Best Songs for Musical Theatre Auditions for Tenors

Tenor Songs For Musical Theatre Auditions
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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.

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  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • A long time favourite for male rock and pop auditions, Elton Johns Your Song found new fame in Moulin Rouge.
    The song is a mix of folk and jazz and the lyrics express the romantic thoughts of an innocent.
    If you intend to try your hand at this, or any other ‘pop’ or ‘rock’ song really take the time to work out the story, who is singing, what are they singing about. Don’t settle for doing an impression of Elton singing it, or even Ewen MacGregor in Moulin Rouge, find out your own story and characters and tell it and sing it from the heart, only then can you truly own it at an audition.
  • 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!
  • 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’
  • This is one of those songs which is an audition standard, but rightly so. I think it is a perfect audition piece, a real journey of a song and a gift for any actor.
    Company is a Sondheim show dealing with relationships. The plot centres on Bobby, a single guy who is a commitment-phobe.
    Being Alive comes at the end of the show, Bobby has looked at his life and the lives of his married friends, he had thought that by marrying you would just find yourself with someone to smother you and make you feel things you don’t want to feel, but through the song he realises that only by being with someone else will he be able to find someone to help, hurt, hinder and love, someone else to help him face the challenges of Being Alive.
    My advice with this song is to work on it as a monologue first, find the drama, find the story find the moments of change and choice. The work on the musicality of it. Yes it has its huge vocal moments but in my mind the truth and depth is there to be played in the less showy moments. This is a song which they will have heard before, but if you can really truly act your way through it and find the truth, yours will be the performance they remember.
  • 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.
  • This song comes in Act Two of Les Mis and is a prayer from Valjean begging God to save the life of Marius and return him to Cosette. It is a beautiful song.
    The song does not feature in the original French version of this musical and that is because it was written specifically for the actor Colm Wilkinson who was the original Jean Valjean in the London production.
    The song is a favourite of male stage stars for their ‘solo’ albums and concerts as it has some wonderful high notes but is also filled with emotion.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.