Tom Kitt
Kitt in May 2018
Thomas Robert Kitt
EducationColumbia 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

Year Category Show Result
2009 Best Original Score Next to Normal Won
Best Orchestrations Won
2014 Best Original Score If/Then Nominated
2018 Best Orchestrations SpongeBob SquarePants Nominated
2020 Jagged Little Pill Nominated
2022 Best Original Score Flying Over Sunset Nominated
2023 Almost Famous Nominated

All awards

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 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 Score Nominated
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 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 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


  1. ^ "WEDDINGS - Rita Pietropinto, Thomas Kitt". The New York Times. 2000-10-29. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  2. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Drama". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  3. ^ a b "Tom Kitt's Big Year". Westchester Magazine. July 20, 2010. Archived from the original on August 17, 2021. Retrieved July 29, 2010. Tom Kitt wanted to be the next Billy Joel. He was 13, and he had just moved from Port Washington, Long Island, to the Armonk border (technically Bedford) and started attending Armonk's Byram Hills High School.
  4. ^ "Thomas Kitt Wins Pulitzer for "Next to Normal"". Archived from the original on May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Shuster, Yelena (November–December 2006). "Composer Tom Kitt '96 brings book, film hit High Fidelity to Broadway". Columbia College Today. Columbia University. Archived from the original on June 25, 2010.
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew. "South Pacific Is Big Winner in Outer Critics Circle Awards". Playbill, May 12, 2008
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew and Jones, Kenneth. "Nominations for 2009 Tony Awards Announced; Billy Elliot Earns 15 Nominations". Playbill, May 5, 2009
  8. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Next to Normal Wins 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama". Playbill, April 12, 2010
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Ives, Kitt, Pen and Wilson Win Dramatists Guild of America Awards". Playbill, July 20, 2009
  10. ^ Biography in Playbill, accessed February 19, 2009
  11. ^ "From Up Here | Samuel French". Samuel French. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  12. ^ Hernandez, Ernio. "Everyday Rapture, Starring Sherie Rene Scott, Opens Off-Broadway", Playbill, May 3, 2009
  13. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "American Idiot Will Rock Broadway's St. James Starting March 24". Playbill, 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". Playbill, 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. ^ "Bring It On: The Musical | Jan. 15 - Feb. 20, 2011". Alliance Theatre. Archived from the original on March 17, 2011.
  18. ^ Browne, Rembert (29 September 2015). "Genius: A Conversation With 'Hamilton' Maestro Lin-Manuel Miranda". Grantland. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  19. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Miguel Cervantes, Curtis Holbrook, Ryann Redmond Join Broadway's If/Then; Complete Cast and Creative Team Announced" Playbill, 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 13, 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. ^ Macatee, Rebecca. "Magic Mike, The Musical Heading to Broadway, Channing Tatum Confirms", E! News, July 24, 2013
  28. ^ Evans, Greg. "‘Magic Mike’ Musical Loses Creative Team, Cancels Workshop", May 3, 2019
  29. ^ McPhee, Ryan. "Lab Presentation of Broadway-Aimed Magic Mike Musical Postponed After Creative Team Shift", Playbill, May 2, 2019
  30. ^ Selleck, Emily. "What Do Critics Think of the Almost Famous World Premiere?" Playbill, September 30, 2019
  31. ^ Hetrick, Adam (2014-10-20). "Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey Will Bring The Visitor Musical to Broadway". Retrieved May 14, 2022.
  32. ^ The Visitor, accessed August 21, 2019
  33. ^ 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
  34. ^ Clement, Olivia. "Carmen Cusack, Harry Hadden-Paton, and Tony Yazbeck to Lead Cast of New Broadway Musical Flying Over Sunset". Playbill, August 20, 2019
  35. ^ " Flying Over Sunset Lincoln Center", accessed August 21, 2019
  36. ^ Rosky, Nicole (March 24, 2020). "Breaking: Lincoln Center Theater Pushes FLYING OVER SUNSET and INTIMATE APPAREL to Fall 2020". BroadwayWorld.
  37. ^ Evans, Greg (May 13, 2021). "'Flying Over Sunset' Musical Announces November Broadway Landing". Deadline.
  38. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Lincoln Center Theater's Flying Over Sunset Will Open This Fall; Intimate Apparel Sets 2022 Dates" Playbill, May 13, 2021
  39. ^ a b Rice, Lynette (15 June 2022). "'Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical' In The Works For HBO Max & Cartoon Network". Deadline. Retrieved 25 July 2022.
  40. ^ a b Hopewell, John (June 15, 2022). "HBO Max, Cartoon Network to Bow 'Bye Bye Bunny'". Variety. Retrieved July 25, 2022.
  41. ^ Wong, Wayman. "THE LEADING MEN: The Marc of Excellence"., May 1, 2003
  42. ^ Ehren, Christine. NYC's Sh-k-Boom Room Sees Tom Kitt and God March 15". ‘’Playbill’’, March 15, 2001
  43. ^ Staff. "'Next to Normal' Composer Tom Kitt and Wife Rita Welcome Baby Girl", April 23, 2009
  44. ^ Jones, Kenneth (2008-03-27). "Tony Winner Julie White Stars in Flahive's From Up Here in NYC". Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  45. ^ Blank, Matthew (2010-06-04). "PHOTO CALL: Shakespeare in the Park Winter's Tale at Delacorte Theater". Retrieved 2022-05-14.
  46. ^ "Tom Kitt". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  47. ^ "2014 Creative Arts Emmy Award Winners". The Television Academy. August 18, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2017.