If you’re just joining us, we’ve been continuing our blog series on great contemporary songs by genre. You can check out our posts on Story Songs, Dramatic Up-Tempos and Dramatic Ballads by clicking on the corresponding links.
This week, we’re featuring five of our favorite comedic up-tempos. This is a tricky category, and here’s why: a lot of times, we see writers who have a great (and funny) idea for a song, but are unable to follow through with solid craft to make the song truly land. A good comedy song is worth its weight in gold, and we have a plethora of them on our site. So much so that we’re going to just highlight five comedic up-tempos for women.
Here are some great songs to check out:
Coffee for Two (Women on Love)
Music & Lyrics by: Katya Stanislavskaya
Performed by: Kylee Smith Verhoff
Oh, the awkwardness of the first overnight stay! This song for high belt/mix perfectly captures the neurosis of the character while also serving up an attractive, lyrical melody. And talk about harmony! You’ll never wonder what’s going on with the character’s emotional life – it’s all there for you in the accompaniment. Speaking of accompaniments, this one is rather hard, so perhaps it’s not the best audition choice (unless you know the pianist). Still, it’s a brilliant song worth your time!
Dying to Know
Music & Lyrics: Timothy Huang
Performed by: Sarah Corey
A perfect song for the smart actress who can land a solid comedic story song. But wait, it’s not just a comedic up-tempo. The song also features a character with a real emotional need. Two for the price of one! And I love the setting of the hook – it’s tops. This is another great choice for a high belt/mixer.
Jackie’s a Sweetheart (The Hipster Sister)
Music & Lyrics: Andy Roninson
Performed by: Natalie Charle Ellis
There’s an embarrassment of riches here thanks to fantastic writing and a dynamic performance by the always-fabulous Natalie Charle Ellis. Belt mezzos, pay attention to how Andy (a Jonathan Larson Award finalist this year) uses internal rhymes to ground a song that is meant to sound a little off because of the character’s emotional state. You get both comic patter and a soaring vocal line. It’s a perfect balance and a very fun song. Listen to the entire 10-minute musical by clicking here. And check out Andy’s amazing “Take a Ten” series – so many good songs to choose from!
Music & Lyrics: Will Reynolds
Performed by: Katie Mariko Murray
Legit sopranos, we haven’t forgotten you! I thought of this song, given that it was almost 70 degrees in New York City the other week and as the temperatures rise… well, the song says it the best. It’s rare to find a song that allows a soprano to be this funny (and libidinous). Will Reynolds clearly excels at word play and delaying gratification. In lyrics, we mean. Keep it clean! Or don’t… you decide!
There Are Rules
Music by: Will Aronson
Lyrics by: Bill Nelson
Performed by: Gretchen Wylder
This is one of my favorite songs to give mezzo belters who also know how to mix really well, as the song is rangy. Once again, the lyrics and music are beautifully married in this song, which ebbs and flows until the character enjoys an explosion of feeling right on an American Airlines flight. Maybe not the smartest thing to do in real life, but in a song (and in the hands of these writers), it’s hilarious!
Don’t forget: all these songs are available for purchase and immediate download directly on ContemporaryMusicalTheatre.com. Check out our site for more information.
And gents, we haven’t forgotten about you! Check back next week when Laura features five comedic up-tempo songs just right for you!
Check out our new book “Mastering College Musical Theatre Auditions: Sound Advice for the Student, Teacher, and Parent” now available on Amazon.
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