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.
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.
“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 [1970s/non-theatre]
Curtis Taylor Jr.
“Ain’t No Sunshine” – Bill Withers [1970s/non-theatre]
“Always on My Mind” – Elvis [1970s/non-theatre]
“I’ll Be Here” – The Wild Party
“Patriotic” – Rocky
“Be a Lion” – The Wiz
“I’m Still Waiting” – Diana Ross [1970s/non-theatre]
“Last Dance” – Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
“One Moment in Time” – The Bodyguard
Effie Melody White
“A Natural Woman” – Aretha Franklin [1960s/non-theatre]
“Angel” – Aretha Franklin [1970s/non-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 [1960s/non-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 [in your key] [1970s/non-theatre]
“Ain’t Nothin’ But a Kiss” – Memphis
“Band of Gold” – Freda Payne [1960s/non-theatre]
“I’m Leaving You” – The Life
“Someday” – Memphis
“All the King’s Horses” – Aretha Franklin [1970s/non-theatre]
“Cleanin’ Women” – Working
“Twenty Four Hours of Lovin’” – The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
“Don’t Take Much” – The Life
“Lean on Me” – Bill Withers [1970s/non-theatre]
“The Devil You Know” – Side Show
“Easy” – Commodores [1970s/non-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!
“I’m Every Woman” – Chaka Khan [1970s/non-theatre]
“Mabel’s Prayer” – Fame
“You Can’t Get to Heaven” – The Life
“Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” – Barry White [1970s/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!
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.
“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
“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!
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.