1. For Andrew Lloyd Webber fans: “God’s Own Country”
This gorgeous song from The Beautiful Game is the epitome of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s talent; it is impossible to melodize, irresistibly beautiful (and sure, somewhat predictable, but in the nicest way), and utterly pleasant for listeners.
It’s enjoyable to sing since both of the women have brief solo moments, the unison lines let you to practice your blend, and the little moments of harmony are incredibly fulfilling. This song is a wonderful palette cleanser if you’re organizing a concert; play it after a harder song for listening.
2. When you want a contemporary female duet: “Flight”
This Craig Carnelia duet is really well-liked by the audience. The words almost don’t matter since it is so extraordinarily well-written for the singers and the listener — the harmonies and the accompaniment provide a lovely flood of sound that washes over the crowd.
Additionally, it is remarkably singable for both modern and authentic voices. And what about the final unison note? So efficient. This video demonstrates that regular mortals can also perform this duet because none of us are Sutton Foster.
3. For singers with excellent facial expressions: “There’s Always a Woman”
For the duet “There’s Always a Woman,” which was omitted from Stephen Sondheim’s musical Anyone Can Whistle, use your finest facial expressions. This song, performed by two delightfully snarky characters, is entertaining for both the singers and the audience. Sondheim’s lyrics are jaded, a little bit dark, and certain to make you chuckle. “She almost seems human – It must be the lighting,” is one of our favorites.”
4. When you want that Golden Age of Broadway sound: “Take Him”
Rodgers and Hart are known for their wonderful vintage Broadway sound, and “Take Him” is no exception. (However, modern voices can also pull it off, as shown here.) This well-known duet for two females from the musical Pal Joey showcases their distinct vocal ranges, allows for some endearing back-and-forth, and is perfect for concert attire in the glamorous styles of the 1940s or 1950s.
5. A song for two women who can bring the drama: “I Still Believe”
As with everything Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil touch, “I Still Believe” is irresistible. The lyrics establish the drama right away: “Last night I watched him sleeping / My body pressed to him / And then he started speaking / The name I heard him speak…was Kim.”
Even musical theater purists who believe Miss Saigon is a little too emotional and poppy will find this duet to be a heartwarming piece of writing. For singers, the depth and emotion of the story are already present; there is no need to struggle to bring it out.
6. Duet for belters: “You Rule My World (Reprise)”
It’s a little strange to add a reprise to a list of concert duets for women (this one comes from The Full Monty), but this one is fantastic. It’s short, catchy, super easy to listen to — and it has just enough belting to impress a more classically-minded (read: old) audience without irritating them. When you’re planning a concert, this is another great palate cleanser.
7. A duet for two legit sopranos: “Perfect Strangers”
In the post-1980 musical theater age, “Perfect Strangers” is a bit of a unicorn because it was composed for real singers and is performed by both a woman and a woman who is portraying a male. To clarify lines like, “Too near to touch you!,” it is worthwhile to convey this to the audience in advance. Ned, you have no idea how much you mean to me. The duet from Rupert Holmes’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood is a gorgeous, legitimate song with amazing range, especially for the vocalist portraying Drood. Actually, we like this duet better live.
8. When you need a musical theater duet for women with operatic voices: “That Horrible Woman”
When performed in an operatic tone, “That Horrible Woman” from Robert L. Freedman’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder usually sounds a little strange. You can use your maximum vibrato because it was written for legitimate voices. This one’s plot may seem a little strange on its own, but the strength and intensity of the notes are so powerful that it hardly matters. Context-making in the heat of the moment comes naturally to two singers who are also accomplished actresses. Without the men, it is performed here as a pure duet.
9. A country/folk duet for two women: “We Make a Beautiful Pair”
With “We Make a Beautiful Pair,” a delightful duet from the musical Shenandoah, you may delight your audience with a folky twist (music by Gary Geld, lyrics by Peter Udell). It has an Annie Get Your Gun vibe and isn’t overly twangy, so most anti-country listeners should enjoy it. Singing is also a lot of pleasure, even for professional or current singers. The musical is difficult to locate online because it is rarely performed; nevertheless, this video provides some insight into how the song sounds live (with some strange sound issues).
10. For an adorable older/younger singer pairing: “Two Peas in a Pod”
The Grey Gardens song “Two Peas in a Pod” is a perfect mother-daughter duet because of its adorably sweet tone and timeless harmonies. If the signers can commit to the camp, this one is sure to captivate the crowd. Bonus points if you can throw in a quick dance break. With two younger singers, it’s also quite endearing.
11. “I Could Always Go To You” from Personals
This is one of those female duets that impresses audiences in the beginning—and then offers a surprise twist. It combines exquisite harmonies with amusing humor. (Plus, how much do we enjoy it when a song’s middle verse uses the phrase “bullshit”?) Plus, it doesn’t need a lot of staging.
12. “Marry the Man Today” from Guys and Dolls
Have you got two excellent actresses seeking for a song? One of those endearing Broadway female duets that offer a tremendous chance to develop personalities. There are numerous opportunities for amusing facial expressions and entertaining song staging.
13. “Three Bedroom House” from Bat Boy
With its quick tempo and captivating mood, this Broadway tune hooks listeners from the very first note. It’s the ideal option if you’re seeking for something that a crowd hasn’t heard before because it’s rarely performed live! If your singers gel well together, it may be a show-stopper.
14.” Sisters” from White Christmas
Want to spice up your roster of concerts with some vintage Broadway charm? The White Christmas song “Sisters” is always a good choice. It’s one of the cutest female musical theater duets, and if you want to go all out, you can wear vintage clothing and dance the song to perfection. (Skip to 0:50 in the next video.)
15. “Some Things Are Meant to Be” from Little Women
Sometimes a crowded concert needs to be broken up by a quiet musical passage. That calls for this cute little duet. Because it is brief and serene, it won’t overshadow the major Broadway songs that come before and after it.
16. “The Stepsisters’ Lament”
“The Stepsisters’ Lament” is at the other end of the “two sisters” song range. It’s a great chance for fun and a great method to break up a concert set list heavy with dramatic ballads. Take it up a notch with simple staging, and let your ridiculous facial expressions fly. (Also, Audra!)
17. “River Deep, Mountain High”
Although it isn’t exactly a musical theater duet, the fact that it is a Glee song makes it essentially the same thing. This song will steal the show if you have two women who can truly sing it out. Bonus? assemble a small band that includes a brass section.
18. “Cat Duet”
Even though this song isn’t one of our favorite Broadway tunes, it has some major theatricality and would be at home in a musical theatre recital. This song is a great way to incorporate two female opera singers into your lineup and is sure to make your audience happy.
19. “Bosom Buddies”
A Broadway duet for two altos is required. One of the best musical duets is this one. It has a pleasant, low range and does a lot of speak-singing. Although older actresses typically sing it, any two women with confidence and chemistry can make it work.
20. “You Love Who You Love”
This duet for two ladies is an unexpected addition to a musical theater performance. It has elements of both Broadway and country music, as well as a hint of belting. It contains some very nice moments of harmony and unison, and with the proper performers, it may be one of the most lovely musical duets to perform in the middle of a concert.
How to Choose Female Musical Theater Duets
When you’re picking Broadway duets for two women, look for pieces that are:
- Fun to sing
- Pleasant to listen to, especially for audience members with no knowledge of the show
- Strong enough to stand on their own, both musically and story-wise
It seems very clear, no? Although you’d assume so, a lot of female duets, especially in modern musical theater, fall short in one or more areas. (Specifically, “Sonya and Natasha” from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 comes to mind. yikes.)
Which other female musical theater duos do you now adore?
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