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.
Articles Editor Marisa LaScala joined Westchester Magazine in 2003, and ever since she's blown every paycheck at the Greenburgh Multiplex. She also staunchly defends Richard Kelly, doesn't mind spoiling the endings of trashy movies you're curious about but don't want to pay to see, wishes the Hold Steady would come and rock out Westchester, misses Arrested Development more than anyone can imagine, and still watches cartoons and Saturday Night Live. You can find more of her cultural criticism at www.popmatters.com, where she is a staff writer.