Maria Solves Your Problems: Johanna and Natalie Goodman
Wow, I’m thrilled that we got some actual requests/responses to the first blog! I was convinced I’d have to make some up, like I sometimes assume Dear Prudence over at Slate/WaPo does, because holy cow, those are some crazy stories that all seem to be across a similar theme each week. This week I’m focusing on some of the letters we received from women—next week I’ll look at some of the letters we got from men. Keep the requests coming in, and feel free to argue with my choices and select others in the comments!
Anyway, onto the letters!
I’m about to audition for Sweeney Todd at my community theatre. Considering my vocal range and general type, I’m going in for Johanna, but am also open to any other character (I think I could pull off Lucy pretty well too). I’m not sure what songs to choose that showcase the vocal range and acting ability needed for such a difficult role/show. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Well, I feel you, Future Johanna (insert groans here). When you’re going in for iconic roles, and especially iconic Sondheim roles, it’s tough to pick a song that will distance you from all the ladies singing “Meadowlark.” Clearly you want to show off your lovely soprano voice and range here but also a little depth for both characters. The clear Sondheim corollary (if the directors want to see something Sondheim) would be to take a cut from “Soon” from Night Music, but that’s pretty obvious, and I’d be inclined to go a little darker. Nothing screams “dark” like Oklahoma, and taking “Out of My Dreams” into a solo could be a really lovely if sad soprano bit. You also can’t go too wrong with some “Simple” from Nine for something a little less wordy but still has some depth. If you’re looking for deeeeep cuts, go for “I Hate Him” from Carnival. Seriously, check it out.
I’m going to be auditioning for Next to Normal soon, and it’s my first big audition, so I need to rock it. I have a mezzo-soprano voice. I’m auditioning for the role of Natalie. I thought that New Musical Theatre could help me choose some pieces from the website’s collection.
Thanks so much for the advice and time you’re taking to do this. You have no idea how much it means to me!
-the Next Natalie
Well, you’ve definitely come to the right place to find some perfect, angsty, age-appropriate, belt-your-face-off songs. I’ve often pictured Natalie singing “Blue Hair,” “The Great Compromise,” “Annie’s Party,” a desperate version of “Running,” the classic “Not Her Way,” “Anyway,” or a female version of “Make It Here,” which is what I imagine would’ve been part of Natalie’s future if the plot of Next to Normal hadn’t actually happened and she took up performing. I think the key to Natalie is finding a belty cut that still has some opportunity for vulnerability and self-doubt.
Have an audition problem for Maria to solve? Comment below or email us, and your question will be the subject of a future column!
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