Too many shows, too many songs, too few time!
Finding song for a musical theatre or drama school audition can be as tricky as finding the perfect monologue. Actor Hub is here to help with some of our favourite suggestions for baritones to sing at a casting.
Whenever you choose a song to sing at an audition remember that the director will be looking at your acting skills, at how you show both character and story through song.
When you choose a song treat it as you would a monologue, research the character and most importantly have an understanding of the musical it comes from.
If the casting director just wanted excellent singers, then they would hire an excellent singer. You are an actor, you have trained in acting. Your skills lie in bringing alive a character, so make sure you choose a song which demonstrates that.
Here is a list of Baritone songs which we feel would be perfect for auditioning. Click on the title or image to watch a video of the song.
Bookmark this page and keep coming back as we are constantly updating and adding to this list. And if you have an addition then please let us know and we can add it to the list.
Baritone 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
Click on title to view the video
Click on image to buy from Amazon
Carnival is a 1961 musical with a book by Michael Stewart and lyrics by Bob Merrill based on the 1953 film Lili. Interestingly the show was originally called Carnival! but the director made them drop the exclamation mark as he said the show is “not a blockbuster, its a gentle show”Lili a lonley orphan runs off with a travelling carnival and works the puppet act. the puppeteer Paul, and the magician Marco The Magnificent are in love with Lili and engage in a fierce rivalry for her love.I’ve Got To Find A Reason is sung by Paul early on in the show before he meets Lili. At this stage he is a lonely, bitter and crippled man unhappy with his life.The musical is an odd one with lots of singing to puppets! This song is a classic “I Wish” song which is usaully the domain of the tenor, so it is great to find a baritone I Wish song as they are perfect for auditioning as they help channel the emotions you will be feeling at an audition.
Big River is a musical version of The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, it is a great show full of bluegrass and country music which might make a nice change for any audition panel to hear.Waitin’ For The Light To Shine is sung by the leading role Huckleberry Finn, an iconic American character, a vagabond child from pre-civil war Missouri.Like a lot of terrific audition songs for young men, this is a ‘dreamer song’ just like Corner of the Sky from Pippin. Huck is thinking about the confines of his life and how one day he will be able to find meaning in his life.Country music doesn’t need to be belted. This song is all the better if it is played softly and with lots of heart. I say it all the time, but find the truth behind the lyrics. Great for drama school auditions.
Avenue Q is an hilarious musical which has puppets alongside actors. If you went looking for Sesame Street and got lost and ended up in the wrong neighbourhood you might just find yourself in Avenue Q!By Act Two all the characters have fallen in and out of love and like with each other and lament happier times with the terrific song I Wish I Could Go Back To College.It is easily made a solo song, and features in a number of audition song books. This number would make a great audition song, and is completely age appropriate for a younger actor who has recently graduated. Play it for the truth, not just for the funny. Really try and think of how exciting times looked when you were still at Uni and how you can look back with rose-tinted glasses on those times. Whatever you do, don’t mime that you have a puppet on one hand … play the character, not the puppet!
Alongside Sondheim and Schwartz the composer William Finn is also a favourite at auditions. The song Sailing from the musical “A New Brain” is worth checking out, but on our top five is the beautiful love song What More Can I Say from Falsettos.Falsettos the musical consists of two mini musicals March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland and tells the story of Marvin, his ex-wife Trina, his psychiatrist Mendel, his son Jason, and his gay lover Whizzer Brown.What More Can I Say is sung by Marvin as he sits and watches his sleeping lover Whizzer and wonders how much he loves him. It is a lovely, ballad, tender and sweet with soaring melodies, and it is one of the most tender love songs I’ve ever heard.
The Rothschilds is little known 1970 musical which had a revival off Broadway in 1990. With a book by Sherman Yellen, music by Jery Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.The story tells of the rise of the Rothschild family from humble beginnings in Germany to having a financial empire which helped them to secure a declaration of rights for European Jews in an oppressive era.Im In Love, Im In Loveis sung by Nathan Rothschild, the youngest son of the Rothschilds dynasty who has been sent to London and has fallen in love with Hannah Cohen, an aristocratic englishwoman devoted to charity work known as the ‘Jewish Joan of Arc’.This song is charming and is also a rarity, which probably means they haven’t heard it before. It is a really fun uptempo baritone song.
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”
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.
Good Thing Going is another example of a perfect sweet, simple but also so, so clever, Sondheim song.It comes from the musical Merrily We Roll Along which was a huge flop when it originally played.The song perfectly expresses the feeling of looking back at a relationship. In the show the song is rejected by some producers as not being ‘hummable’!The song is one of those haunting Sondheim songs which plays in your mind a long time after you’ve heard it.It isn’t big and showy, its small, heartfelt and perfect – just like love!
‘A Little Night Music’ is a deliciously funny comedy of manners and ‘In Praise Of Women’ is my favourite song from this show.It is sung by the wonderfully self-important Carl-Magnus and is just perfectly clever as he sings all about both Desiree his lover and Charlotte his wife.Fidelity is more than mere display; It’s what a man expects from life. Fidelity like mine to Desiree And Charlotte, my devoted wife.The song also ends on a belting F-sharp, which could win over any audition panel (if you get to the end of the song, of course!?)
A theatre is closing and a reunion is held to honor the Follies shows that once performed there. All of the showgirls return to the theatre where they had once performed as young woman.The show focuses on two couples, Buddy & Sally and Ben & Phyliss. Both couples are very unhappy in their marriages. At the end of the show the confusions, anger and madness become too much and a fantasy ‘Loveland’ sequence happens and we get to see the real and emotional lives of the couples in a kind of musical breakdown!Buddy, a travelling salesman, has been having an affair on the road. His ‘Loveland’ song is ‘Buddys Blues’ performed in a vaudevillian style with an imaginary Sally and his girlfriend Margie. It is a real comic tour-de-force but also needs the real and emotional breakdown which makes the soul of the song so heartfelt.
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.
Musical Theatre Actor Hub Advice