Do you have an upcoming audition for Show Boat? 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 Show Boat, broken down by character.
Since Show Boat is a 1920s musical, the songs below are from between the 1920s and 1940s as well 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:
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 Show Boat cast album➝ while reading through the synopsis. Or you can watch the live recording of the show➝.
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.
“Buddie Beware” – Anything Goes
“Chain Store Daisy” – Pins and Needles
“Goodbye, Little Dream, Goodbye” – Anything Goes
“A New Love is Old” – The Cat in the Fiddle
“One Alone” – The Desert Song
“Treat Me Rough” – Girl Crazy
“I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’” – Porgy and Bess
“It Take a Long Pull to Get There” – Porgy and Bess
“Thousands of Miles” – Lost in the Stars
Julie La Verne
“All the Things You Are” – Very Warm for May
“Better Luck Next Time” – Top Hat
“Please Don’t Make Me Be Good” – The New Yorkers
“Falling in Love With Love” – The Boys from Syracuse
“How Long Has This Been Going On?” – Rosalie
“Once You Lose Your Heart” – Me and My Girl
“Happy Talk” – South Pacific
“It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow” – Louisiana Purchase
“Who’ll Buy?” – Lost in the Stars
“A Kiss for Cinderella” – Of Thee I Sing
“A Red-Headed Woman” – Porgy and Bess
“September Song” – Knickerbocker Holiday
“Leaning on a Lamp Post” – Me and My Girl
“The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” – Jumbo
“When I Grow Up (The G-Man Song)” – Pins and Needles
“Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home” – St. Louis Woman
“Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries” – George White’s Scandals
“Little Girl Blue” – Jumbo
Psst… Here’s where you can find out your vocal type!
“I’m Just Wild About Harry” – Shuffle Along
“Nobody Makes a Pass at Me” – Pins and Needles
“Pirate Jenny” – The Threepenny Opera
“Glad to Be Unhappy” – On Your Toes
“Just Imagine” – Good News!
“The Man I Love” – Strike Up the Band
“Little Jazz Bird” – Lady, Be Good
“Starting at the Bottom” – Fine and Dandy
“You’re Too Far Away” – Nymph Errant
Step 4: Select a monologue
If requested, here are a few audition monologues for Show Boat.
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!
Show Boat Song List
Here’s a list of the musical numbers in Show Boat, 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.
“Cotton Blossom” – Ensemble
“Where’s the Mate for Me?” – Gaylord Ravenal
“Make Believe” – Gaylord, Magnolia
“Ol’ Man River” – Joe, Ensemble
“Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” – Julie, Queenie, Magnolia, Ensemble
“Life Upon the Wicked Stage” – Ellie, Ensemble
“Till Good Luck Comes My Way” – Gaylord, Pete, Frank, Ensemble
“You Are Love” – Gaylord, Magnolia
“The Wedding” – Magnolia, Gaylord, Cap’n Andy, Ensemble
“Why Do I Love You?” – Magnolia, Gaylord, Cap’n Andy, Ann Hawks, Ensemble
“Bill” – Julie
“Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man (Reprise)” – Magnolia
“Goodbye, My Lady Love” – Frank, Ellie
“After the Ball” – Magnolia, Ensemble
“Ol’ Man River (Reprise)” – Joe
“You Are Love (Reprise)” – Gaylord
“Act II Finale (Ol’ Man River)” – Joe, Ensemble
Which of these audition songs for Show Boat 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.