Musical theater college audition song suggestions
January 5, 2019 10:25 AM   Subscribe

My stepdaughter is applying to college musical theater departments and has her auditions coming up. She's getting stuck coming up with the perfect song for her in-person auditions and I'm hoping to get some suggestions for songs that might not have occured to her.

There are a bunch of songs that she's performed before and fit her voice very well, but for one reason or another don't work for the college auditions. But songs in these vein are what she's looking for:

Get Out and Stay Out from 9 to 5: The Musical

Forget About the Boy and Gimme Gimme from Thoroughly Modern Millie

Vanilla Ice Cream from She Loves Me

Glitter and Be Gay from Candide

That'll Show Him from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Spark of Creation from Children of Eden

The Kristin Chenoweth songs The Girl in 14G and Taylor the Latte Boy

She's a soprano who is a vocal major at a performing arts high school and has some operatic training but musical theater is her true love and those are the programs she's applying to. She's hoping to find a song that isn't completely overdone in auditions - and her dad is a huge fan of classic and offbeat musicals so she likes those a lot - but she also wants to make sure it's not so unknown or difficult that the musical director at auditions might not play it well.

Any suggestions, no matter how obvious they might seem, are totally welcome. I figure I'll just give her the whole list and let her check them out.

Thanks to the musical theater nerds of Ask!
posted by Neely O'Hara to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
History of Wrong Guys from Kinky Boots
posted by assenav at 10:56 AM on January 5


If she can make it unscathed through "Glitter and be Gay" maybe she should give "Veronique" from On the Twentieth Century a look. Both written for singers with real chops (two people who have sung both are the immortal Madeline Kahn and the vocally gifted, frequently unbearable Kristin Chenoweth!) It's also a good comic acting piece--it shows the transformation of the main character from a mousy accompanist into a star of the stage. The show isn't unknown and is loved by a lot of musical theater people but wasn't revived between 1979 (Kahn and Judy Kay) and a few years ago (Chenoweth.)
posted by Smearcase at 11:53 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Green Finch and Linnet Bird from Sweeney Todd
posted by holborne at 12:10 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Much More from The Fantasticks - starts at :28 here.
posted by rogerroger at 1:33 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Maybe "A Summer in Ohio" from The Last Five Years?
posted by fairlynearlyready at 5:29 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Gimme Gimme from Thoroughly Modern Millie

It Might as Well be Spring from State Fair
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:43 PM on January 5


I'm going to recommend singing half of Glitter and Be Gay (which not a lot of Sopranos can sing well IME) and then sing half of a more musical theater-y song (I defer to other respondents for suggestions here.) Does she have her own accompanimest she can bring who can transpose from the first song to the second smoothly?

My thought process is that she wants to show off that she can sing both musical theater repertoire and more operatic repertoire as well. Most sopranos can't do this.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:59 PM on January 6


Does she get 16 bars of two songs? That's often how it goes. If so:

If she can execute Gimme Gimme or Glitter and Be Gay well, go with one of those, they are huge show stoppers that will showcase her talent and are not as over-done as, e.g. Defying Gravity. That said, if she can't execute them perfectly as the jaw-droppers they are, she should choose something else.

I agree that a more character-y, acting, less show-off type song would be a good second song if she does one these. The old school thought is to never do Sondheim at auditions because 1) everyone does them, and 2) they can annoy the accompanist or worse, the accompanist may butcher them. Maybe something classic like Light in the Piazza, or On a Clear Day, or If I Loved you. That said, if she does do Sondheim, something a little less performed, like No One is Alone, Children and Art, We Do Not Belong Together, something of that nature perhaps?

I would probably stay away from the Goldrich & Heisler stuff like Taylor the Latte Boy because it's super kitschy (eveny by musical standards) and kind of overdone.

At the end of the day, what's most important is that it's a song she likes and can sing well. That's more important than the pick of the song. It's nice when the judges can hear something they haven't been listening to all day, but if she can sing well and clearly enjoys the song, it won't matter.
posted by Lutoslawski at 3:28 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


If they need 16 bars, and she's singing Glitter and Be Gay and Ice Cream, take the last 16 bars of any of these:

Windflowers from The Golden Apple

My White Knight from The Music Man

Love Makes Such Fools of Us All from Barnum (skip to 1:45 to start the part in English)

Ribbons Down my Back from Hello, Dolly!

Moonfall from The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Paris is a Lonely Town from Gay Purr-ee (take it up a third)

How Could I Ever Know from The Secret Garden

Some Day My Prince Will Come from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (starts at 0:45)

Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life! from Naughty Marietta

Take Care of This House from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Almost Real from The Bridges of Madison County (trust me)

One More Kiss from Follies

Somebody, Somewhere from The Most Happy Fella

Your Daddy's Son from Ragtime


If she's looking for uptempo:


I Got Love from Purlie!

Meadowlark from The Baker's Wife

Falling in Love with Love from The Boys from Syracuse

I Hate Men from Kiss Me Kate

Italian Street Song from Naughty Marietta

How Lovely to Be a Woman from Bye Bye Birdie
posted by tzikeh at 6:18 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


One great soprano song that highlights good range and diction -- and which is mystifyingly obscure when it comes to auditions in my experience -- is Show Me from My Fair Lady.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 2:10 PM on January 7


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