The Lesser-Known Works of Composer, Musician, and Orchestrator Tom Kitt

Tom Kitt's latest project is providing Orchestrations and Music Consulting for the new Broadway musical Hell's Kitchen.

By: Apr. 19, 2024
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The Lesser-Known Works of Composer, Musician, and Orchestrator Tom Kitt
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Tom Kitt has an extensive career as a composer, musician, orchestrator, and more for stage and screen. His latest project is providing Orchestrations and Music Consulting for the new Broadway musical Hell's Kitchen, which opens tomorrow at the Shubert Theatre.

Perhaps best known for his Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning work on the musical Next to Normal, and later Bring It On and If/Then, Kitt's career has continued to flourish even more in recent years. As Kitt's work hits the Broadway stage yet again, here are some of his recent collaborations that Broadway fans may not be as familiar with!

Freaky Friday

Tom Kitt wrote the music for the musical adaptation of Freaky Friday, alongside Brian Yorkey who wrote the lyrics and Bridget Carpenter who wrote the book. Kitt had previously collaborated with Yorkey on the musicals Next to Normal and If/Then.

Freaky Friday is based on the 1972 novel of the same name by Mary Rodgers and its 1976, 1995, and 2003 film adaptations. In the story, when an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before the mom's wedding.

The musical debuted at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia on October 4, 2016.  The musical also had productions at La Jolla Playhouse, the Cleveland Playhouse, Houston's Alley Theater, Virginia Musical Theatre, and Horizon Theatre Company.

A film adaptation was released on Disney Channel in 2018. Coinciding with the release of the film, a one-act version of the stage musical (featuring all the songs used in the DCOM adaptation) was made available on August 10, 2018 for licensing.

Grease Live!

Grease Live! is an American television special that was originally broadcast by Fox on January 31, 2016. It was a live, televised remake of the 1978 film Grease, executive produced by Marc Platt, directed by Thomas Kail, and starring Aaron TveitJulianne HoughCarlos PenaVegaVanessa Hudgens and Jordan Fisher.

Tom Kitt wrote one of the songs for the production, "All I Need Is an Angel". The song was written for the character of Frenchy (Carly Rae Jepsen). Kitt once again collaborated with Brian Yorkey on the track.

Kitt also served as music supervisor for the production.


Dave is a musical with music by Tom Kitt, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, and a book by Benjamin and Thomas Meehan. The musical is based on the 1993 film of the same name written by Gary Ross.

Dave made its world premiere try-out at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. in July 2018. The musical centers on Dave Kovic, a high school teacher (and presidential look-alike) who is hired by the Secret Service when the President falls ill.


Superhero is a musical with music and lyrics by Tom Kitt, and a book by John Logan. The musical premiered off-Broadway in February 2019.

The musical had its world premiere in July 2017 with a staged reading that took place as part of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Music Theater Conference. The cast included Kelli O'Hara, James Snyder, and Kyle McArthur.

The Spongebob Musical

Tom Kitt provided musical supervision for The Spongebob Squarepants musical, which premiered in 2016.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical was co-conceived and directed by Tina Landau with songs by various artists and a book by Kyle Jarrow. It is based on the Nickelodeon animated television series SpongeBob SquarePants and made its world premiere in June 2016 at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago. Following a month of previews, the musical opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre in December 2017.

In addition to musical supervision, Kitt also provided additional music, orchestrations, and arragements. For this show, he received a Tony nomination for Best Orchestrations.

Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels is a jukebox musical comedy with music and lyrics from the catalog of The Go-Go's. Jeff Whitty conceived the show and wrote the original book, which was then adapted by James Magruder after Whitty left the show. The plot of the show is adapted from The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia written by Sir Philip Sidney in the 16th century.

Head Over Heels opened at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in June 2015, and then opened on Broadway on July 26, 2018 at the Hudson Theatre.

Tom Kitt joined the team of Head Over Heels in 2016, providing musical supervision, arragements and orchestrations. He also co-produced the show's cast recording.

Jagged Little Pill

Jagged Little Pill is a jukebox musical with music by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard, lyrics by Morissette, and book by Diablo Cody, with additional music by Michael Farrell and Guy Sigsworth. The musical is inspired by the 1995 album of the same name by Morissette.

It premiered at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 5, 2018, directed by Diane Paulus.

The show began previews on Broadway in November 2019, but closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened on October 21, 2021, and closed on December 17, 2021.

Tom Kitt served as the Music Supervisor for Jagged Little Pill, and also provided orchestrations and arrangements. For this show, he received a Tony nomination for Best Orchestrations.

Almost Famous

Almost Famous is a 2019 stage musical with music by Tom Kitt, lyrics by Cameron Crowe and Kitt, and a book by Crowe. It is based on the 2000 film.

The show debuted in San Diego at The Old Globe in 2019. The Broadway production began performances on October 3, 2022. The production then closed shortly after, in January. However, Kitt received a Tony nomination for Best Original Score.

In November 2023, Kitt and Crowe reentered the development stage of the musical with a residency at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. 

The Visitor

Tom Kitt joined forces once again with Brian Yorkey for The Visitor. Kitt and Yorkey wrote the music and lyrics, and the book is by Yorkey and Kwame Kwei-Armah. The musical is based on the 2007 film of the same name.

Previews began for The Visitor at The Public Theater in October 2021, and it continued for a limited run until November 21, 2021.

Flying Over Sunset 

Tom Kitt's music was last seen on Broadway in 2021 with Flying Over Sunset. The musical features music by Kitt, lyrics by Michael Korie, and book by James Lapine.

Flying Over Sunset is a fictional account of a meeting between Aldous HuxleyClare Boothe Luce and Cary Grant, who all used the drug LSD.

The musical premiered on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in November 2021 and closed in January 2022. Tom Kitt and Michael Korie received a Tony nomination for Best Original Score.

Up Here

Pivoting back to screen work, Tom Kitt is credited as Supervising Music Producer for the series Up Here.

Up Here is an American musical romantic comedy television series developed by Steven LevensonKristen Anderson-LopezRobert Lopez, and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel for Hulu that premiered on March 24, 2023. In July 2023, the series was canceled after one season.

Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical

Up next for Tom Kitt is an upcoming animated musical film, Bye Bye Bunny: A Looney Tunes Musical. It will be the first Looney Tunes film to be a full-blown musical. Kitt will provided the music for the film.

After starring in a long-running Broadway smash production, Bugs Bunny decides it's time to live life as a regular rabbit, but as Daffy Duck attempts to step into the lead role,he is kidnapped by an obsessive fan.

The release date of the movie is yet to be known.

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