Do you have an upcoming audition for Hairspray? 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 Hairspray, broken down by character.
Since Hairspray is set in the 1960s, most of the suggested songs below are either directly from the 1960s, or from musicals that are set in the 1960s.
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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 upbeat, 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 or libretto for Hairspray➝ while listening to the Hairspray 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.
Amber Von Tussle
“Judy’s Turn to Cry” – Lesley Gore [1960s/non-theatre]
“Stupid Cupid” – The Marvelous Wonderettes
“Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” – Lesley Gore [1960s/non-theatre]
“You Can’t Hurry Love” – Ain’t Too Proud
“I Don’t Want To” – All Shook Up
“Jailhouse Rock” – All Shook Up
“Maybe (Baby)” – Grease Live!
“Radio” – Memphis
“Love Who You Love” – A Man of No Importance
“Loud” – Matilda
“Never Get Married” – Honeymoon in Vegas
“Wanting Things” – Promises Promises
“Butter Outta Cream” – Catch Me If You Can
“Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” – Jersey Boys
“Live in Living Color” – Catch Me If You Can
“The Way You Do The Things You Do” – Ain’t Too Proud
“ABC” – The Jackson 5 [1970s/non-theatre]
“Ain’t Nothin’ But a Kiss” – Memphis
“Ease on Down the Road” – The Wiz
“I Want You Back” – The Jackson 5 [1960s/non-theatre]
“A Natural Woman” – Aretha Franklin [1960s/non-theatre]
“Easy to be Hard” – Hair
“I Am Changing” – Dreamgirls
“Listen” – Dreamgirls
“Frank Mills” – Hair
“I Say a Little Prayer” – Promises, Promises
“My Boyfriend’s Back” – Jersey Boys
“Somewhere That’s Green” – Little Shop of Horrors
“Big Love” – Memphis
“Just My Imagination” – Ain’t Too Proud
“My Girl” – Ain’t Too Proud
“My Problem Right There” – Hands on a Hardbody
“Downtown” – Petula Clark [1960s/non-theatre]
“Good Morning Starshine” – Hair
“Judy’s Turn to Cry” – Lesley Gore [1960s/non-theatre]
“Knowing When to Leave” – Promises, Promises
“Going Down” – Hair
“Half As Big As Life” – Promises, Promises
“She Likes Basketball” – Promises, Promises
“Upstairs” – Promises, Promises
“I Hate the Bus” – Caroline, or Change
“Jet Set” – Catch Me If You Can
“Whoever You Are, I Love You” – Promises, Promises
“Christmas is My Favorite Time of Year” – Catch Me If You Can
“One of the Great Ones” – A Bronx Tale
“The Pinstripes Are All That They See” – Catch Me If You Can
“Dentist!” – Little Shop of Horrors
“Grow for Me” – Little Shop of Horrors
“The Man Inside the Clues” – Catch Me If You Can
“I Wish It Would Rain” – Ain’t Too Proud/The Temptations
“Mama Said” – The Shirelles [1960s/non-theatre]
“Music of My Soul” – Memphis
Psst… Here’s where you can find out your vocal type!
“Colored Woman” – Memphis
“Fly, Fly Away” – Catch Me If You Can
“Nothing Short of Wonderful” – Dogfight
“Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” – Herman’s Hermits [1960s/non-theatre]
“Someone Else’s Skin” – Catch Me If You Can
“Where Do I Go?” – Hair
Step 4: Select a monologue
If requested, here are a few audition monologues for Hairspray:
• “Album” in Solo!: The Best Monologues of the 80s – Women➝
• “Eggs in a Basket” in The Acting Coach Approach: 48 Monologues for Kids➝
• “Green Pepper➝” from Cocktails at Pam’s (Estelle)
• “It’s Never One Thing➝” from Shows for Days (Irene)
• “Sky Lines #1” in Audition Arsenal for Women in Their 20s➝
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!
Hairspray Song List
Here’s a list of the musical numbers in Hairspray, 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.
“Good Morning Baltimore” – Tracy, Ensemble
“The Nicest Kids in Town” – Corny, Ensemble
“Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now” – Edna, Tracy, Prudy, Penny, Velma, Amber, Ensemble
“I Can Hear the Bells” – Tracy, Ensemble
“Miss Baltimore Crabs” – Velma, Tracy, Tammy, Amber, Shelley, Link, Little Inez, Ensemble
“It Takes Two” – Link, Ensemble
“Velma’s Revenge” – Velma
“Welcome to the 60’s” – Tracy, Edna, Ensemble
“Run and Tell That!” – Seaweed, Little Inez, Ensemble
“Big, Blonde and Beautiful” – Motormouth, Tracy, Edna, Wilbur, Ensemble
“The Big Dollhouse” – Matron, Edna, Velma, Tracy, Amber, Penny, Motormouth, Little Inez, Ensemble
“Good Morning Baltimore (Reprise)” – Tracy
“(You’re) Timeless to Me” – Edna, Wilbur
“Without Love” – Tracy, Link, Penny, Seaweed, Ensemble
“I Know Where I’ve Been” – Motormouth, Ensemble
“(It’s) Hairspray” – Corny, Ensemble
“Cooties” – Amber, Ensemble
“You Can’t Stop the Beat” – Tracy, Link, Penny, Seaweed, Edna, Wilbur, Motormouth, Velma, Amber, Company
Which of these audition songs for Hairspray 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 holds a BA in theatre, a TESOL drama certificate, and has worked and interned with Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters.