Monologues are often used at auditions by actors or called for by casting directors in order to showcase the talents of the actor. It is a good idea for every actor to have a small collection in a wide variety of genres under their belt for use on such occasion. There is no perfect one-size-fits-all list you can find. Instead, it is good practice to search for a compilation that not only suits you and your “type,” but is chock full of monologues you really enjoy performing. Showcasing a monologue you actually enjoy performing can make your audition stand out and let your talent really come through.
Monologues from musicals, in particular, can be hard to find since most of them are songs. However, this is one genre you should have included in your list. This article will highlight some monologues from musicals to peruse as you compile your go-to audition pieces.
Monologue 1: West Side Story
Tony’s monologue in the West Side Story is ideally suited for a young adult male actor. This story is very obviously tragic mirroring Romeo and Juliet. Tony is the doomed lover in this story and is a bad boy gone good. He is best friends with Riff and together formed their gang, “The Jets.” Tony takes a job at the local soda fountain in the attempt to change his ways. He is extraordinarily optimistic but cannot help be pulled back into his old ways.
I tried to stop it; I did try. I don’t know how it went wrong… I didn’t mean to hurt him; I didn’t want to; I didn’t know I had. But Riff… Riff was like my brother. So when Bernardo killed Him…
In this monologue, Tony, experiences that pull and his hate gets the best of him resulting in him killing his beloved’s brother. Though Maria believes Tony when he explains what happened and sees his want to be held responsible, ultimately the tragic hero role emerges and it will cost him his life. It would make a very multi-faceted performance on your monologues from musicals list.
Monologue 2: Chicago
The next monologue from musicals choice comes from a wildly popular musical called Chicago. In this musical, murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart are sent to death row. There, they find stardom and hope it will save them from the gallows. Set in the 1920’s, Chicago brings sass and sexiness. The monologue is spoken by Velma during her incarceration. She along with some other female inmates are sharing stories of what got them locked up. She explains how she ended up in jail detailing a murder she committed.
My sister, Veronica, and I did this double act and my husband, Charlie, traveled around with us. Now for the last number in our act, we did these 20 acrobatic tricks in a row, one, two, three, four, five…splits, spread eagles, flip flops, back flips, one right after the other.
It is a short monologue that would be portrayed appropriately by a young adult or adult female. Bring the drama with this one as you recant the tale of your husband being caught in a compromising position with your own sister that leads to blood on your hands.
Monologue 3: Guys and Dolls
Time to get up on your soapbox and preach to deaf ears in this next monologues from musicals example. Sarah Brown is doing just that. She is hoping to reach the sinning gamblers on the streets of Broadway and is imploring them to seek her help. This monologue can be found on page 8 and 9, Act 1 Scene 1, and should be presented by an adult female. It begins, “Brothers and sisters, resist the Devil and he will flee from you. That is what the Bible tells us.”
Brothers and sisters, resist the Devil and he will flee from you. That is what the Bible tells us. And that is why I am standing here, in the Devil’s own city, on the Devil’s own street, prepared to do battle with the forces of evil. Hear me, you gamblers! With your dice, your cards, your horses! Pause and think before it is too late!
Guys and Dolls is a romantic comedy that brings the most unlikely connections. One occurs between a big balling gambler and a puritanical preacher woman. You also get to see the connection between a showgirl who wants to become clean and lead an honest life, and ends up with a craps dealer who is far from being the person to find that type of life with. Even with the turmoil that ensues, you get to watch a diverse set of characters come together, befriend one another, and even fall in love.
Monologue 4: Man of La Mancha
Man of La Mancha intends to reflect Don Quixote, the seventeenth-century works of Cervantes. It is an astonishing, touching, moving musical that holds recognition as one of the first plays to come out of a piece of historical literature. It is, in fact, a play within another play. Set during the Spanish Inquisition, Man of La Mancha brings us the story of Miguel de Cervantes who is in prison and awaiting his trial. Other inmates try to steal his things, including a manuscript he has written. To prove the value of his work, he convinces the other inmates to help reenact the story written on the pages. Through the performance, they tell the tale of Don Quixote and his quest to attain the unattainable.
My lady, my master has sent me to present to you a missive, (seeing her confusion) it is a sort of letter. My master worned me to give it only into your hand (seeing her problem). No I can’t read either. But my master, foreseeing such a possibility, recited it to me so I could commit it to heart. It is no dishonor My Lady, as he explained it, noblewomen are so busy with their needlework.
The monologue is spoken by Cervantes’ manservant- Sancho Panza. It suits a male actor who is an older adult.
Monologue 5: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is a loud and carefree party of a musical. It tells the true tale of a real brothel that was located and runs in Gilbert, Texas from 1840 to the late seventies. The brothel often received authority figures including politicians, police officers, and athletes. This made the establishment pretty much untouchable and very financially successful. Girls would come from all over to find work here and make some extra cash. Towards the end of its existence, a crusading altruist radio reporter and his traditionalist listeners expose the brothel for its indecency and force it to close its doors forever.
When I first seen Ed Earl he looked like he had walked right out of a cowboy picture show. Tall and handsome. He had blond hair then…Remember? I never told nobody this before, Jewel, but he took me down to Galveston for a night.
Here, Mona the madam of the whorehouse retells a time she felt happy. This is suitable for an older female as if reminiscing through a happy memory.
Monologue 6: The Producers
So, you want something with some feeling that will blow the casting directors away? How about one of the monologues from musicals with a bit of rage in it? Mel Brooks’ version of the film The Producers is a hilarious, extreme, crowd-pleasing farce that has been an extremely popular performance since it first appeared in 2001. Max Bialystock is a producer who is slowly fading out of the limelight. He is desperately trying to make his way back to the top. He discovers an unlikely friend in a quiet and shy accountant named Leo Bloom.
You know, not many people knew it, but the Führer was a terrific dancer. (now shouting with rage) That is because you were taken in by that verdammte Allied propaganda! Such filthy lies! They told lies! But nobody ever said a bad word about Winston Churchill, did they? No! “Win with Winnie!” Churchill! With his cigars, with his brandy. And his ROTTEN painting!
Leo theorizes that it could be much more profitable to present a dud of a show instead of a hit. Thus, they partner up to bring the worst musical production ever to Broadway. Why? Because they plan to raise a couple million dollars to finance the show only to escape to Rio with the dough after the show fails so bad that it will close after the initial show. To their surprise, the musical becomes a huge hit and ruins their plans. The monologue is terrific and you should vocalize it with anger. The character speaking it is Franz Liebkind and an adult male should perform it.
Monologue 7: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown
In this monologue, Charlie Brown recants the bad parts of his day- which seem to be most of it though initially, he thought it was lunchtime. He sits alone at the lunch table with his thoughts. As they wander from the negativity of a day, he notices the girl he likes; he wonders what would happen if he were brave enough to approach her. What would be her reaction? How would he go about doing it?
I think lunchtime is about the worst time of day for me. Always having to sit here alone. Of course, sometimes, mornings aren’t so pleasant either. Waking up and wondering if anyone would really miss me if I never got out of bed. Then there’s the night, too. Lying there and thinking about all the stupid things I’ve done during the day.
He attempts to convince himself to take the risk but cannot succeed. He flies through this internal monologue and flows through several different emotions. This monologue would be a terrific way to show off your emotional versatility if you’re looking for monologues from musicals.
A staple of any actor or actresses “bag of tricks” should include a set of monologues they are familiar with. The monologues should include a variety of types including monologues from musicals stemming from both classic and contemporary. Having these ready to go can help you prepare more quickly for an audition since you will just need to polish it up instead of learning it from scratch. This list of monologues from musicals is by no means appropriate for every actor. You want to find pieces that suit your type and that you enjoy performing in order to really showcase your talent.
What are your favorite monologues from musicals? Do you know any monologues from musicals you noticed people overdo them and thus, you should avoid them? Please leave any helpful tips, suggestions, and experiences below for other actors who are seeking advice on finding appropriate monologues to perform.
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