39 Best Musical Theater Audition Songs For Baritones

Best Musical Theater Audition Songs For Baritones

Songs for tenors are everywhere in musical theater, but finding perfect audition songs for baritones can take a little legwork. While more roles get written for tenors than the lower male voices, some songs written for tenors sit low enough to work very well for lower registers. Here are the top musical theater audition songs for baritones.


1. “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables

Song Year: 1985

Jean Valjean sings “Bring Him Home” as a prayer for Marius, his adopted daughter’s beloved. It is arguably the most beautiful piece in all of musical theater. In addition to showing a baritone’s vocal range, an actor can put vulnerability on display.

This one takes some acting chops, solid higher notes, and breath support. That last note seems to go on and on and on.

2. “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha

Song Year: 1965

Miguel de Cervantes' classic novel Don Quixote gave us the titular character who sings this song in the musical version of the book. It is one of the most popular songs for men to sing in theatrical settings. That’s good news in that you probably already know at least parts of it, but potentially bad news since you might not be the only one singing it at an audition.

The song requires a strong voice and the ability to convey a sense of hope and idealism.

3. “If I Loved You” from Carousel

Song Year: 1945

“If I Loved You” is a duet between Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan. It details the characters’ troubled relationship, so an actor should be able to show the deep emotions and vulnerability that are part of the lyrics and inherent in the song’s context within the show. This allows actors to showcase both their acting and singing skills, and that’s all you can ask from an audition piece, right?

4. “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific

Song Year: 1949

Emile sings “Some Enchanted Evening” as he falls in love with Nellie, and it provides a moment of tenderness in the show. The song is a good baritone choice since it takes a big voice, and it’s a good audition song because the performer should be able to impart to the audience a sense of romanticism and longing.

5. “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” from Oklahoma!

Song Year: 1943

The opening song in Oklahoma!, “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” is a piece of Broadway history.

The show bowed in 1943 and is often credited with revolutionizing the Broadway musical. The song makes a good baritone audition piece because, singing as Curly, the auditioner can show a director the power of his voice and his ability to act out a sense of joy and optimism.

6. “Soliloquy” from Carousel

Song Year: 1945

Our second piece from the classic show Carousel, “Soliloquy” finds Billy contemplating his impending fatherhood and what it means for his future. The song will sound best when sung by a powerful voice, like “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” but it sits on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. A successful audition will draw on the song’s introspective nature.

7. “Stars” from Les Misérables

Song Year: 1985

Javert is one of the great Broadway roles for basses and baritones, so it stands to reason that one of his songs would show up here. “Stars” furthers Javert’s story arc built on his obsession with catching Jean Valjean.

You need a big voice and a bigger range, and you must convincingly portray authority and determination to best evoke Javert’s singlemindedness that borders on megalomania.

8. “Maria” from West Side Story

Song Year: 1957

Leonard Bernstein’s and Stephen Sondheim’s classic retelling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet contains one of the more iconic male songs in theater.

Tony sings about his newfound love for Maria, so the song needs a sense of romanticism and longing. The baritone who sings this needs to have a solid upper range, and it may require the use of falsetto now and then. Baritones with limited ranges might steer clear of this one, but if you’ve got the notes, you can really make a splash here.

9. “Being Alive” from Company

Song Year: 1970

Bobby considers the pros and cons of being in a committed relationship when he sings “Being Alive” in the course of Company. The song requires introspection and vulnerability, as well as the ability to hit high notes with ease.

This is another piece not well suited to baritones with limited ranges. But it’s a powerful song if it works for the performer.

10. “This Is the Moment” from Jekyll & Hyde

Song Year: 1990

This cult classic show spawned some interesting moments in musical theater, and “This Is the Moment” anticipates one of them— when Dr. Jekyll prepares to drink his potion.

There are a few higher notes, but the main requirement of this song from an acting perspective is the demonstration of intensity and determination.

11. “Try to Remember” from The Fantasticks

Song Year: 1960

El Gallo narrates The Fantasticks, and “Try to Remember” is part of how he relays the tale to the audience. The lyrics are emotional, so the song needs to be sung by an actor who can handle portraying that. A less experienced actor, no matter how strong his voice is, might steer clear of this one so as not to tangle with any emotional weight they’re ill-equipped to act out.

12. “If Ever I Would Leave You” from Camelot

Song Year: 1960

The forbidden love between Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere forms the basis of “If Ever I Would Leave You,” a song that, like Camelot, became a classic nearly instantly. Expect high notes, romanticism, and the necessity of emoting a sense of longing.

13. “Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Song Year: 1979

The great Stephen Sondheim gave us this inimitable show. In it, Tobias, worried about Sweeney Todd threatening Johanna, promises to protect her.

The melody is sweet and reassuring, and since Tobias is a young innocent, an actor singing this song should be able to show that in his audition. Tobias and Johanna are two points of light in a very dark show. Be warned, though: this one gets up there.

14. “This Nearly Was Mine” from South Pacific

Song Year: 1949

Another South Pacific song sung by Emile, “This Nearly Was Mine” is a sad song full of heartbreak. This maybe isn’t the best choice if you’re auditioning for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, but for a heavier show, the emotional requirements of this song can take you far in the audition process.

15. “Something’s Coming” from West Side Story

Song Year: 1957

Tony, excited about the future, is full of anticipation. Like our other West Side Story entry, this one requires some high notes, since the role of Tony isn’t written for a baritone. Still, it’s a great audition song— it’s well-known, it gives the actor a chance to sing the stars down, and it gives the singer the chance to act in addition to just belting out notes.

16. “I Don’t Remember Christmas” from Starting Here, Starting Now

Song Year: 1977

The musical revue Starting Here, Starting Now gives us “I Don’t Remember Christmas,” sung by an amnesiac man trying to piece together his past and regain his memories. A baritone can portray vulnerability and confusion with this one.

An upside to this one is its relative obscurity. It’s not a complete unknown, but there’s a good chance you’ll be the only person at a given audition singing this one.

17. “Corner of the Sky” from Pippin

Song Year: 1972

Pippin tells the story of a young prince searching for meaning and purpose in his life. Pippin sings “Corner of the Sky” as he dreams of learning his place in the world. This is a good audition choice for a baritone because it lets the actor show optimism and hope.

Be prepared for some higher notes with this one. Got them? Great. Don’t? Choose a different song.

18. “My Funny Valentine” from Babes in Arms

Song Year: 1937

“My Funny Valentine” is that rare Broadway song that came into its own apart from the show and is now a standard in the American songbook.

Just about any singer will benefit from knowing this song, even if they have no intention of doing theater. Sing this at a nightclub gig to score some points, or at any other singing job you book.

In an audition, put on an air of romance (convincingly, since you’re an actor) and dig into the emotional lyrics. Babes in Arms isn’t performed often these days, but this song is a classic.

19. “I Believe” from The Book of Mormon

Song Year: 2011

The Book of Mormon comes from the guys who gave the world South Park. Keep that in mind— songs from this show won’t go over well if you’re auditioning for your church’s summer musical production of Meet Me in St. Louis.

Other than that, though, Elder Price sings this song about his faith in a song from a rather profane show. Bring big energy and enthusiasm to a performance of this song.

20. “Why God Why?” from Miss Saigon

Song Year: 1989

The Vietnam War was a difficult chapter in American history, and Miss Saigon, set during that conflict, is fraught with heartache that reflects the zeitgeist of the era. American soldier Chris, in love with a Vietnamese woman named Kim, sings “Why God Why?” as he’s wracked with emotional turmoil and conflicted feelings.

Acting are necessary for baritones choosing this one. There’s genuine pain in Chris’ delivery.

21. “Once in Love with Amy” from Where's Charley?

Song Year: 1948

Where’s Charley? doesn’t get its due very often. It’s based on a 19th-century play (Charley’s Aunt, by Brandon Thomas), and both the play and the musical are riotously funny farces.

So a song from Where’s Charley?— in this case, “Once in Love with Amy”— requires comedic acting ability and great comic timing. You’ll be telling a story through song, so know more than just the lyrics.

22. “Luck Be a Lady” from Guys and Dolls

“Luck Be a Lady” from Guys and Dolls

Song Year: 1950

Guys and Dolls is one of those shows people love very much or really despise. Either way, it’s got something to evoke such strong feelings.

It’s a piece of musical theater history whether you like the show or think it belongs only on high school stages. “Luck Be A Lady” has found a place in the repertoire of crooners outside musical theater, so you’ll be singing a popular song. Bring your swagger to this one.

23. “Where Is the Life That Late I Led?” from Kiss Me, Kate

Song Year: 1948

Count on Cole Porter for clever lyrics, wordplay, and smart, smart songs (and lots of lyrics to remember). Fred sings “Where Is the Life That Late I Led?” as a fun and lively song that shows off his larger-than-life personality and love of adventure.

It’s a great choice for a baritone who can handle its fast-paced lyrics and high energy.

24. “Mack the Knife” from The Threepenny Opera

Song Year: 1928

Frank Sinatra and others made “Mack the Knife” a hit, introducing to droves of people who have never heard of The Threepenny Opera. So it’s a familiar piece, which makes it perhaps easier to learn, but also may complicate your ability to perform it memorably at an audition.

But, if you can nail the song’s very dark undertones and balance Macheath's charm with his darker, more menacing side, you might walk away with the role you’re auditioning for.

25. “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” from Guys and Dolls

Song Year: 1950

Guys and Dolls spawns another audition choice because the show is a ubiquitous classic. So is “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.” Nicely-Nicely sings this showstopper, and a talented actor must bring personality to this song.

26. “The Lady Is a Tramp” from Babes in Arms

Song Year: 1937

It may seem like many songs on this list have become hits outside of the theater world, but the percentage of those songs remains small. Still, “The Lady Is a Tramp” is another song that most people in the audition room already know.

That can be good or bad, depending on lots of factors. It’s a playful song that can let an actor show confidence in his audition.

27. “Beethoven Day” from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Song Year: 1999

While You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown debuted in 1967, it wasn’t until the show’s 1999 Broadway revival that “Beethoven Day,” sung by Schoeder, was added to the show. “Beethoven Day” is a raucous and joyfully fun song that’s just a tiny bit silly. The piano accompaniment is upbeat but not too difficult, so it shouldn’t pose any problems for the audition accompanist.

28. “Johanna” from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Song Year: 1979

Emotional vulnerability will carry the day for a baritone auditioning with this song. It’s haunting and beautiful and shows Anthony’s desire to protect Johanna from all harm. It’s a song for higher baritones, though, so singers who hew closer to being basses probably want to avoid this one so as not to have to tangle with uncomfortably high notes.

29. “My Time of Day” from Guys and Dolls

Song Year: 1950

The third offering from Guys and Dolls is a little more obscure than other songs from the show, which might be a plus. It’s sung by Sky Masterson and puts the character’s charm and confidence on full display, so be prepared to pull that off in an audition.

30. “Lonely Room” from Oklahoma!

Song Year: 1943

Judd Fry is the villain in Oklahoma!, so it stands to reason that one of his big numbers is a dark and brooding piece exploring his feelings of isolation and anger.

Most other baritones are going to be singing songs sung by the hero, and few of them will have something showcasing their ability to embody the sinister nature of the bad guy. We’re talking dramatic range here.

31. “Pretty Women” from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Song Year: 1979

Our third choice from Sondheim’s dark (and rather twisted) classic show is sung by the title character. While it’s a duet sung with Mrs. Lovett, it can still work well for an audition (after all, the chances that you’ll sing one entire song for your audition are small).

It’s a mesmerizing song that can demonstrate to a director that the performer can hold an audience rapt.

32. “Put On a Happy Face” from Bye Bye Birdie

Song Year: 1960

When Albert sings “Put On a Happy Face,” he’s trying to cheer up his girlfriend Rosie. If you struggle to portray upbeat enthusiasm, this song isn’t for you. (In that case, musical theater might not be for you if we’re being honest.)

But if you can pull off the relentless optimism required to be as happy as Albert is, then you’ve got something.

33. “Real Live Girl” from Little Me

Song Year: 1962

Noble is the wealthy playboy in Little Me who falls in love with the show's main character, Belle, and then sings “Real Live Girl.” It's a fun number perfect for a baritone audition because it puts an actor's charisma in front of the production crew.

We’ve mentioned this before, but the show’s relative obscurity makes this a piece sung less often at auditions which can help you stand out as memorable.

34. “Love Changes Everything” from Aspects of Love

Song Year: 1989

Andrew Lloyd Webber can be a polarizing figure in musical theater, and Aspects of Love is a case in point. It was a success in London, but on Broadway, it closed after 377 performances.

“Love Changes Everything,” though, is by no means a bad song or a poor audition choice. It’s a solid ballad set well in the baritone range, and you can bet that nobody else at the cattle call will be singing this one.

35. “I’m Still Here” from Follies

Song Year: 1971

“I’m Still Here” has become a standard in the American songbook, so don’t be thrown by the fact that it’s sung in Follies by Carlotta, a woman. Men singing it an octave down will find it settling nicely into the baritone range, and since many crooners have done a version of it, no one will think it odd that you’re singing a song written for a woman.

If you can command the stage, this song will go over really well for you.

36. “The Best of Times” from La Cage Aux Folles

Song Year: 1983

Georges is the nightclub owner in La Cage Aux Folles, and he gets this rousing and celebratory number in the show. This song is another terrific choice to put some charisma onstage in front of a director. And since the character owns an audacious nightclub, singing this song should include some real showmanship. Don’t just sing the notes with this one. Put on a show.

37. “I Met a Girl” from Bells Are Ringing

Song Year: 1956

Jeff has just met the girl of his dreams when he sings “I Met a Girl,” so it’s a song of excitement and hope for a bright future. It’s a lesser-known song that will require some upbeat sincerity and high energy. You don’t need to do jazz hands, but you do need drive when performing this song.

38. “I Don’t Remember You” from The Happy Time

Song Year: 1968

If you’ve made it this far on this list, you’re probably looking for more obscure pieces that the guy next to you at the audition not only isn’t planning to sing but has never heard.

So how about “I Don’t Remember You”? The song itself may be somewhat familiar, but The Happy Time is not quite Guys and Dolls in terms of name recognition. Jacques sings this poignant song about love and loss, sad that he can’t remember all of his past loves.

39. “If I Can’t Love Her” from Beauty and the Beast

Song Year: 1994

What director doesn’t want to see inner turmoil? With that in mind, you might want to choose “If I Can’t Love Her” from Beauty and the Beast. It’s a ballad that Beast sings after he has let Belle go. He has realized that he loves her and will probably never have her. Vulnerability is a big plus with this song, and that will go along nicely with the beautiful melody.

Top Musical Theater Audition Songs For Baritones, Final Thoughts

Choosing an audition song or two can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be a frustrating exercise.

Take three or four from this list — a couple that you know, and a couple you don’t — and experiment with them. You know your acting skills the best, and since you may be your worst critic, your voice teacher might be able to help you decide which songs fit your instrument the best.

Everyone wants to be in a musical (if they don’t want to, there’s something wrong with them), but you have to nail the audition first. Find your perfect baritone song here, work it up, and go get yourself cast. You can’t win that Tony Award without getting started somewhere.

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