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15 Overlooked Contemporary Female Duets

Take them or leave them.

Contemporary musicals such as “Rent,” “Wicked” and “Little Women” prove that female duets thrive on Broadway. Whether it’s sassy or sentimental, a female duet is bound to be a crowd-pleaser. Eventually, though, listeners are through with hearing the same duet each nine-to-five for each performance. If you’re done with singing the same selections for good, here are 15 duets that should refresh your ears:

1. “Any Day” from “The Three Musketeers”

George Stiles’ adaptation of the classic Alexandre Dumas novel features this beautiful duet between two characters waiting to be rescued by the ones they love. Voice 1 Range: Ab3–Eb5. Voice 2 Range: Ab3–E5.

2. “Casting Call for a Best Friend” by Rob Rokicki

This hilarious cabaret duet is satire about the cutthroat nature of musical theatre.  Voice 1 Range: Bb3–Eb5. Voice 2 Range: Bb3–Eb5.

3. “Maybe (Next to Normal)” from “Next to Normal”

Coming at a pivotal point in the musical, this mother/daughter duet is a tearjerker for anyone listening. Voice 1 Range: Ab3–Bb4. Voice 2: Ab3–Bb4.

4. “Freedom” from “The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown”

This Kerrigan-Lowdermilk duet is about two high school friends who embrace fate and take chances without knowing what happens next. Voice 1 Range: G3–G5. Voice 2 Range: G3–D5.

5. “Ready to Be Loved” from “Edges”

This Pasek and Paul selection is already a popular solo, but it works fantastically as a duet, too! Voice 1 Range: A3–E5. Voice 2 Range: A3–G5 (optional C6).

6. “God’s Own Country” from “The Beautiful Game”

Taken from one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lesser-known musicals, this patriotic duet is a tribute to the characters’ homeland of Ireland. Voice 1 Range: Gb3–D5. Voice 2 Range: Bb3–Eb5.

7. “Flight” by Craig Carnelia

Known for his work on the musical “Working,” Craig Carnelia’s duet has been most notably recorded by Sutton Foster and Megan McGinnis. Voice 1 Range: D4–F#5. Voice 2: F#3–D5.

8. “Whatever I Want It to Be” by Jonathan Gealt

An ode to the creative process, this borderline-patter duet is great for singers in search of a more pop-sounding duet. Voice 1 Range: Gb3–E5. Voice 2 Range: Gb3–Eb5.

9. “Don’t You Be Shaking Your Faith in Me” by Goldrich and Heisler

Known for the songs “Taylor, the Latte Boy” and “Alto’s Lament,” Goldrich and Heisler bring in the soul for this piece. Voice 1 Range: Bb3–F5. Voice 2 Range: F3–D5.

10. “You Love Who You Love” from “Bonnie and Clyde”

One of Wildhorn’s more country-sounding duets in his oeuvre, the characters Bonnie and Blanche profess their love for their men. Voice 1 Range: Gb3–Db5. Voice 2 Range: Bb3–Eb5.

11. “How the Other Half Lives” from “Thoroughly Modern Millie”

This jazzy duet is sung by Millie and the wealthy Miss Dorothy, who is curious about how the poor lives.

Voice 1 Range: B3–D#5. Voice 2 Range: B3–C5.

12. “Lucky” from “Floyd Collins”

Another country duet, this song features characters from Floyd’s family as they try to rescue him from the cave he’s trapped in. Voice 1 Range: F#3–D#5. Voice 2 Range: F#3–C#5.

13. “Perfect Strangers” from “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”

A relic from the pop-opera era of Broadway, Edwin and Rosa call off their engagement, since they’re unsure of their feelings for one another.  Voice 1 Range: C#4–F5. Voice 2 Range: C#4–D#5.

14. “Secondary Characters” from “[title of show]”

Heidi and Susan diva-out during this interlude as minor characters. Voice 1 Range: G3–B5. Voice 2 Range: G3–D5.

15. “The Song About Ordering Furniture” by Drew Gasparini

This comedic cabaret duet features two women who decide to move in together and their subsequent mishaps. Warning: obscene language. Vocal Range 1: A3–A4. Vocal Range 2: A3–C#5.

Did we leave out a female duet you love? Let us know in the comments below…

Written by Joseph Kisiday

Joseph Kisiday is a 2016 graduate from Christopher Newport University, majoring in Music Composition. Joseph's love for theatre came at a young age through discovering the musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber, such as "Cats" and "The Phantom of the Opera." When he is not writing, Joseph can be found watching operas or Miyazaki films.

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