High Fidelity: A musical about life, love & mix tapes – Metro US

High Fidelity: A musical about life, love & mix tapes

To hipsters, making High Fidelity into a musical should be impossible. The original Nick Hornby novel was about young men bickering over a thousand different genres of pop, which the 2000 film version captured brilliantly.

But Tony Award-winning composer Tom Kitt explains, if you put the story first, the sound will follow.

“The main character Rob expresses himself through different musical styles,” explains Kitt by phone, “which dictate his life and his decisions. Instead of representing all the styles, I try to musically represent the musicians that Rob admires.”

The trick here is to assemble a song making lots of references to a songwriter’s output. It’s like a collage effect, or a greatest hits compilation all within a single number.

“Bruce Springsteen makes an appearance in the movie when Rob is writing down his top five breakups,” recalls Kitt, “and it’s obvious and touching how deeply Rob relates to Springsteen’s music. So I wrote a song with Amanda (Green, the musical’s lyricist) titled Goodbye and Good Luck, which is like a homage to Springsteen.”

Goodbye and Good Luck, Kitt & Green’s tribute to Springsteen, certainly seems to touch on The Boss’s best moments, referring to classic tunes like Thunder Road, She’s the One, Born to Run, The River, Rosalita, and many others.

This is a way to make music about music that neither rips off the original composer, nor trivializes the lasting value of these songs.

High Fidelity begins at Toronto’s Hart House Theatre today.