Below is a fairly extensive list of pop and rock musicals categorized by music style and time period. This is not an exact science, but I have done my best to categorize shows in a practical way that should be helpful for auditions in particular. NOTE: Premiere dates don’t always factor strongly into categorization. For example, the jukebox musical Head Over Heels premiered in 2018, but most of the show’s songs come from the 1980s.

P.S. If you’re looking for radio pop/rock songs instead of muscial theatre songs, check out my new blog RadioSongsForSingers.com! If you need additional help, make sure to ‘like’ the Kevin Michael Jones Voice Studio & Repertoire Services page on Facebook!

ROCK ‘N’ ROLL & MOTOWN STYLES (Late 1950s – Early 1960s)

Original Score Musicals:
A Bronx Tale
(2016)
Bye Bye Birdie (1960)
Caroline, or Change (2004)
Cry-Baby
 (2008)
Dreamgirls
 (1981)*
Grease
 (1978)
Hairspray
 (2002)
Kat and the Kings
 (1999)
Little Shop of Horrors
 (1982)
Memphis
 (2009)
Promises, Promises
 (1968)
Zombie Prom
 (1996)

Jukebox Score Musicals:
Ain’t too Proud
(The Temptations, 2017)
All Shook Up
 (Elvis Presley, 2004)
Baby It’s You! (The Shirelles, 2011)
Beehive (60’s pop, 1986)
Dirty Dancing (50s/60s rock & motown)
Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Buddy Holly, 1989)
Dreamboats and Petticoats (50’s/60’s pop, 2009)
Elvis (Elvis Presley, 1977)
Forever Plaid (50’s/60’s doo-wop, 1990)
Good Vibrations (The Beach Boys, 2005)
Jersey Boys (Frankie Valli & Four Seasons, 2005)
Leader of the Pack (Ellie Greenwich, 1984)
The Marvelous Wonderettes (50’s/60’s pop, 1999)
Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presley, Jerry Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, 2010)
Motown: The Musical (Motown catalog, 2013)
Movin’ Out (Billy Joel, 2002)*
Return to the Forbidden Planet (50’s/60’s rock ‘n’ roll, 1989)
Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Lieber & Stoller, 1995)

BONUS: 1950s radio pop/rock song lists can be found here. 1960s radio pop/rock song lists can be found here.

FOLK ROCK STYLE (Late 1960s – Early 1970s)

Original Score Musicals:
Dude
 (1972)
Godspell
 (1971)
Hair
 (1967)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (1998)*
Jesus Christ Superstar
 (1970)
The Last Sweet Days of Isaac 
(1970)
The Me Nobody Knows
 (1970)
The Rocky Horror Show
 (1973)
Salvation
 (1969)
Two Gentlemen of Verona
 (1971)
Via Galactica (1972)
Viet Rock
 (1966)
The Who’s Tommy (1993)
Your Own Thing
 (1968)

Jukebox Score Musicals:
All the Fun of the Fair (David Essex, 2008)
Beatlemania (The Beatles, 1977)
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Carole King, 2013)
Lennon (John Lennon, 2005)
Let It Be (The Beatles, 2012)
Love, Janis (Janis Joplin, 2001)
Movin’ Out (Billy Joel, 2002)*
A Night with Janis Joplin (Janis Joplin, 2013)
Rain (The Beatles, 2010)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band on the Road (The Beatles, 1978)
The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Bob Dylan, 2006)
Tonight’s The Night (Rod Stewart, 2003)
We Will Rock You (Queen, 2002)*

BONUS: 1960s radio pop/rock song lists can be found here. 1970s radio pop/rock song lists can be found here.

DISCO POP STYLE (1970s)

Original Score Musicals:
Got Tu Go Disco
 (1979)
Pippin
 (1972)
Sister Act
 (2011)
They’re Playing Our Song
 (1979)
The Wiz
 (1975)
Xanadu
 (2007)

Jukebox Score Musicals:
Boogie Nights (70’s pop, 1998)
The Cher Show (Cher, 2018)*
Disaster! (70’s pop, 2012)
Disco Inferno (70’s pop, 1999)
The Donkey Show (70’s pop, 1999)
Hot Feet (Earth, Wind & Fire, 2006)
Mamma Mia! (ABBA, 2008)
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (70’s & 80’s pop, 2006)*
Saturday Night Fever (Bee Gees, 1998)
Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (Donna Summer, 2018)

BONUS: Looking for disco radio songs? Check out this post.

POP, NEW WAVE & ROCK STYLES (1980s)

Original Score Musicals:
Aida
 (2001)*
Billy Elliot 
(2008)*
Carrie
 (1988/2012)
Chess
 (1986)
Dance of the Vampires
 (1997)*
Fame
 (1988)
Footloose
 (1998)*
Heathers (2014)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (1998)*
Is There Life After High School? (1982)
The Lion King (1997)*
Kinky Boots (2013)*
The Last Ship (2014)*
Lestat
 (2006)*
Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark (2011)*
Starmites (1987)
Taboo (2003)
Tarzan (2006)*
The Toxic Avenger (2009)*
The Wedding Singer (2006)*
Wonderland (2011)*

Jukebox Score Musicals:
Back to the 80’s! 
(80’s pop & rock, 2005)
Bat Out of Hell
(Jim Steinman, 2017)
The Bodyguard 
(Whitney Houston, 2012)*
The Cher Show (Cher, 2018)*
Get On Your Feet! (Gloria Estefan, 2015)
Head Over Heels (The Go-Go’s, 2018)
Movin’ Out (Billy Joel, 2002)*
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert 
(70’s & 80’s pop, 2006)*
Rock of Ages (80’s glam metal, 2006)
Sunshine on Leith 
(The Proclaimers, 2007)
We Will Rock You (Queen, 2002)*

BONUS: Looking for 1980s radio pop/rock songs? Check out this post.

POP, R&B & ALTERNATIVE ROCK STYLES (1990s)

NOTE: This category is fluid and still developing. Many songs from these shows would work well for 2000s-style musical auditions as well (and vice versa).

Original Score Musicals:
Aida (2001)*
Aladdin
(2014)
Alice by Heart (2019)
Altar Boyz (2005)*
American Psycho (2013)
Bright Lights, Big City (1999)
Brooklyn (2004)
Calvin Berger (2006)
The Capeman
 (1998)*
Dance of the Vampires (1997)*
Footloose (1998)*
The Full Monty (2000)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (1998)*
High Fidelity (2006)
Legally Blonde (2007)
The Light Princess (2013)*
Jekyll & Hyde (1997)*
The Last Ship (2014)*
Lestat (2006)*
The Lion King (1997)*
Pretty Woman: The Musical (2018)
Reefer Madness (2001)
Rent (1996)
Tarzan (2006)*
tick, tick…BOOM! (2001)
The Wedding Singer (2006)*
Zanna, Don’t! (2003)*

Jukebox Score Musicals:
The Bodyguard (Whitney Houston, 2012)*
Clueless (1990s pop/rock, 2018)
Cruel Intentions: The Musical
(90’s pop/rock, 2017)
Jagged Little Pill (Alanis Morissette, 2018)
The Last Goodbye (Jeff Buckley, 2013)
Once Upon a One More Time (Britney Spears, 2020)
On Your Feet (Gloria Estefan, 2015)
Viva Forever! (Spice Girls, 2012)

BONUS: Looking for 1990s pop/rock radio songs? Check out this post.

CONTEMPORARY POP & LITE ROCK STYLES (2000s-present)

Original Score Musicals:
13: The Musical (2008)
9 to 5: The Musical (2009)*
Aida
 (2001)*
Aladdin
(2014)
Altar Boyz
(2005)*
Amélie (2017)
Beetlejuice (2019)
Billy Elliot (2008)*
Bombshell (2015)
Bring it On (2011)
Brooklyn
 (2004)
Calvin Berger (2006)
The Capeman (1998)*
Carrie (1988/2012)*
Dance of the Vampires (1997)*
Dear Evan Hansen (2015)
Dogfight (2012)
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)
Edges (cycle, 2005)
Footloose (1998)*
Finding Neverland (2016)
First Date (2013)
Freaky Friday
(2016)
Frozen (2018)
The Full Monty
 (2000)
Ghost
 (2012)
Hamilton (2015)*
Heathers (2014)*
Hands on a Hard Body
 (2013)*
High School Musical (2006)
If/Then (2014)
In the Heights (2008)*
Jekyll & Hyde (1997)*
Kinky Boots
 (2013)*
The Last Ship (2014)*
Legally Blonde
 (2007)
Lestat
 (2006)*
The Light Princess (2013)*
The Lion King (1997)*
Lysistrata Jones
 (2011)
Mean Girls: The Musical (2018)
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (2016)
The Prom (2018)
Reefer Madness (2001)
Rocky: The Musical (2014)
Sponge Bob: The Musical (2017)
School of Rock (2015)*
Tarzan (2006)*
Vanities (2009)
Waitress (2016)
The Wedding Singer (2006)*
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (2010)
Wonderland (2011)*
Zanna, Don’t! (2003)*

Jukebox Score Musicals:
N/A (see ’90s list above for possibilities)

BONUS: 2000s radio pop/rock song lists can be found here. 2010s radio pop/rock song lists can be found here.

CONTEMPORARY PUNK & EMO ROCK STYLES (2000s-present)

Original Score Musicals:
35MM
(2012)
Alice by Heart (2019)
American Psycho
(2013)
American Idiot
 (2010)*
Bare (2004)
Bat Boy (2001)
Be More Chill (2008)
The Black Suits (2008)
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
 (2010)
Bright Lights, Big City (1999)
Evil Dead: The Musical (2006)*
Fortress of Solitude (2014)
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County 2013)
Glory Days (2008)
Hadestown (2016)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (1998)*
High Fidelity
 (2006)
Hit List (2013)
Homemade Fusion (cycle, 2006)
Jasper in Deadland (2014)
The Lightning Thief (2017)
The Light Princess (2013)
Lizzie: The Musical (2010)
Love Kills
 (2009)
Murder Ballad
 (2013)
Next to Normal
 (2008)
Once 
(2012)
Passing Strange
 (2008)
Pretty Woman: The Musical (2018)
Rent (1996)
Rooms: A Rock Romance
 (2009)
See Rock City and Other Places (2010)
Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark
 (2011)*
Spring Awakening 
(2006)*
A Star is Born (film, 2018)
Striking 12 (2005)
Things to Ruin (2008)
tick, tick…BOOM! (2001)
The Toxic Avenger 
(2009)*
Venice
(2013)

Jukebox Score Musicals:
N/A (see ’90s list above for possibilities)

BONUS: 2000s radio pop/rock song lists can be found here. 2010s radio pop/rock song lists can be found here.

———————————————–

COUNTRY/FOLK MUSICALS

Original Score Musicals;
9 to 5
(2009)
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1978)
Bonnie & Clyde (2011)
The Bridges of Madison County (2014)
Bright Star
(2016)
Big River (1985)
Cowgirls
(1996)
Debbie Does Dallas (2004)
Floyd Collins (1996)
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County (2013)
Giant (2012)
The Great American Trailer Park Musical (2005)
Hands on a Hardbody
(2013)
Pump Boys and Dinettes
(1981)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1982)
The Spitfire Grill (2001)
Urban Cowboy
(2003)
Violet (1997)
Waitress (2016)

Jukebox Score Musicals:
The Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash, 2006)

BONUS: Country and folk radio song lists can be found here.

GOSPEL MUSICALS

Original Score Musicals:
The Color Purple
(2005)
Leap of Faith
(2010)
Sister Act
(2006)

Jukebox Score Musicals:
N/A

RAP MUSICALS

Original Score:
BASH’d: A Gay Rap Opera
(2008)
Hamilton
(some songs, 2015)
In the Heights (some songs, 2007)
Venice (some songs, 2013)

Jukebox Score:
Holler if Ya Hear Me
 (Tupac Shakur)

LATIN/HISPANIC MUSICALS

Original Score Musicals:
Bernarda Alba (2006)
Carmen
(2008)
The Capeman
(1998)
Eating Raoul (1992)
Evita (1979)
Hamilton (some songs, 2015)
The Man of La Mancha
(1965)
In the Heights
(2007)
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (2010)

Jukebox Score Musicals:
On Your Feet (Gloria Estefan, 2015)

BONUS: Latin pop song lists can be found here.

MISC. STYLES

Fella! (Jukebox: Fela Kuti)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (various pop styles)
Moulin Rouge (various pop styles)


* This show features a fusion of musical styles (often from multiple time periods), so it could be categorized differently.

Kevin Michael Jones

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