The Best Audition Songs for Dreamgirls – by Character

Do you have an upcoming audition for Dreamgirls? 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 Dreamgirls, broken down by character.

Since Dreamgirls is a pre-contemporary musical that’s set in the 60s & 70s, most of the following songs are either from between the 1960s-1980s or from pre-contemporary shows. In addition there are lots of soul and R&B vibes below in order to match the style of the show.


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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 uptempo, etc.). Make sure to select a song that’s appropriate for your specific casting call. Also, as you’re picking out a song, these links may be helpful:

Backing Tracks for the Songs Below

The “Dreamgirls Audition Songs” Spotify Playlist


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 while listening to the Dreamgirls 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.


C.C. White

I Could Be That Guy” – Sister Act

Let It Sing” – Violet

What Would I Do If I Could Feel?” – The Wiz

You Are the Sunshine of My Life” – Stevie Wonder  [70s soul/non-theatre]


Curtis Taylor Jr.

Ain’t No Sunshine” – Bill Withers  [70s soul/non-musical theatre]

Always on My Mind” – Elvis  [70s pop/non-musical theatre]

Patriotic” – Rocky

What You’d Call a Dream” – Diamonds


Deena Jones

Be a Lion” – The Wiz

I’m Still Waiting” – Diana Ross  [70s soul/non-musical theatre]

Last Dance” – Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

One Moment in Time” – The Bodyguard


Effie Melody White

A Natural Woman” – Aretha Franklin  [60s soul/non-musical theatre]

Angel” – Aretha Franklin  [70s soul/non-musical theatre]

Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News” – The Wiz

Reach Out and Touch” – Motown


James “Thunder” Early (Jimmy)

Baby Now That I’ve Found You” – The Foundations  [non-musical theatre]

I Wish It Would Rain” – Ain’t Too Proud/The Temptations

My Girl” – Ain’t Too Proud/The Temptations

Never Can Say Goodbye” – The Jackson 5  (find a key that feels good)  [70s pop]


Lorrell Robinson

Ain’t Nothin’ But a Kiss” – Memphis

Band of Gold” – Freda Payne  [1960s/non-theatre]

I’m Leaving You” – The Life

Someday” – Memphis


Ensemble (Altos)

All the King’s Horses” – Aretha Franklin  [70s soul/non-musical theatre]

Cleanin’ Women” – Working

Twenty Four Hours of Lovin’” – The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas


Ensemble (Baritones/Basses)

Don’t Take Much” – The Life

Lean on Me” – Bill Withers  [70s soul/non-musical theatre]

The Devil You Know” – Side Show


Ensemble (Contras)

Easy” – Commodores  [70s soul/non-musical theatre]

I Know Where I’ve Been” – Hairspray

The Way You Do The Things You Do” – Ain’t Too Proud


Psst… Here’s where you can find out your vocal type!


Ensemble (Mezzos/Sopranos)

I’m Every Woman” – Chaka Khan  [70s pop/non-musical theatre]

Mabel’s Prayer” – Fame

You Can’t Get to Heaven” – The Life


Ensemble (Tenors)

Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” – Barry White  [70s soul/non-theatre]

Just My Imagination” – Ain’t Too Proud/The Temptations

Lovin’ Al” – Working


Step 4: Select a monologue

If requested, here are a few audition monologues for Dreamgirls:

• “Album” in Solo!: The Best Monologues of the 80s – Women➝

• “Hear That Song?➝” from Ohio  (Cat)

• “It’s Never One Thing➝” from Shows for Days  (Irene)

• “Johnny Talks Kids➝” from Frankie and Johnny…  (Johnny)

• “Mother Moon➝” from Fading Joy➝  (Joy)


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!

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Dreamgirls Song List

Here’s a list of the musical numbers in Dreamgirls, 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.


Act 1:

“I’m Lookin’ for Something/Goin’ Downtown/Long Way Home” – Ensemble

Move (You’re Steppin’ On My Heart)” – Effie, Deena, Lorrell

“Fake Your Way to the Top” – Jimmy, Effie, Deena, Lorrell

“Cadillac Car” – Jimmy, Effie, Deena,  Lorrell

“Steppin’ to the Bad Side” – Curtis, Jimmy, C.C., Wayne, Lorrell, Effie, Deena, Ensemble

“Family” – Effie, C.C., Deena, Lorrell, Curtis

Dreamgirls” – Deena, Lorrell, Effie

“Press Conference” – Deena, Curtis, Ensemble

“Drivin’ Down the Strip” – Jimmy

“It’s All Over” – Effie, Curtis, C.C., Deena, Lorrell, Jimmy, Michelle

And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” – Effie


Act 2:

I Am Changing” – Effie

“When I First Saw You” – Curtis, Deena

“I Meant You No Harm” – Jimmy

“The Rap” – Jimmy

“Firing of Jimmy” – Jimmy, Curtis, Lorrell, Company

“I Miss You, Old Friend” – C.C., Effie

“One Night Only” – Effie, Deena, Lorrell

Listen” – Deena, Effie

“Hard to Say Goodbye, My Love” – Deena, Lorrell, Michelle

“Dreamgirls (Finale)” – Effie, Deena, Lorrell, Michelle


Which of these audition songs for Dreamgirls 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!

Sign up for your free audition prep checklist.


Stacy Karyn, author of Audition Songs for Dreamgirls.
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.


 

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