Duets in musicals are often either gorgeous love songs or comedy patter numbers. And here at Actor Hub we bring you a selection of both.
When you have been asked to sing a duet for an audition or for a showcase performance it is important you choose a song which showcases you both at your best. No-one is going to be interested in you if it looks like you are showing off and stealing the limelight from you fellow actor, or if you are the one who is letting the limelight be stolen.
You need to work as a team and choose a song together. Choose something which suits not only your range but your playing type. There are plenty of songs out there sung by all manner of characters and you are bound to be able to find one which fits you both.
Work together on the characters and their relationship, really approach this as you would a duologue. Build the characters and the acting of the song alongside you learning the notes. You want to present a fully rounded performance, not a ‘duet’ you would see on the X Factor, this needs to be a slice of musical theatre.
Choose a song which moves you both, which connects with you both, and which gives you both equal opportunity to shine.
Here is another list of duets which would work well at any audition or showcase. 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 these song lists.
Musical Theatre Duets for Auditions and Showcases
This list will hopefully guide you when looking for a duet, 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
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is is a musical comedy with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts. It’s a series of vignettes connected by the central theme of love and relationships. The play’s tagline is “Everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit.”Tear Jerk is a sung by a couple at the movies, he has told her to choose the film and she has chosen a ‘chick flick’ a tear jerker.He sings of how he would have preferred a Bruce Willis action movie with chainsaws and violence, as she comments on the film. He then gets swept up in the movie he is watching and fights his tears! If its performed well this can be a real showstopper. It needs really straight performances to work, no ‘mugging’ or knowing its funny. Again play it for truth and the humour will come.
Anything Goes by Cole Porter is a 1934 show which is still a crowd pleaser today and has recently been on Broadway with Sutton Foster and Joel Grey.The story is a wonderful madcap journey aboard the SS American ocean liner from New York to London and is full of brilliantly witty, clever and winning songs such as Anything Goes, You’re The Top and I Get A Kick Out Of You.You’re the Top is sung by Billy Crocker and nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, old friends acknowledging their mutual admiration in You’re the Top. In Billy’s eyes they are just friends but in Reno’s eyes she wants him to be more than just her friend.Its a lovely song, lots of fun and very popular.
Rent is a rock musical by the late Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.Without You is sung by Roger, a songwriter-musician who is HIV positive and Mimi, an erotic dancer with HIV.The song is a love song. In Act Two Roger suspects Mimi is cheating and has stormed out of their fiery relationship, Mimi stops him and tries to tell him the truth, that she is not cheating but that she is still using drugs, she can’t get the words out, and Roger leaves. Alone in the apartment, Mimi sings of her love for Roger, and elsewhere, Roger sings of his love for Mimi.The song is a beautiful love song, the lyrics are terrific and I feel oversinging it would lose some of its beauty so keeping it real and true works perfectly for this number.
Damn Yankees is a musical comedy from 1955. The story is a modern retelling of the Faust legend set during the 1950s in Washington, D.C., during a time when the New York Yankees dominated Major League Baseball.Damn Yankees was choreographed by Bob Fosse and is the production where he met Gwen Verdon, his wife and dancer–collaborator–muse for whom he choreographed much of his work.Two Lost Souls is sung by Lola, a demon who has been summoned to earth by the devil as “the best homewrecker on [his] staff”, and Joe Hardy, the hero of the piece who is stuck in Hell wanting to get back to earth and win a baseball match and break his pact with the devil! I know, its quite a story!The song is sassy, classic and fun. And the video is worth watching for the great dance routine
The song ‘Move On’ comes right at the end of the wonderful musical Sunday In The Park With George, and is quite simply one of my favourite songs both in and out of musical theatre!The song talks directly to you when you need to make a decision in life, or are contemplating a change. It has helped me so much.“Stop worrying where you’re going- Move on. If you can know where you’re going. You’ve gone. Just keep moving on”Here is what Stephen Schwartz, the composer-lyricist of Wicked has to say about the song “I was at a very low point in my life and career and feeling extremely discouraged. When I heard it, I felt as if it had been written for me to tell me what I needed to hear, and it helped to bolster my will to continue writing”
Neptune’s Daughter is a 1949 musical romantic comedy film starring Esther Williams and featuring the Academy Award winning song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Frank Loesser.The song Baby It’s Cold Outside was not planned to be in this film. It took the place of Frank Loesser’s “(I’d Like to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China,” which the Hayes Office thought inappropriateThe lyrics in this duet are designed to be heard as a conversation between two people, marked as “mouse” and “wolf” on the printed score. Every line in the song features a statement from the “mouse” followed by a response from the “wolf”. The “wolf” part is sung by a male and the “mouse” by a female.The song is a christmas staple and is performed at many a drunk xmas party on the Kareoke. It is interesting to reverse the gender of wolf and mouse and might be a unique choice when performing this number.
Rent is a rock musical by the late Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists and musicians struggling to survive and create in New York City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.Tango: Maureen is sung by Mark, an independent filmmaker and Joanne, his ex-girlfriend’s new lesbian lover.Joanne and Mark overcome their awkwardness at meeting by singing of their affection for Maureen, and they connect over their feelings for her. In a very funny and lovely duet they air their chests about Maureen and her continuous cheating, Mark tells Joanne the signs despite he was the one dumped for her!The song is a funny number and can really be performed with gusto and an awesome tango!
Once is a musical stage adaptation of the 2006 film of the same name. The book was written by Enda Walsh retaining many of the songs written by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.The show really is Guy meets Girl. An unnamed Guy is a Dublin guitarist/singer-songwriter who makes a living by fixing vacuum cleaners by day, and singing and playing for money on the Dublin streets by night. An unnamed Girl is a Czech who plays piano when she gets a chance. Guy meets Girl, and they get to know each other, the Guy and the Girl work through their past loves, and reveal their budding love for one another, through their songs.Falling Slowly won the Oscar for best song at the 80th Academy Awards. In the movie, the duo play the song in Walton’s music shop in Dublin, with Hansard on guitar and Irglová on piano.It is a beautiful love song with gorgeous harmonies and perfectly mirrors the growing feelings this couple have for one another.
Be bold, daring and creative and you can’t go wrong.
Musical Theatre Actor Hub Advice