Tom Kitt (musician)

Tom Kitt
Alma mater Columbia University
Awards Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Tony Award
Outer Critics Circle Award

Thomas Robert "Tom" Kitt[1] (born 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 also won the Tony Award and 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award, and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for American Idiot and Everyday Rapture.

Early life

Kitt attended Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York, where he participated in various theatrical productions.[3] He graduated in 1992. 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.[4]


Broadway success and Next to Normal

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 Theater Workshop as a team.[3] Next to Normal was well received by critics. Kitt won the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding New Score,[5] 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.[6] Yorkey and Kitt shared the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Brian Yorkey 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."[7]

Kitt received the 2009 Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition for Next to Normal from the Dramatists Guild of America.[8]

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.[9][10]

He was the music supervisor for the Sherie Rene Scott musical Everyday Rapture, which ran at Second Stage Theatre in 2009.[11] He was the music supervisor, orchestrator and music arranger for the musical American Idiot, which opened on Broadway in March 2010.[12]

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."[13]

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."[14]

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.[15][16] Miranda later called Kitt, "one of the best melodists of our generation," and attributed personal growth and education to their relationship.[17]

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 Rogers 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.[18][19]

Kitt and Yorkey have written the musical adaption of the book (and films) Freaky Friday, with the book by Bridget Carpenter. The musical, developed by Disney Theatrical, begins performances at the Signature Theatre, Arlington, Virginia on October 4, 2016. Directed by Christopher Ashley, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, the cast features Emma Hunton, Jason Gotay and Heidi Blickenstaff.[20][21]

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.[22] He is the founder of The Tom Kitt Band, in which he plays piano. The band's first album is Find Me.[23] 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

Kitt is reteaming with Brian Yorkey for a musical adaption of Magic Mike, with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa writing the book.[24] Kitt and Yorkey are also working on stage adaptions of The Visitor.[25]

Personal life

He married Rita Pietropinto in 2000.[4] They have three children.[26]


Work as arranger, orchestrator, music director


  1. "WEDDINGS - Rita Pietropinto, Thomas Kitt". 2000-10-29. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  2. "The Pulitzer Prizes | Drama". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  3. 1 2 Lascala, Marisa (July 20, 2010). "Tom Kitt's Big Year". Westchester Magazine. Retrieved July 29, 2010.
  4. 1 2 Shuster, Yelena. "Composer Tom Kitt ’96 brings book, film hit High Fidelity to Broadway", November–December 2006
  5. Gans, Andrew. "South Pacific Is Big Winner in Outer Critics Circle Awards", May 12, 2008
  6. Gans, Andrew and Jones, Kenneth.Nominations for 2009 Tony Awards Announced; Billy Elliot Earns 15 Nominations,", May 5, 2009
  7. Hetrick, Adam. "Next to Normal Wins 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama"., April 12, 2010
  8. Gans, Andrew. "Ives, Kitt, Pen and Wilson Win Dramatists Guild of America Awards"., July 20, 2009
  9. Playbill biography, accessed February 19, 2009
  10. "From Up Here | Samuel French". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  11. Hernandez, Ernio. "Everyday Rapture, Starring Sherie Rene Scott, Opens Off-Broadway,", May 3, 2009
  12. Jones, Kenneth. American Idiot Will Rock Broadway's St. James Starting March 24"., January 5, 2010
  13. Tommasini, Anthony."Musical Spells Cast in Theatrical Margins"The New York Times, July 19, 2010
  14. Hetrick, Adam.Brian Yorkey-Tom Kitt Musical In Your Eyes Set for Village Originals Series", August 2, 2010
  15. Staff." 'Bring It On' Musical from Kitt, Miranda, Whitty & Green to Premiere at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre", February 26, 2010
  16. Listing
  17. Browne, Rembert. "Genius: A Conversation With 'Hamilton' Maestro Lin-Manuel Miranda". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  18. Hetrick, Adam. "Miguel Cervantes, Curtis Holbrook, Ryann Redmond Join Broadway's 'If/Then'; Complete Cast and Creative Team Announced", August 27, 2013
  19. Staff. "The Verdict: Critics Review New Broadway Musical 'If/Then', Starring Idina Menzel", March 30, 2014
  20. Gioia, Michael. " 'Freaky Friday,' With Emma Hunton and Heidi Blickenstaff, Begins Performances" Playbill, October 4, 2016
  21. Rothstein, Mervyn. "What To Expect from 'Freaky Friday' the Musical" Playbill, October 4, 2016
  22. Wong, Wayman. "The Leading Men"., May 1, 2003
  23. Ehren, Christine. NYC's Sh-k-Boom Room Sees Tom Kitt and God March 15"., March 15, 2001
  24. "Top Stories"
  25. "Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey Will Bring The Visitor Musical to Broadway". 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  26. Staff."'Next to Normal' Composer Tom Kitt and Wife Rita Welcome Baby Girl", April 23, 2009
  27. "Tony Winner Julie White Stars in Flahive's From Up Here in NYC". 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  28. "PHOTO CALL: Shakespeare in the Park Winter's Tale at Delacorte Theater". 2010-06-04. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  29. "Tom Kitt | IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information IBDB: The official source for Broadway Information". Retrieved 2015-06-20.

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