Tom Kitt (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tom Kitt
Thomas Robert Kitt

(1974-02-28) February 28, 1974 (age 46)
Alma materColumbia University
OccupationComposer, conductor, orchestrator, musician
Spouse(s)Rita Pietropinto (m. 2000)
AwardsPulitzer Prize for Drama
Tony Award
Outer Critics Circle Award
Primetime Emmy Award

Thomas Robert Kitt[1] (born February 28, 1974) is an American composer, conductor, orchestrator, and musician. For his score for the musical Next to Normal, he shared the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Brian Yorkey.[2] He has also won two Tony Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Next to Normal, as well as Tony and Outer Critics Circle nominations for If/Then and SpongeBob SquarePants. He has been nominated for eight Drama Desk Awards, finally winning for Jagged Little Pill.

Early life[edit]

Kitt attended Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York, where he participated in various theatrical productions.[3] He graduated in 1992. As a youth he attended Interlochen Arts Camp.[4] He then attended Columbia College, New York City, graduating with a degree in economics in 1996. During his time at Columbia, Kitt was also a member of the Columbia Kingsmen.[5]


Broadway and stage success and Next to Normal[edit]

Kitt began working on Broadway in 2002, when he served as music director and conductor for Debbie Does Dallas: The Musical. In 2006, he composed the music for High Fidelity, based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name.

In 2008, Kitt teamed with Brian Yorkey to create Next to Normal, a show about mental illness in suburban America. The musical addressed issues such as suicide, drug abuse, and ethics in modern psychiatry. He had met Yorkey while studying at Columbia University, and they had attended the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop as a team.[3] Next to Normal was well received by critics. Kitt won the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding New Score,[6] and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Music; and Tony Awards for Best Original Score Written for the Theatre and Best Orchestrations for the show.[7] Kitt and Yorkey shared the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Next to Normal. The Pulitzer Board called it "a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals."[8]

Kitt received the 2009 Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition for Next to Normal from the Dramatists Guild of America.[9]

That same year, Kitt composed the music for the play From Up Here, which was also nominated for the 2008 Drama Desk Award, Best Play; and the Outer Critics Circle Award.[10][11]

He was the music supervisor for the Sherie Rene Scott musical Everyday Rapture, which ran at Second Stage Theatre in 2009.[12] He was the music supervisor, orchestrator and music arranger for the musical American Idiot, which opened on Broadway in March 2010.[13]

He composed the score for The Public Theater Shakespeare in the Park (New York City) production of The Winter's Tale, which ran in July 2010. The New York Times reviewer wrote that "His score is a triumph of the less-is-more approach to incidental music."[14]

In August 2010, Brian Yorkey and Kitt's musical In Your Eyes was workshopped at the Village Theatre's Festival of New Musicals in Issaquah, Washington (they also workshopped Feeling Electric there as well). The show is about "The students of Lakeshore High School are sent into a full-blown lock down (not to mention a flood of animosity, fear, and insecurity) when a plot of gun violence is suspected. As a group of unsupervised students attempts to make sense of the chaos, they end up learning more about themselves and their classmates—from the troubled rocker spitting lyrics, to the sarcastic fashionista pointing fingers from her pedestal."[15]

His new musical, Bring It On, a musical adaption of the film, was a collaboration with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Amanda Green and playwright Jeff Whitty. The musical premiered at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, running from January 15, 2011 to February 20, 2011.[16][17] Miranda later called Kitt, "one of the best melodists of our generation," and attributed personal growth and education to their relationship.[18]

In 2012, he worked on arranging strings sections for Green Day's album trilogy Uno, Dos and Tre.

He worked with Brian Yorkey on a new musical titled If/Then which was workshopped in 2013 in New York City with Idina Menzel in the lead role. Following the workshop, the show had an out-of-town tryout at Washington D.C.'s National Theatre, from November 5 to December 8, 2013. It opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on March 4, 2014 in previews, officially on March 30, 2014. The show is directed by Michael Greif, produced by David Stone, and stars Menzel, LaChanze and Anthony Rapp. The choreography is by Larry Keigwin, sets are by Mark Wendland, and costumes by Emily Rebholz.[19][20]

Kitt and Yorkey have written a musical adaptation of the book (and films) Freaky Friday, with the book by Bridget Carpenter. The musical, developed by Disney Theatrical, began performances at the Signature Theatre, Arlington, Virginia on October 4, 2016. Directed by Christopher Ashley, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, the cast featured Emma Hunton, Jason Gotay and Heidi Blickenstaff.[21][22] The musical begins performances at the La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego on January 31, 2017 to March 12. Directed by Ashley, Hunton and Blickenstaff reprise their original roles.[23]

Dave, a musical based on the 1993 movie Dave, premiered in July 2018 at the Arena Stage, Washington, DC, with lyrics by Nell Benjamin and a book by Benjamin and Thomas Meehan. Directed by Tina Landau, the cast featured Douglas Sills and Drew Gehling.[24]

Superhero, a new musical by Kitt and John Logan, premiered Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre, with an official opening on February 28, 2019.[25][26]

Performance & The Tom Kitt Band[edit]

Kitt has performed his own songs in a one-man show at various venues such as the Bitter End in New York.[27] He is the founder of The Tom Kitt Band, in which he plays piano. The band's first album is Find Me.[28] Kitt also contributed in 2006 to Julia Murney's self-titled debut album, I'm Not Waiting, for which he co-wrote the song Perfect.

Future projects[edit]

Kitt had reteamed with Brian Yorkey for a musical adaptation of Magic Mike, with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa writing the book.[29] However, according to various news sources, including Deadline on May 2 and 3, 2019, the creative team of Kitt, Yorkey and Aguirre-Sacasa have left the project and a developmental lab that had been scheduled for the week of May 3 has been cancelled.[30][31]

Kitt and Yorkey are working on a stage adaptation of The Visitor.[32] The musical is expected to premiere Off-Broadway at the Public Theater from March 24 to May 10, 2020. The book is by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Brian Yorkey, choreography by Lorin Latarro with direction by Daniel J. Sullivan.[33] David Hyde Pierce and Ari'el Stachel will star.[34]

Kitt is the composer of a new musical titled Flying Over Sunset, which is expected to premiere in a Lincoln Center Theater production on Broadway on March 12, 2020 in previews. The book is by James Lapine, who is also the director, with the lyrics by Michael Korie.[35][36]

Kitt is the composer of the new musical titled Almost Famous, world-premiere musical adaptation of Cameron Crowe's 2000 coming-of-age film Almost Famous. The musical opened September 27, 2019 at The Old Globe in San Diego, California. [37]

Personal life[edit]

He married Rita Pietropinto in 2000.[5] They have three children.[38]


Work as arranger, orchestrator, music director[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Show Result
2008 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music Next to Normal Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Score Nominated
2009 Tony Award Best Original Score Won
Best Orchestrations Won
2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Orchestrations American Idiot Nominated
Everyday Rapture Nominated
2011 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music in a Play The Winter's Tale Nominated
2012 All's Well That Ends Well Nominated
2014 Tony Award Best Original Score If/Then Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Score Nominated
2016 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music in a Play Cymbelline Nominated
2018 Tony Award Best Orchestrations SpongeBob SquarePants Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Orchestrations Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Score Won
Outstanding Orchestrations Nominated
2019 Helen Hayes Award Outstanding Original Play or Musical Adaptation Dave Nominated
2020 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Orchestrations Jagged Little Pill Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Orchestrations Honoree
Tony Award Best Orchestrations Pending
Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Pending


  1. ^ "WEDDINGS - Rita Pietropinto, Thomas Kitt". 2000-10-29. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  2. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Drama". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  3. ^ a b Lascala, Marisa (July 20, 2010). "Tom Kitt's Big Year". Westchester Magazine. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  4. ^ accessed 05/02/2019
  5. ^ a b Shuster, Yelena. "Composer Tom Kitt ’96 brings book, film hit High Fidelity to Broadway", November–December 2006
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew. "South Pacific Is Big Winner in Outer Critics Circle Awards", May 12, 2008
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew and Jones, Kenneth.Nominations for 2009 Tony Awards Announced; Billy Elliot Earns 15 Nominations,", May 5, 2009
  8. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Next to Normal Wins 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama" Archived 2010-04-15 at the Wayback Machine., April 12, 2010
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Ives, Kitt, Pen and Wilson Win Dramatists Guild of America Awards"., July 20, 2009
  10. ^ Playbill biography, accessed February 19, 2009
  11. ^ "From Up Here | Samuel French". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  12. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Everyday Rapture, Starring Sherie Rene Scott, Opens Off-Broadway,", May 3, 2009
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth. American Idiot Will Rock Broadway's St. James Starting March 24" Archived 2010-01-07 at the Wayback Machine., January 5, 2010
  14. ^ Tommasini, Anthony."Musical Spells Cast in Theatrical Margins"The New York Times, July 19, 2010
  15. ^ Hetrick, Adam.Brian Yorkey-Tom Kitt Musical In Your Eyes Set for Village Originals Series", August 2, 2010
  16. ^ Staff. " 'Bring It On' Musical from Kitt, Miranda, Whitty & Green to Premiere at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre", February 26, 2010
  17. ^ Listing
  18. ^ Browne, Rembert. "Genius: A Conversation With 'Hamilton' Maestro Lin-Manuel Miranda". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  19. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Miguel Cervantes, Curtis Holbrook, Ryann Redmond Join Broadway's 'If/Then'; Complete Cast and Creative Team Announced" Archived 2013-08-29 at the Wayback Machine, August 27, 2013
  20. ^ Staff. "The Verdict: Critics Review New Broadway Musical 'If/Then', Starring Idina Menzel", March 30, 2014
  21. ^ Gioia, Michael. " 'Freaky Friday,' With Emma Hunton and Heidi Blickenstaff, Begins Performances" Playbill, October 4, 2016
  22. ^ Rothstein, Mervyn. "What To Expect from 'Freaky Friday' the Musical" Playbill, October 4, 2016
  23. ^ Clement, Olivia. "La Jolla 'Freaky Friday' Begins Jan. 31" Playbill, January 31, 2017
  24. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Arena Stage’s World Premiere of 'Dave' Cancels 5 Performances as Douglas Sills Recovers From Surgery" Playbill, July 2018
  25. ^ Clement, Olivia (2018-10-23). "Thom Sesma and More Will Join Kate Baldwin and Bryce Pinkham in Superhero Musical". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  26. ^ Peikert, Mark. "Read What Critics Thought of World Premiere Musical 'Superhero'" playbill, March 1, 2019
  27. ^ Wong, Wayman. "The Leading Men"., May 1, 2003
  28. ^ Ehren, Christine. NYC's Sh-k-Boom Room Sees Tom Kitt and God March 15"., March 15, 2001
  29. ^ "Top Stories"
  30. ^ Evans, Greg. "‘Magic Mike’ Musical Loses Creative Team, Cancels Workshop", May 3, 2019
  31. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Lab Presentation of Broadway-Aimed 'Magic Mike' Musical Postponed After Creative Team Shift" Playbill, May 2, 2019
  32. ^ "Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey Will Bring The Visitor Musical to Broadway". 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  33. ^ The Visitor, accessed August 21, 2019
  34. ^ Lefkowitz, Andy. "David Hyde Pierce & Ari'el Stachel in New Musical The Visitor & More Set for Public Theater's 2019-2020 Season", June 6, 2019
  35. ^ Clement, Olivia. "Carmen Cusack, Harry Hadden-Paton, and Tony Yazbeck to Lead Cast of New Broadway Musical 'Flying Over Sunset'" Playbill, August 20, 2019
  36. ^ " Flying Over Sunset Lincoln Center", accessed August 21, 2019
  37. ^ "What Do Critics Think of the Almost Famous World Premiere?" Playbill, September 30, 2019
  38. ^ Staff."'Next to Normal' Composer Tom Kitt and Wife Rita Welcome Baby Girl", April 23, 2009
  39. ^ "Tony Winner Julie White Stars in Flahive's From Up Here in NYC". 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  40. ^ "PHOTO CALL: Shakespeare in the Park Winter's Tale at Delacorte Theater". 2010-06-04. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  41. ^ "Tom Kitt | IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". Retrieved 2015-06-20.

External links[edit]