8 Songs To Combat “Pretty Girls Can’t Be Funny”
I’m certainly not suggesting you have to look like Ulla Inga tor Hansen Benson Yansen Tallen Hallen Svaden Swanson (Bloom) to sing any of these songs, though surely that’d be swell. But let’s face it: there’s a sad dearth of satisfyingly rounded female roles out there as it is, and few of them get to be nearly as funny as their male counterparts on top of it. How many shows have you seen lately where the token girlfriend got all the (you knew it was coming) long sad breakup ballads while the bros got to sing hilarious songs about being bros and cool and dick jokes and YEAH while also having full and compelling emotional arcs on the side?
And conversely, how many of you funny girls have walked into a class with the perfect comedic song you’ve been dying to play only to be stopped two measures in to be told, “Sorry, but you’re just too pretty for this song to be believable”? (Or for those of you who look more like me than Annaleigh Ashford, how many of you have watched someone else hear it? Super-awkward, right?)
My friends and I frequently lament that none of us look like the type people expect us to be. That’s a whole different rant on its own, but here’s the short version: enough of that, I say. I’m calling for a revolution. A musical theatre revolution, like Enjolras without the (spoiler alert) bloody end but hopefully with the xylophone jacket? It’s been suggested that I lack the torso to pull off such a garment, but hey, a girl can dream.
Want to prove you have both leading lady chops and perfect comedic timing? Read on!
“TOO PRETTY” by KATIE THOMPSON
I mean, duh.
“EVEN THOUGH” by JOSHUA SALZMAN AND RYAN CUNNINGHAM
Here is some beautiful accidental comedy fodder if earnest is what you do best, but you don’t want to play the boring nice girl all the time.
“SIXTEEN BARS” by PETER MILLS
A must-have in every aspiring performer’s book, even if you never use it for anything but your own personal catharsis.
“I’M LOOKING GOOD” by GABY ALTER
Be forewarned: there’s a big sad twist in this one. Still cute though, right? Or is it just because it’s Phoebe Strole? It’s probably at least 43% Phoebe Strole.
“ACCIDENT PRONE” by KIRSTEN GUENTHER AND LAURENCE O’KEEFE
You know you’re onto something special when the audience is laughing so hard that you can’t even make out half the lyrics. (Extra credit assignment: use this song to work on your diction and power!)
“TMI” by SAM CARNER AND DEREK GREGOR
Let’s not talk about how many of these things I may have ever actually said to people and instead focus on how great Sarah Stiles’ hair is. Or we can talk about the song, I guess that’s cool too. The song’s kind of awesome, right?
“JOEY IS A PUNK ROCKER” by JOE ICONIS
You thought this was going to be “Blue Hair“, didn’t you? This is the song that really made me fall in love with Joe Iconis, so here it stays. Besides, I’ve also just reminded you that “Blue Hair” exists. Sneaky, right? (See also: “Velociraptor”.)
“THE PROPOSAL” by KAIT KERRIGAN AND BRIAN LOWDERMILK
As a handy dandy bonus, the objective is written right into the lyrics! And as an additional handy dandy bonus, Kerrigan and Lowdermilk have a whole damn book full of uptempos and comedic songs for girls. You’re welcome.
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