The Best Audition Songs for How to Succeed in Business – by Character

Do you have an upcoming audition for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying? 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 How to Succeed in Business, broken down by character.

Since How to Succeed in Business is a post-golden age musical, the following songs are from golden age/post-golden age musicals as well. In addition, there are lots of comedic 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 upbeat, 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 “How to Succeed 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 listen to the How to Succeed in Business cast album➝ while reading through the synopsis.


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.


Bud Frump

Grand Knowing You” – She Loves Me

Half As Big As Life” – Promises, Promises

Ilona” – She Loves Me

Upstairs” – Promises, Promises


Hedy LaRue

A Trip to the Library” – She Loves Me

If My Friends Could See Me Now” – Sweet Charity

On the Other Side of the Tracks” – Little Me

One Hundred Easy Ways” – Wonderful Town


J.B. Biggley

Days Gone By” – She Loves Me

She Likes Basketball” – Promises, Promises

This is a Great Country” – Mr. President

Wanting Things” – Promises Promises


J. Pierrepont Finch

It Only Takes a Moment” – Hello, Dolly!

Miracle of Miracles” – Fiddler on the Roof

She Touched Me” – Drat! The Cat!

Try Me” – She Loves Me


Mr. Twimble

Come Back to Me” – On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

Heart” – Damn Yankees

Sweet Charity” – Sweet Charity

That Man Over There” – Here’s Love


Rosemary Pilkington

If I Were a Bell” – Guys and Dolls

Somebody, Somewhere” – The Most Happy Fella

Warm All Over” – The Most Happy Fella

Would You?” – Singin’ in the Rain


Smitty

Hey, Love!” – Hot Spot!

Sing Happy” – Flora, the Red Menace

The Music That Makes Me Dance” – Funny Girl

What Did I Have That I Don’t Have?” – On a Clear Day You Can See Forever


Ensemble (Altos)

Hurry! It’s Lovely Up Here” – On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

I Resolve” – She Loves Me

Miss Marmelstein” – I Can Get It for You Wholesale


Ensemble (Baritones)

She Loves Me” – She Loves Me

My Wish” – Here’s Love

What Kind of Fool Am I?” – Stop the World – I Want to Get Off


Ensemble (Basses)

A Wonderful Day Like Today” – The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd

If I Ruled the World” – Pickwick

Not Mine” – Hallelujah, Baby!


Ensemble (Contras)

A House is Not a Home” – Promises, Promises

An Occasional Flight of Fancy” – Skyscraper

Why Do the Wrong People Travel?” – Sail Away


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


Ensemble (Mezzos)

The Secret Service” – Mr. President

Who Are You Now?” – Funny Girl

You’ve Got Possibilities” – It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman


Ensemble (Sopranos)

Dear Friend” – She Loves Me

Will He Like Me?” – She Loves Me

You Don’t Know” – Here’s Love


Ensemble (Tenors)

Broadway Baby” – Dames at Sea

Too Many Tomorrows” – Sweet Charity

Wondrin’” – Anne of Green Gables


Step 4: Select a monologue

If requested, here are a few audition monologues for How to Succeed in Business:

• “Green Pepper➝” from Cocktails at Pam’s  (Estelle)

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

• “I’ve Fallen Behind➝” from The Worker➝  (Man)

• “Playing With Fired” in The Best Men’s Monologues from New Plays, 2019➝

• “What I’m Talking About➝” from 9 to 5  (Hart)


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!

DIY Rep Book Page Ad.


How to Succeed in Business Song List

Here’s a list of the musical numbers in How to Succeed in Business 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:

“Dear Reader” / “How to Succeed” – Finch, Narrator, Ensemble

Happy To Keep His Dinner Warm” – Rosemary

“Coffee Break” – Bud, Smitty, Ensemble

“Company Way” – Twimble, Finch

“Company Way (Reprise)” – Bud, Twimble, Ensemble

“A Secretary is Not a Toy” – Bratt, Ensemble

“Been a Long Day” – Smitty, Finch, Rosemary

“Been a Long Day (Reprise)” – Biggley, Hedy, Bud

“Grand Old Ivy” – Biggley, Finch

“Paris Original” – Rosemary, Smitty, Krumholtz, Miss Jones, Ensemble

“Finch is in Love” – Finch, Hedy

“Rosemary” – Finch, Rosemary

“Act I Finale” – Finch, Rosemary, Bud


Act 2:

“Cinderella, Darling” – Smitty, Ensemble

“Happy To Keep His Dinner Warm (Reprise)” – Rosemary

“Love From a Heart of Gold” – Biggley, Hedy

“The Executive Washroom” / “I Believe in You” – Finch, Ensemble

“I Believe in You (Reprise)” – Rosemary

Brotherhood of Man” – Finch, Ensemble

“Company Way (Finale)” – Company


Which of these audition songs for How to Succeed 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 How to Succeed in Business.
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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