Acting in Plays, Singing/Urinetown Audition Song


Later this month, I am auditioning for my school's production of Urinetown, specifically the role of Penelope Pennywise. I'm considering "Show Me" from My Fair Lady because it has a higher belting part, but I'm hesitant to use that song because the character does not reflect Pennywise. Would "Show Me" be a good/decent song to use, and, if not, could you please suggest a song that would be better? Thank you!

Hi, Rachel --

Thank you for the question.

The role of Penelope Pennywise calls for a mezzo-soprano with a belt. Depending on the singer, Penelope could be sung by a soprano whose vocal fach (vocal category) is dramatic soprano. Penelope is described as being 40-60. That’s where the Makeup Department comes in. The range of “It’s A Privilege to Pee” extends from C4-G5. Her overall range includes High C.

The role will make hamburger out of your voice long before Opening Night if you are not this variety of singer.

“Show Me” is a great song. But it is not appropriate to Urinetown. Eliza’s frustration is that of an innocent. By contrast, Penelope lost her own innocence way-way back and has turned into a miserly shrew of a control freak. The role can be a dream come true for a singer with such vocal chops. And there are plenty of high school age singers capable of Penelope’s vocal demands. It’s also possible that the Director may have someone in mind.

As a vocal coach, I teach all my mezzo-sopranos who belt how to sing to High C (C6). Knowing how to do that makes their very loud High G a walk in the park -- especially at an audition and throughout the run of the show.

Consider any of the following material:

Surabaya Santa -- Songs for A New World

When you link to this site, notice that the song can be transposed. Select: +2 D minor
That raises the key one whole step. The range is now A3-F5. Find a phrase where you can throw in A5 or Bb5 as an optional note. The same is true with the next two songs.

Barbara Song -- Threepenny Opera  [Range: C4-F5]

Solomon Song -- Threepenny Opera  [Range: B3-F5]

Learn how to sing “It’s A Privilege to Pee” first. Once you know you can handle it, then apply the same attitudes and vocal power to whatever you decide to sing. If I’m on your audition panel and think you might be a likely candidate for Penelope Pennywise, I will ask you to sing a few of the measures that contain her high notes. Or I might ask you to just hit your High G and sustain it for several or more counts.

Go prepared to do the whole song. If requested to do just 32 measures or 16 measures, be ready to do that without hesitation. Choose the measures that contain the high notes. At professional auditions, it sometimes happens that all you get is 8 measures.

I am a vocal coach to working singers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I'm also a music critic for – When you want to make an appointment, contact me at: I am also available for sessions on Skype.

Below are links to my recent articles and interviews:

JEANETTE MacDONALD and The Great American Songbook, Pt. 1 — Close encounters with “Dinah” and “Some of These Days”

Mezzo-Soprano Sasha Cooke: Unmasked at SF Symphony's Masquerade Ball

New on CD: ‘As Long As There Are Songs’, by Stephanie Blythe

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A Conversation with Lucas Meachem - San Francisco Opera’s Barber of Seville

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Joshua Gersen conducts the San Francisco Symphony in screenings of Hitchcock Classics, 10/30--11/2

Organist Todd Wilson plays ‘The Lodger’ (1927) at Davies Symphony Hall, Halloween Night

GREG FEDDERLY – A Comprimario Tenor Extraordinaire

Olivier Latry – Organist at Notre Dame de Paris, at Davies Hall, 10/12

A Conversation with Soprano Alexandra Silber – This week at Feinstein’s, 10/11-12

SF Jazz Center Goes Baroque - A Conversation with Countertenor David Daniels

Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne—A Daring World Premiere at San Francisco Opera

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Best regards,
Sean Martinfield

Acting in Plays, Singing

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Sean Martinfield


I am a professional vocal coach in San Francisco. I have published over 3300 responses related to vocal training - particularly as it relates to Musical Theatre, Pop/Standard, and Opera. I have 30 years of experience as a personal trainer to working singers and actors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I sang professionally for 20 years and know what it means to live the life of a musician. I can determine your voice category, i.e., Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto, Alto Belter, etc., and how to broaden and strengthen your range. Need an audition song for a Broadway Musical? I can assist you with your song selections and help you build an audition portfolio that demonstrates your vocal category and meets the requirements specified in the audition notice. I have created a vocal methodology, "The Belter`s Method". It will enable those in Cabaret and Musical Theatre to practice more efficiently because it focuses on the vocal demands of professional performers and will keep you performance-ready. If what you want is a better voice and more control over your career moves and choices, contact me at: I am also a music and cultural critic for and I interview internationally recognized musicians, singers, dancers, and recording artists -- particularly those who are now appearing or scheduled to perform in San Francisco.


As a vocal coach, I work primarily with singers and actors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. My students range from absolute beginners to working professionals, from kids to senior citizens. The vast majority of my clients come to me through recommendation. I know how to identify any singer's vocal category, i.e., soprano, tenor, alto, baritone, etc. I know how to muscle-up every singer's vocal range and to expand it beyond conventional definitions. I have developed a vocal methodology for those who want to know how to belt, THE BELTER'S METHOD. There are a number of major components to my work as a vocal coach. The first is to identify the client's vocal category and to strengthen and maximize the vocal range accordingly. Then it's about teaching a reliable vocal workout that will enable the client to gain better control of their musicianship. That includes scale work to expand the vocal range and to improve placement, breath control, and diction. Then we work on material for the audition portfolio, the immediate job or assignment, a recording session, etc. My task to is to better equip singers and actors who are hoping to or relying upon their performance skills and vocal endurance to maintain a career in the Performing Arts. My clients regularly appear in cabarets and musical productions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Some have worked in New York and gone on National Tours. For more information, Contact me at:


San Francisco State University – BA in Theatre Arts; graduate work in Theatre, Philosophy, and Comparative Reiligion. Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley – Graduate work in Ethics

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