Audition Songs -- Non-Showtunes?

What are some good songs to sing for an audition for a musical that are not from musicals? I’m planning on auditioning for one, and while I greatly enjoy a few select shows, for the most part the sound of showtunes makes me want to retch. Anyway, my details don’t matter-- I’m interested in general, for anyone.


  1. Are you a boy or a girl?

  2. What’s your range? ie, Soprano, Mezzo, Alto, Tenor, etc?

  3. What’s the musical?

And also: is the choice to not sing songs from musicals yours, or was that specified by the people who are auditoning?

  1. Why do you want to be in a musical if musicals make you retch?

Male, tenor, Into the Woods-- but as I said, I’m not necessarily meaning to ask a pointed question about my specific situation, I was just prompted by my situation to be curious about the topic in general.

A friend of mine once auditioned for a musical by belting out the Beatles’ Why Don’t We Do It In The Road? at the top of his lungs. He was not offered a part.

Pick something simple that shows your range. “Moon River” was written specifically for Audrey Hepburn, 'cause she wasn’t that greart a singer, but anybody can make that one work. For you, as a WAG, I’d suggest “She’s No Lady, She’s My Wife” by Lyle Lovett.

If not for the no showtunes caveat–I used to be way into community theater and improv comedy–I’d suggest any classic musical from 1940-1960, preferably Rodgers/Hammerstein, Rodgers/Hart or Lerner/Lowe. Audition day is a bad time to play “Stump the Accompanist.”

I once got parts in musicals by singing “Teen Angel” and “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.” “Teen Angel” was especially satisfying: the others auditioning for the play ended up singing along with the final chorus.

Off the topic, but the accompianist profiled in “Word Play” was fricking amazing.

I suggest picking a song that sounds similar to the songs in the musical itself. I sang “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” for a Return to the Forbidden Planet audition and I got the part of Doctor Prospero… but since I am female maybe you shouldn’t rely on my advice if you don’t want to cross-dress.

I auditioned for “Grease” with “Stupid Cupid”. Basically, anything that serves the same function as a quote-unquote musical song – that is, to show off your voice and skill – will work. I’d look at songs by groups with noted lead singers (which is why Queen is a good choice ;)).

Sorry to continue the hijack, but what is this “Word Play” of which you speak? All I can find is the crossword puzzle documentary that came out this year.

That’s what he’s talking about. A guy named Jon Delfin is a rehearsal pianist in NYC – and also a strong contender in the annual crossword tournament. And a very nice guy, BTW.