ which will show off your acting and singing.
  • 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.
  • Anyone Can Whistle is set in an imaginary town which has gone bankrupt. The only place which is doing well is the local sanitorium, known as ‘The Cookie Jar’.
    This song comes at the end of Act Two, the ‘Cookies’ have escaped and are hiding amongst the townspeople, but no one can tell who is mad and who is sane. Fay Apple a young nurse with the help of Hapgood, one of the Cookies, decide to tear up the inmates records and let them be free.
    The song is sung by Hapgood as the freed ‘Cookies’ dance. It is a delightful song full of careless optimism, Hapgood is an ‘idealist’ and this delight for life and opportunity shines through in this song.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Do I Hear A Waltz was conceived as a small chamber musical and is one of Broadway’s lost gems.
    The story deals with the loves and lives of a group of visitors to and the inhabitants of Venice.
    Stay is sung by the character of Renato di Rossi who has fallen in love with New York secretary Leona Samish.
    It is a strange but beautiful ballad which needs to be delivered with total honesty and conviction. It is a proposal from a married man, who is totally laying his cards on the table:
    “I am not the dream come true – But stay – Not perfection, nor are you – But stay”
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.