“DO NOT” lists – Overdone Songs and Monologues

UPDATE April 26, 2023: A lot has changed since I first published this article in 2012. In the last 10 years, we have seen an expansion of resources for finding rep, has drastically expanded its library, and vocal coaches are no longer relying on the Singer’s Anthology series. I am leaving this article for reference, but I no longer think this list is necessary. Instead, I would like to direct you to a newer article about “Do Not” lists. Thanks for checking out the blog! ~ Matt


NOTE:  I am receiving large numbers of requests for feedback on audition pieces. My schedule no longer allows me to respond to every request in a timely manner. I will still try to respond to requests, but I may approve your comment and leave it on the website for others to respond before I can personally chime in. Thanks for checking out the site! ~Matt

“DO NOT” lists can be controversial but can also be a great starting place to figure out if your singing something everyone else will be singing as well.  The following serve as a starting place for your rep search.  I will update this list as I receive updates from agents, colleagues, etc.

In general:

Nothing with excessive profanity

Nothing that puts yourself up on a pedestal/says look at me!  (i.e. Gorgeous from Apple Tree)

Nothing with excessive sexual innuendo

Do not play a mentally challenged person

Do not ask rhetorical questions of a sexual nature to the audition panel

Nothing from a current Broadway show

Nothing made famous by a specific artist (i.e. Barbara Streisand or Kristin Chenoweth)

From a top agent in NYC:

  • Anything Jason Robert Brown
  • Anything from Phantom of the Opera
  • Girl in 14 G
  • Taylor the Latte Boy
  • Gorgeous (Apple Tree)
  • Take a Chance on Me
  • Run Away with Me
  • I Gotta Run
  • Neverland (Scott Alan)
  • Mama Says
  • Forest for the Trees
  • Not for the Life of Me
  • Gimme Gimme
  • everything from Wild Party
  • Screw Loose
  • Privilege to Pee
  • Here I Am
  • Astonishing
  • Show off

Overused selections (This is not always as important for college auditions, but it can serve as a warning and you may want to bring other songs.  If the song is perfect for you, its probably ok for a college audition if its on the list below, for the list above, its probably not a good idea regardless of how well you sing it.)

  • All I need is the girl
  • Always true to you
  • Anyone Can whistle
  • At times like this
  • Being Alive
  • Corner of the sky
  • How ’bout a dance?
  • I’m not that smart
  • In a very unusual way
  • In my life
  • It hurts me
  • Johanna
  • Not for the life of me
  • Not while I’m around
  • Notice me, Horton
  • On the street where you live
  • Sara Lee
  • She Loves Me
  • Should I be Sweet (or Hot)
  • Don’t rain on my parade
  • Easy Money
  • Everybody’s girl
  • Extraordinary
  • Fifty Percent (50%)
  • Forget about the boy
  • Gimme Gimme
  • Goodbye, old girl
  • Good Think Going
  • Gorgeous
  • Home (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Home from Phantom
  • I cain’t say no
  • I enjoy being a girl
  • I met a girl
  • I wanna be bad
  • Ice Cream
  • Life of the Party
  • Lonely Town
  • Look what happened to Mabel
  • Lost in the wilderness
  • Love Look Away
  • Luck be a lady
  • Mamma Says
  • Man Wanted
  • Many a new day
  • Maybe this time
  • Meadowlark
  • Memory
  • Miracle of Miracles
  • My new philosophy
  • My white night
  • No man left for me
  • Nobody does it like me
  • Show me
  • Stranger to the rain
  • Take a chance on me
  • That’ll show him
  • The Story Goes on
  • Tonight at 8
  • Waiting for life to begin
  • What do I need with love
  • What is it about her?
  • What you’d call a dream
  • When did I fall in love
  • When will my life begin (from Tangled)
  • Wherever he ain’t
  • Yes, my heart
  • You can always count on me
  • You’ve got possibilities
Shows to watch out for:
  • Annie
  • Baby
  • Secret Garden
  • Children of Eden
  • The movie “Fame”
  • Godspell
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie  (this one applies to college too)
  • Phantom of the Opera (this one applies to college too)
  • Any Disney films
  • The Fantasticks
  • Wicked

Top Monologues:

  • Joan Cusack’s monologue (Is there, oh, ANY OTHER TIME you could have told me this?) — this has been VERY popular for at least three years now. Give it a rest.
  • Squeaky Fromme from Assassins
  • Darleen Dances
  • Bridal Registry from A My Name is Still Alice
  • Belize’s monologue about the national anthem from Angels in America
  • Mom’s Ashes from I Think I Love You — I can’t BELIEVE this is STILL so popular… it is really getting ridiculous
  • Murder Your Fish/Mess up your life a little… don’t know what it’s from but it must be in a monologue book somewhere because HOLY COW
  • Diana from Moving (Quaker school… awards… someone is going to prick your bubble)
  • Anything from Kellie Powell’s website ( – she’s a great person, lately every 1 out of 5 female auditionees at SU has a monologue from her site.


Overdone Audition Songs Not Associated With A Specific Show

  • I Get a Kick Out of You
  • Miss Bird
  • Embracable You
  • New York, New York

Overdone Shows That Directors Are Sick Of

Watch Out For… Songs that are Problematic

(These songs may not necessarily be overdone, but have something that may make them inappropriate for auditions)

  • Over The Rainbow fom The Wizard of Oz (this song belongs to Judy Garland)
  • Any other “Signature Song”
One Last Thought
Almost every voice teacher in this country owns the Musical Theatre Anthology published by Hal Leonard.  If the song you are planning to use is out of that book, there’s a strong possibility its overdone (not always) but if every voice teacher owns it, your odds for hearing others sing it are high.  To increase your chances of finding something unique, try finding songs from books specific to a certain show (i.e. Vocal Selections from Aida).  If you have a library in your home town, try looking for complete vocal piano scores of Golden Age shows.  Also, remember most schools are only looking for a cut.  If there is a part of a larger ensemble piece or duet, but it makes a good cut, you can use it.