If you’re a kid who wants to try your hand at performing a lead role in a musical, you don’t have to wait for a production of “Annie” or “Oliver” to come along. Here are some lesser-known yet meaty musical theatre roles that you can try on for size:
1. Jacqueline Bouvier and Lee Bouvier in ‘Grey Gardens’
This musical is based on the historical documentary that gave an inside peek into the lives of “Big” and “Little” Edie Beale, the eccentric relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. These two roles are perfect for pint-sized girls with big voices and some dance skills.
2. The Little Boy in ‘Ragtime’
“Ragtime” is a very timely, historical piece that is not only a great introduction into early 20th century American history, but also the people, lifestyle and immigrant experience. The Little Boy in this show serves as the narrator and has some fantastic scenes. Only minimal singing skills are required.
3. Young Jane in ‘Jane Eyre’
This musical is perfect for any school learning about classic literature or significant historical periods. The role of Jane should be played by a young girl with a stellar voice and acting chops.
4. Tootie, Esther, Agnes and Rose in ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’
This show was originally an MGM musical that came to fame in 1944 because of its leading lady, Judy Garland. It showcases the St. Louis World Fair of 1904 and the sisters of the Smith family learning about life and love.
This classic American musical features four great roles for girls of varying ages. Most should be good singers and actors with some dance skills.
5. Dinah Lord In ‘High Society’
“High Society” is a fun musical comedy that revolves around a high-society woman, Tracy Lord, whose impending marriage is spoiled by her ex-husband and the resulting shenanigans.
Anna Kendrick got her start playing Dinah, a sassy, scene-stealing kid. This role requires someone who can both sing and act very well.
6. Susan Walker in ‘Miracle on 34th Street’
Based on the movie with the same name, this show features Susan Walker, a terrific role for a girl with a heart of gold who is a good actress and singer. Meredith Willson (“The Music Man”) wrote the music and lyrics, which means this character has some catchy tunes to sing. And, of course, this musical is perfect during the holidays.
7. Tina in ‘Ruthless’
Tina Demark is a sassy, brassy and talented 8-year-old in this show who declares she was “born to entertain.” This starring role is for someone who isn’t afraid to sing to the rafters and show off her belt. Current Broadway and TV star Laura Bell Bundy got her start in this role.
8. Jason in ‘Falsettos’
The character of Jason is perfect for a budding teenage boy who is also a solid actor and singer. The harmonies and rhythms in this show are rough, so it’s imperative to be a solid musician with a good ear.