The best duets in musical theatre help the audience fall more in love with a show by getting to know the characters better. While favorites such as “People Will Say We’re in Love” and, more recently, “For Good,” are frequently heard everywhere, other duets are left neglected for years. If you and a partner are looking to refresh audiences’ tastes, here are 10 overlooked male/female duets you can choose from:
1. “Beneath a Moonless Sky” from “Love Never Dies”
This duet from the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” is a response to the Phantom and Christine’s duet, “The Point of No Return.” In this scene, the two characters reunite after 10 years and recall a night of passion.
Male Range: D3–G4. Female Range: D4–G5.
2. “If I Said I Love You” from “The Pirate Queen”
This duet by “Les Misérables” writers Boublil and Schönberg sees the characters Grace and Tiernan reunite after Grace has divorced her husband, Donal. Like “Beneath a Moonless Sky,” this duet is a tribute to the pop-opera genre that dominated the 1980s.
Male Range: B2–G4. Female Range: B3–E5.
3. “Say It Somehow” from “The Light in the Piazza”
In this song, Fabrizio and Clara admit their feelings for each other and Clara accepts his marriage proposal. Although written in the contemporary era of musical theatre, this duet has more of a classical sound.
Male Range: C3–A4. Female Range: C4–A5.
4. “This World Will Remember Us” from “Bonnie and Clyde: The Musical”
This Frank Wildhorn musical opened on Broadway in 2011 and closed after just 36 performances. In this scene, Clyde breaks out of prison, murders a deputy and starts a life of crime with Bonnie. Although Wildhorn is known mostly for his pop-opera style, this duet is an up-tempo jazz number a la Kander and Ebb.
Male Range: B2–A4. Female Range: Bb3–C#5.
5. “Falling Into You” from “The Bridges of Madison County”
This Jason Robert Brown adaptation of the 1992 novel opened on Broadway in 2014 to mixed reviews. The music primarily mixes pop and folk music with opera. This duet closes the first act, just as Robert and Francesca realize their feelings for each other.
Male Range: A2–A4 (falsetto). Female Range: G#3–F#5.
6. “Daffodils” from “Big Fish”
Based on the 1998 novel and 2003 Tim Burton film, Andrew Lippa’s musical “Big Fish” opened on Broadway in 2013 and ran for 98 performances. In this scene, Edward travels 700 miles to visit Sandra and proposes to her after her convinces her to leave her fiancé, Don.
Male Range: D3–G4. Female Range: G4–Eb5.
7. “Here I Go” from “If/Then”
This Brian Yorkey/Tom Kitt musical opened on Broadway in 2014 and ran for 401 performances. This number takes place after the characters Liz and Josh decide to take a chance on starting a relationship. The style here is similar to contemporary Disney musical films such as “Tangled” and “Frozen.”
Male Range: E3–G#4. Female Range: E3–C#5.
8. “But I Don’t Wanna Talk About Her” from “I Love You Because”
This musical, based on Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” ran off-Broadway for 111 performances from 2006 to 2007. In this scene, Marcy and Austin cannot avoid talking about their exes during their first date. This comedic duet would give similar ones in “Rent” or “Avenue Q” a run for their money.
Male Range: E3–F#4. Female Range: B3–A#4.
9. “Unworthy of Your Love” from “Assassins”
This Sondheim musical is about a fairground game that turns into a revue-style portrayal of attempted and successful murders of U.S. presidents. This dark, comedic duet between John Hinckley Jr.and Lynette Fromme has them fantasize about their respective idols, Jodie Foster and Charles Manson.
Male Range: B2–F#4. Female Range: A3–D5.
10. “First Date/Last Night” from “Dogfight”
This Pasek and Paul musical, based on the 1991 film of the same name, opened off-Broadway in 2012 and closed after 35 performances. This duet between Rose and Birdlace takes place when they reconcile after Birdlace mistreats Rose at a party and they cautiously set out to a fancy dinner date.
Male Range: C3–G4. Female Range: Bb3–D5.
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