Broadway Audition Songs for Young Boys From Older Musicals

4 Broadway Solos for Young Boys

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
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“Different” from Honk! by Stiles and Drewe

Honk! This 2000 Olivier Award Best Musical award winning musical is based on the traditional fairytale “The Ugly Duckling,” by Hans Christian Anderson, where a cygnet, or baby swan, grows up with ducklings that convince him he is ugly. The leads were originally sung by adults, but are now often sung by younger casts with its later release as Honk Jr. The lyrics to “Different,” describe the conflicting emotions young people feel about being shunned for being unique, “Different isn’t naughty, Different isn’t bad, So why should being different make me sad?” Even though some lyrics are specific to the ugly duckling’s situation, they are easy to understand on their own: “They're like peas from the same pod.

No wonder they make fun of me. Life's harder when you're odd.” The song is appropriate for a boy soprano as the range is Db4 to F5.

“I’m Not That Smart,” from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee book by James Lapine and composer/lyricist William Finn

The 2005 Broadway production won six Tony Awards. The show tells the story of kids at the spelling bee focusing on Olive Ostrovsky, whose mother is in an ashram in India and whose father neglects her. This song tells the story of another spelling bee competitor, Leaf, who is homeschooled and has a severe case of Attention Deficit Disorder which makes his large family think he is a “dumb kid.” He naturally believes them. The song can be laugh out loud funny as he is easily distracted and goes off on tangents such as, “I like my hair. Really! It is pleasant to the touch. I toss my hair a bit too much. It doesn’t move. It simply sits.” In the end, he spells word after word correct and is one of the last five spellers.

He discovers he may be smart after all. Range is A3 to A5.

“To Be an Astronaut,” from Brandon Finds His Star music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and book by Sidney Berger

A lesser known musical by the composer of Fiddler on the Roof. Although it is old, the music will sound fresh in an audition, especially if you can get your hands on the sheet music.

The show is a spin-off of the story of The Wizard of Oz. Brandon is unhappy, just like Dorothy, only he wants to change his name, so he sounds more like an astronaut and can become a space traveler, which he describes in “To Be an Astronaut.” His class takes a tour of NASA, where his friend Estrella explains his name will not change his fate. The two get separated from their class. They enter a space capsule, which leads them to their Oz or the “Blue Planet,” somewhere in another galaxy. They find aliens whose names were stolen by an evil wizard causing confusion. Brandon and Estrella find the wizard behind a machine that makes him scarier and they give the people back their names. Brandon and his classmate return to NASA and Brandon realizes he is proud of his name.

“Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler

The multi-Tony and Olivier Award winning musical, including Best Musical for each, was made into a movie musical starring Johnny Depp in 2007. It tells the story of a judge who banishes a barber in order to rape his wife and raise their child as his ward, which he plans to marry now that she is of age.

The barber comes back as a demented Sweeney Todd taking people’s lives and allowing the downstairs baker to turn their bodies into pies. A child Tobias is taken in by the baker and starts to suspect foul play. In this song, he promises the baker he will protect her from Sweeney. The last chorus is traditionally sung by the baker, but can be omitted or changed for solo purposes. The range is Bb3 to F5.