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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  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Carousel was the second musical by the team Rogers and Hammerstein. The story revolves around carousel barker Billy Bigelow, whose romance with millworker Julie Jordan comes at the price of both their jobs. He attempts a robbery to provide for Julie and their unborn child; after it goes wrong, he is given a chance to make things right.
    When Julie has announced her pregnancy to Billy, he is overwhelmed with happiness. He imagines all the fun he will have with his son, Bill Jr, then he realises the child could be a girl, and reflects soberly on the duties he will have being a father to a girl. All of this reflection is done alone on stage in the epic musical song ‘Soliloquy’
    The song is seven and a hlaf minutes long! And through it Billy daydreams happilly, then is horrified, then disappointed, then tender, and then motivated. It is a huge song for any singer and is done well can be a tour de force. It is the closest I think musical theatre gets to having an aria.
    Interestingly when Sinatra released ‘Soliloquy’ as a single the song was not complete on Side A it had to continue on side B.
    “I-i got to get ready before she comes!
    I got to make certain that she
    Won’t be dragged up in slums
    With a lot o’ bums like me”
  • 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.
  • 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”
  • King of the World is sung by a man in prison, as Songs for a New World doesn’t have a story as such, we have to create the back story from the song itself.
    For me the song is about a political activist who has been imprisoned for his beliefs but knows that the fight and the cause are bigger than him. Even in jail, even facing death, this is a man who survives.
    You could play this in a number of ways, might be interesting to play it as a serial killer who believes in himself and believes what he has done was for the greater good this might give it a darker interesting edge, or play it as a Martin Luther King Jr type of persecuted activist. Either way works and each gives it a unique slant.
  • 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.
  • 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 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!
  • 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.
  • I know a lot of casting directors advise against singing a Sondheim song for a casting, they can be so difficult to get right and so overdone. However if you are auditioning for a romantic lead then Johanna could be the perfect ballad for you.
    The story of Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 musical thriller tells the tale of Sweeney Todd a criminal with his sights firmly set on vengeance, who teams up with a pie maker and opens a barber shop on Fleet St. Here he slits his customers throats and their bodies are baked into pies.
    The song Johanna is sung by the young sailor Anthony. He has fallen in love with a girl he has seen singing in her window. In the song he sings of how he swears to rescue her from her vile captors.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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!
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.