You’ve sung pop music all your life, but now an audition’s come up, and you need to sing a musical theatre song. Sound familiar? If this is the case, and you don’t have time to suddenly develop a legit musical theatre voice (think Rogers and Hammerstein), it’s very important that you don’t choose your audition song lightly. If you’ve only ever worked on singing Adele songs and haven’t developed your head voice, you’re going to seem massively out of your element if you show up with “The Beauty Is” or Vanilla Ice Cream. Luckily, there are plenty of musical theatre songs you can fairly convincingly pull off as a pop singer. Here are 10 great musical theatre songs for pop voices.
*Please note that if this is a Broadway audition, or something more professional, some of these are going to be overdone and should usually be avoided. But I’m guessing that if you’ve only sung pop music and have never worked on musical theatre before, you probably aren’t Broadway bound quite yet, in which case these will do just fine.
1. Blow, Gabriel, Blow
It’s low, it’s from Anything Goes and serves as classic musical theatre, and it doesn’t require much more than a belt. To fully sell this song, you’ll want to add some musical theatre vibrato, but you can totally sell it if you’re a good pop singer.
2. Lost in the Wilderness
Long before there was Wicked, there was the Stephen Schwartz musical Children of Eden. This wonderful pop-musical theatre song sung by Cain from the biblical Cain and Abel story is one of my favorites.
3. Part of That
This one is a go-to for me. As far as Jason Robert Brown songs go, it’s not one of the ones you hear constantly, despite the Last Five Years movie. It requires a good mixed belt and some acting chops.
4. King of the World
Since we’re on the Jason Robert Brown train, let’s just throw another one up here. “King of the World” is a beautiful, soulful number from Songs for a New World.
5. Everything Else
*Warning: this one uses profanity, so if you’re playing it for your kids, watch with caution. Stay away from this one as an audition piece if you’re too young to use swear words in your songs without making people uncomfortable. That being said, the character in Next to Normal is a teenager, and this is a fun one. It’s in a fairly easy belt range and is a great acting piece.
6. Beauty School Dropout
Here’s a classic one from Grease for you to have some fun with!
7. There Are Worse Things I Could Do
Let’s stick with Grease and throw in one for a girl. This one can definitely be a little overdone, though not egregiously, and it’s a great one for pop singers.
8. Wicked Little Town
If you’re young, pick the appropriate verses from this Hedwig number, or maybe just change “turning tricks” to something else, but regardless, this is a beautiful song with a beautiful sentiment: “And if you’ve got no other choice, you know you can follow my voice…”
It’s a Krysta Rodriguez song from First Date that’s fun to sing and isn’t as overdone as “Pulled.”
10. Hard to Be the Bard
There’s nothing hotter than Shakespeare, right? I bet you’ll be a giddy thing working on this Something Rotten number.
What are some of your favorite musical theatre songs that a mostly pop-trained voice can pull off? Let us know!