5 Poignant Broadway Audition Pieces for Mezzo Sopranos

4 Broadway Musicals with Mezzo Soprano Leads

Dogfight
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“Pretty Funny,” from Dogfight by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Dogfight follows the same storyline of the earlier film of the same title. The show premiered off Broadway in 2012 and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical. In Dogfight, several Marines bet each other as to who can find the ugliest dance partner. Birdlace finds Rose, who unknowing is thrilled to be on her first date. “Pretty Funny,” is her heartbreaking response after she is home and has found out about the competition.

That same night, a guilty Birdlace takes her out on a real date and they end the night together in bed. After the Vietnam war, a broken, emotionally wounded Birdlace comes back from Vietnam and returns to Rose. The song has a country western feel and is sung in mixed voice. Range is from G3 to E5.

“You Don’t Know” and “I Miss the Mountains,” from Next to Normal

Nominated for eleven Tony Awards in 2009 and receiving three, Next to Normal is about a woman’s struggle with manic depression and how it effects the entire family. “You Don’t Know,” is the beginning of an argument between Diana, the main character, and her husband. She asks whether he knows what it is like to die alive or to, “…feel jealous of the dead?” She is both angry and feels misunderstood. In the show, the husband replies immediately with a unique melody, but the first verse can be sung as a poignant female solo. In “I Miss the Mountains,” Diana expresses what it is like to be treated for manic depression; nothing seems real and she misses the highs and lows of her normal life.

Range is G3 to F#5.

“Changing My Major,” from Fun Home

Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2015, Fun Home is a story about a family that looks perfect on the outside but is far from it. The father is gay and sleeps with men and sometimes underage boys, while the mother tries to ignore what is going on.

He forces their tomboy daughter to wear dresses and a barrette in her hair. Later when she discovers she is lesbian, she comes out and her father commits suicide soon after. “Changing My Major,” is a mostly joyous song about Alison’s first lesbian sexual experience after she thought she was asexual. She sings about how excited and caught up she was in the moment. She also expresses mixed feelings about her newfound sexuality, “Overnight, everything changed. I am not prepared. I’m dizzy. I’m nauseous. I’m shaking. I’m scared. Am I falling into nothingness, or flying into something so sublime?”

“Get Out and Stay Out,” from 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton

9 to 5 holds the record for most Drama Desk Nominations in a single year at 15 and was also nominated for four Tony Awards for its 2009 Broadway run. It is based on the movie of the same name. The story is about several women who are unhappily employed by a sleazy male boss. The ladies tie him up and confine him to his home. They improve work moral while taking over the company. One of the main characters, Judy, has found new confidence in the process despite her ex-husband recently leaving her for his secretary. When her ex-husband returns to ask her back, she responds with this powerful song about moving on, “You used me, abused me, you cheated and you lied.

So get out and stay out, I'm taking back my life.”