From time to time, we like to check in with Tom Kitt. We usually talk about the Broadway shows the songwriter/composer—who moved from Long Island to the Armonk/Bedford border when he was a kid, graduating from Byram Hills High school—has worked on, including Next to Normal, American Idiot, and, now, Bring It On: The Musical.
This time, though, you don’t have to take a trip to Broadway to see his work. It’s coming to multiplexes in the form of Pitch Perfect, the a cappella comedy starring Anna Kendrick. For the movie, Kitt worked on some of the vocal arrangements. (He’s listed as “Vocal Arrangement, Vocal Producer” on AllMusic.)
“I was in an a capella group at Columbia,” he told me when we did an interview for Bring It On. “I’ve been wanting to do something about a cappella groups for a long time. My friend [and director] Jason Moore told me about the movie, and I told him I had to work on it. I arranged songs with people who live on the West Coast and work on The Sing-Off.”
He went on to say that one of his favorite pieces of the movie to arrange was the big “riff-off” where competing a cappella groups try to take the spotlight away from each other by “stealing” songs, or singing another song with the same lyric. Here’s a clip from the big riff-off scene—how do you think he did?
Not enough mash-up goodness for you? Entertainment Weekly has another Pitch Perfect clip, also arranged by Kitt.
So: a cappella—is it cool or is it nerdy? Let me know in the comments.