Theater: RATATOUILLE: THE TIKTOK MUSICAL (A One-Time Streaming Event as a Benefit for The Actors Fund

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by Tony Frankel on December 28, 2020

in Theater-New York,Virtual


Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical. Notice in the title that there is no mention of Disney. You know, the folks behind the terrific Pixar 2007 film about an uber-intelligent rat chef that uses a human to prepare his meals in a French restaurant. That’s because Disney isn’t behind the musicalization of the hit movie (the ride based on the film will open at EPCOT when this COVID thing ends). It began as a crowdsourced TikTok endeavor over summer’s shutdown with members of the Gen Z community and even some Broadway stars contributing songs. (TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service in 40 languages and currently valued at $50 billion.) And just so Disney is kept at bay (for now), the stitched-together musical will be re-constructed professionally (and virtually) and then streamed Jan. 1 as a benefit for The Actors Fund — meaning no one gets royalties. Yet. If it’s a hit, Disney may even jump on board. After Jukebox Musicals, this almost seems like the next logical step in the creation of Broadway shows. Crowdsource from around the world.

Naturally, I can’t tell you about the show yet, but it’s a worldwide phenom even before it has aired. The thousands of TikTok users, theater students and professionals who made grocery songs and odes to the movie were noticed by Seaview Productions, the Broadway company that is turning this wild trend into a “community-written, Broadway-caliber special event” using content created and culled from TikTokers who sang duets and layered music for the show. backing their work with the 20-piece Broadway Sinfonietta orchestra.

The TikTok Musical will star Wayne Brady (Django), Tituss Burgess (Remy), Kevin Chamberlin (Gusteau), André De Shields (Ego), Andrew Barth Feldman (Linguini), Adam Lambert (Emile), Priscilla Lopez (Mabel), Ashley Park (Colette), Owen Tabaka (Young Ego), and Mary Testa (Skinner), with Cori JaskierTalia SuskauerNikisha WilliamsJJ NiemannJohn Michael LylesRaymond J. Lee, and Joy Woods as the ensemble.

If you’re wondering how this unproven musical attracted such stars, just know that the collective work of TikTok’s #RatatouilleMusical Community has earned the engagement of more than 200 million folks around the globe. The show has been adapted for this virtual benefit event by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, choreographed by Ellenore Scott, directed by Lucy Moss, and features music from Danny Bernstein (not Danny Burstein the Broadway actor), Gabbi Bolt, Kevin Chamberlin, RJ Christian, Nathan Fosbinder, Emily Jacobsen, Sophia James, Katie Johantgen, Daniel Mertzlufft, Alec Powell, and Blake Rouse.

I suppose the excitement behind the event can be summed up by a tweet from young Australian songwriter Gabbi Bolt: WAYNE BRADY IS GOING TO SING MY SONG WAYNE BRADY IS GOING TO SING MY SONG WAYNE F!KING BRADY IS GOING TO BE SINGING MY SOOOOOONNNNGG THIS CAST IS ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

poster art by Jess Siswick

Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical
streaming on Friday, January 1, 2021 at 7:00pm ET for 72 hours only
virtual red carpet: Fri, January 1 from 6:30pm – 6:55pm ET only on Playbill
for tickets (starting at $5) visit TodayTix

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