The Best Audition Songs for Chicago – by Character
Do you have an upcoming audition for Chicago? Well unless you have specifically been asked to sing a song from the show that you’re auditioning for, it’s generally best not to. That said, you should still show off similar vocals and personality. So here’s our list of audition songs for Chicago, broken down by character.
Since Chicago is a 1970s musical that’s set in the 1920s, most of the songs below are either from pre-contemporary musicals or musicals that are set in the 1920s. Also, there are some Kander and Ebb selections mixed in, as well as a few songs directly from the 1920s!
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Step 1: Read your audition details
Please read your audition details carefully, as they sometimes specify the type of song they’d like to hear (a ballad, something by Kander and Ebb, etc.). Make sure to select a song that’s appropriate for your casting call.
Step 2: Get to know the show
In casting calls, they often ask for you to be “familiar with the show”. And even if it’s not requested, it’s generally assumed. One way to do this is to read through the synopsis or libretto for Chicago➝ while listening to the Chicago cast album➝.
Step 3: Pick an audition song
Next, based on your personality and vocal type, decide whether you’d like to audition for the ensemble or a specific character. Just keep in mind that if you audition for a specific character, you still might not be chosen for that particular role.
There’s usually a spot on the audition form asking if you are open to being in the ensemble or accepting a different role. I would suggest ticking that box and taking whatever you are offered. Every role is important, and you will earn valuable experience in a show.
And on that same note, even if you audition for the ensemble (and not a specific character), there’s always a chance you might get chosen for a leading/supporting role!
To summarize, keep an open mind and try not to take the process too seriously. And when you’re ready, choose the song that you feel most comfortable with from the list below.
“I Miss the Music” – Curtains
“I Waltz Alone” – Grand Hotel
“If I Have to Live Alone” – The Baker’s Wife
“Joe” – Working
“Marry Me” – The Rink
“Beautiful Girls” – Follies
“Grand Knowing You” – She Loves Me
“Second Chance” – Steel Pier
“You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” – Annie
“Nelson” – A Day in Hollywood, a Night in the Ukraine
“One More Kiss” – Follies
“Repent” – On the Twentieth Century
“The Tale of the Oyster” – Fifty Million Frenchmen
Matron “Mama” Morton
“It’s a Business” – Curtains
“Only in New York” – Thoroughly Modern Millie
“That’s Rich” – Newsies
“They Don’t Know” – Thoroughly Modern Millie
“Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
“Don’t Tell Mama” – Cabaret
“Look What Happened to Mabel” – Mack & Mabel
“Maybe This Time” – Cabaret
“The Life of the Party” – The Wild Party
“Broadway Baby” – Follies
“Cabaret” – Cabaret
“Mein Herr” – Cabaret
“Nobody Does It Like Me” – Seesaw
“Wherever He Ain’t” – Mack & Mabel
“An Old-Fashioned Love Story” – The Wild Party
“As We Stumble Along” – The Drowsy Chaperone
“Somebody Older” – Steel Pier
“Honeysuckle Rose” – Ain’t Misbehavin’
“I Won’t Send Roses” – Mack & Mabel
“She’s a Woman” – Kiss of the Spider Woman
“Movies Were Movies” – Mack & Mabel
“See You in the Funny Papers” – Woman of the Year
“Why Should I Wake Up?” – Cabaret
“I Want to Go to Hollywood” – Grand Hotel
“Love and Love Alone” – The Visit
“What You Need” – Grand Hotel
Psst… Here’s where you can find out your vocal type!
“Gimme Gimme” – Thoroughly Modern Millie
“I’m Just Wild About Harry” – Shuffle Along
“Look At Me Now” – The Wild Party
“I Don’t Care Much” – Cabaret
“If You Could See Her” – Cabaret
“What Do I Need With Love?” – Thoroughly Modern Millie
Step 4: Select a monologue
If requested, here are a few audition monologues for Chicago:
• “Al Capone and Me” in Audition Arsenal for Men in Their 20s➝
• “In a Minute” from The Anniversary➝ (Tatiana)
• “Life Without Parole” in Young Women’s Monologues from Contemporary Plays➝
• “Marriage” from Sweet and Twenty➝ (The Agent)
• “You’ve Got to Come Back a Star➝” from 42nd Street (Julian)
Final Step: Prepare for your audition
After collecting your materials and getting familiar with the show, it’s time to move forward with the actual preparation. If you’re in need of some guidance on this step, you can always go through this FREE audition prep checklist!
Want more songs? Check out these DIY Rep Books for EVERY vocal type!
Chicago Song List
Here’s a list of the musical numbers in Chicago, along with which characters sing in each of them. Unless you have been asked to, do not choose from the below songs for your audition! The following is more intended to be used for character research purposes.
* That said, if you’ve specifically been asked to sing a song from the show, you can find the sheet music for the best possible audition songs below.
“All That Jazz” – Velma, Ensemble
“Funny Honey” – Roxie, Amos
“Cell Block Tango” – Velma, Murderesses
“When You’re Good to Mama” – Matron “Mama” Morton
“All I Care About” – Billy, Ensemble
“A Little Bit of Good” – Mary Sunshine
“We Both Reached for the Gun” – Billy, Mary, Roxie, Ensemble
“Roxie” – Roxie, Ensemble
“I Can’t Do It Alone” – Velma
“My Own Best Friend” – Roxie, Velma
“I Know a Girl” – Velma, Roxie, Ensemble
“Me and My Baby” – Roxie, Billy, Mary Sunshine, Amos, Mama Morton, Ensemble
“Mister Cellophane” – Amos
“When Velma Takes the Stand” – Velma, Billy, Ensemble
“Razzle Dazzle” – Billy, Ensemble
“Class” – Velma, Mama Morton
“Nowadays” – Velma, Roxie
“Finale / All That Jazz (Reprise)” – Velma, Roxie, Company
Which of these audition songs for Chicago did you choose?
And what role are you auditioning for? We would love to hear all about it in the comments! And in the meantime, you can check out our database of best audition songs for other musicals.
Need extra help? Just go through this free audition prep checklist!
Author: Stacy Karyn
Stacy Karyn is the founder of Theatre Trip, author of The Thespian’s Bucket List, and creator of The Cast Album List. She has a TESOL drama certificate, a BA in theatre, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.