Tom Kitt (musician)

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Tom Kitt
Tom Kitt, May 2018.jpg
Kitt in May 2018
Thomas Robert Kitt
Education Columbia University (BA)
Occupation(s)Composer, conductor, orchestrator, musician
SpouseRita Pietropinto (m. 2000)
AwardsPulitzer Prize for Drama
Tony Award
Outer Critics Circle Award
Primetime Emmy Award
Grammy Award

Thomas Robert Kitt [1] 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, winning one, and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for Jagged Little Pill in 2021.


Early life

Kitt was raised in Port Washington, New York, on Long Island, until age 13, when his family moved to Bedford, New York, in Westchester County. He attended Byram Hills High School in neighboring 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]


Arranger, orchestrator, music director, composer

Kitt began working on Off-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]

Also in 2008, 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]

Kitt was the music supervisor, orchestrator and music arranger for the musical American Idiot , which opened on Broadway in March 2010. [13]

Kitt 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. [15]

Kitt's next 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.[ citation needed ]

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 wrote 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, a book by Benjamin and Thomas Meehan, and music by Kitt. 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]

Kitt had reteamed with Brian Yorkey for a musical adaptation of Magic Mike , with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa writing the book. [27] By May 2019, the creative team of Kitt, Yorkey and Aguirre-Sacasa left the project and a developmental lab that had been scheduled for the week of May 3 was cancelled. [28] [29]

Kitt then composed the new musical titled Almost Famous, the 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. [30]

Kitt and Yorkey worked on a stage adaptation of The Visitor . [31] The musical premiered Off-Broadway at the Public Theater on October 16, 2021. The book is by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Brian Yorkey, choreography by Lorin Latarro with direction by Daniel J. Sullivan. [32] David Hyde Pierce and Ahmad Maksoud star. [33]

Kitt is the composer of the musical titled Flying Over Sunset , which was 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. [34] [35] The show was postponed when Broadway shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [36] It was announced in May 2021 that the show would resume production on November 4, 2021 in previews, with the official opening on December 6, 2021. [37] [38]

Kitt has signed on to compose the upcoming Looney Tunes animated musical film, Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical, with lyrics and screenplay by Ariel Dumas of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert . [39] [40]

Performance & The Tom Kitt Band

Kitt has performed his own songs in a one-man show at various venues such as the Bitter End in New York. [41] He is the founder of The Tom Kitt Band, in which he plays piano. The band's first album is Find Me. [42] 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.

Personal life

He married Rita Pietropinto in 2000. [5] They have three children. [43]


Work as arranger, orchestrator, music director

Awards and nominations

Tony Awards

2009 Best Original Score Next to NormalWon
Best Orchestrations Won
2014Best Original ScoreIf/ThenNominated
2018Best OrchestrationsSpongeBob SquarePantsNominated
2020Jagged Little PillNominated
2022Best Original ScoreFlying Over SunsetNominated
2023Almost FamousNominated

All awards

2008 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music Next to Normal Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New ScoreNominated
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 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics "Bigger!" (from 67th Tony Awards )Won [47]
Tony Award Best Original Score If/Then Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New ScoreNominated
2016 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Music in a Play Cymbeline Nominated
2018 Tony Award Best Orchestrations SpongeBob SquarePants Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Orchestrations Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New ScoreWon
Outstanding OrchestrationsNominated
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 OrchestrationsHonoree
Tony Award Best Orchestrations Nominated
Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Won
2022 Tony Award Best Original Score Flying Over Sunset Nominated
2023 Tony Award Best Original Score Almost Famous Nominated

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