The Best Audition Songs for West Side Story – by Character

Do you have an upcoming audition for West Side Story? 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 West Side Story, broken down by character.

Since West Side Story is a golden-age musical, the songs below have are from golden-age/post-golden age musicals as well. In addition, there is a classic and cool vibe to many of the songs 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 “West Side Story 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 West Side Story cast album➝ while reading through the synopsis. Or you can watch the the classic film version of West Side Story.


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.


Anita

An English Teacher” – Bye Bye Birdie

One Hundred Easy Ways” – Wonderful Town

Spanish Rose” – Bye Bye Birdie

There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This” – Sweet Charity


Maria

No Other Love” – Me and Juliet

One Boy” – Bye Bye Birdie

This is All Very New to Me” – Plain and Fancy

Till There Was You” – The Music Man


Riff

Luck be a Lady” – Guys and Dolls

Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat” – Guys and Dolls

There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame” – South Pacific

Too Darn Hot” – Kiss Me, Kate


Tony

Like a God” – Flower Drum Song

Restless Heart” – Fanny

You Are Never Away” – Allegro

You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” – South Pacific


Ensemble (Altos)

I Am Going to Like It Here” – Flower Drum Song

The Beast in You” – Goldilocks

We Deserve Each Other” – Me and Juliet


Ensemble (Baritones)

Heart” – Damn Yankees

I Talk to the Trees” – Paint Your Wagon

More I Cannot Wish You” – Guys and Dolls


Ensemble (Basses)

My Time of Day” – Guys and Dolls

Those Were The Good Old Days” – Damn Yankees

What a Waste” – Wonderful Town


Ensemble (Contras)

A Little Brains, A Little Talent” – Damn Yankees

Lazy Afternoon” – The Golden Apple

Why Can’t You Behave?” – Kiss Me, Kate


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


Ensemble (Mezzos)

So Many People” – Saturday Night

Sweet Thursday” – Pipe Dream

The Next Time it Happens” – Pipe Dream


Ensemble (Sopranos)

A Little Bit In Love” – Wonderful Town

Mr. Wonderful” – Mr. Wonderful

So Far” – Allegro


Ensemble (Tenors)

All I Need is the Girl” – Gypsy

Fanny” – Fanny

Goodbye, Old Girl” – Damn Yankees


Step 4: Select a monologue

If requested, here are a few audition monologues for West Side Story:

• “I Don’t Know➝” from Sun Dried➝  (Mary Louise)

• “I Don’t Want to Be an Actress➝” from Snakebit  (Jenifer)

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

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

• “That’s All I Got➝” from Other Desert Cities  (Trip)


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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West Side Story Song List

Here’s a list of the musical numbers in West Side Story, 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:

“Jet Song” – Riff, Ensemble

Something’s Coming” – Tony

Maria” – Tony

“America” – Anita, Rosalia, Ensemble

“Tonight” – Tony, Maria

“Gee, Officer Krupke” – Action, Snowboy, The Jets


Act 2:

I Feel Pretty” – Maria, Rosalia, Estella, Consuelo

“One Hand, One Heart” – Tony, Maria

“Tonight (Quintet)” – Company

“Somewhere” – Tony, Maria, Consuelo, Ensemble

“Cool” – Riff, Ensemble

“A Boy Like That” – Anita, Maria

“I Have a Love” – Anita, Maria

“Finale” – Maria, Tony, Company


Which of these audition songs for West Side Story 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 West Side Story.
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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