Ratatouille the Tik-Tok Musical

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Kendall Dexter, Staff Writer

If you have an obsession with the app TikTok or the movie “Ratatouille”, then you have probably heard about “Ratatouille the TikTok Musical”. In short this is a virtual musical that was created on an app called TikTok. After only a few months, many Broadway performers, actors, dancers, and crew members put on this virtual musical. This musical opened for one day only, and tickets could be purchased for five dollars. After just one night, this show raised 1 million dollars for the Actors Fund, an organization that supports people working in performing arts and entertainment. This year, more than ever, these performers need the help. After almost the whole world shut down, many Broadway shows closed and performances were delayed, leaving many without jobs or a source of income. After raising 1 million dollars, the cast and crew of the “Ratatousical” went live on TikTok for one last encore performance. After their official closing night, an additional 1 million dollars was raised, resulting in a final amount of 2 million dollars to go towards the actors fund. To think that this musical was created through the collaboration of hundreds of TikTokers is insane, but the success that this musical had with only two performances is truly astounding. 

It all started when Emily Jacobsen posted a ten second video to TikTok celebrating Remy the rat from “Ratatouille” in August of 2020. Over the next few months, composers, choreographers, and actors posted contributions to what would eventually become an entire hour long musical. The “Ratatousical” was the first collaborative musical that was crowd sourced. TikTokers and Broadway professionals worked together to form and perfect choreography and countless musical numbers, all of which began on an app. This musical was created almost completely virtually. This was nothing new as we have been living in a pandemic for the past several months, but to put on a musical entirely with technology and without an audience was something that no one had ever seen or done before. 

After a few months of work, the cast of “Ratatouille the TikTok Musical” was announced. People were thrilled to see that their favorite performers would be a part of this sensation. Tituss Burgess, a performer best known for starring in countless Broadway musicals and the Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” would land the main role of Remy. Kevin Chamberlin, another Broadway performer, most commonly known for his role as Bertram on the Disney show “Jessie”, starred in this musical as Gusteau. Andrew Barth Feldman, best known for his incredible performance as Evan in the Tony Award winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen” would play the role of Linguini. Not to mention, Adam Lambert as Emile, Wayne Brady as Django, Andre De Shields as Ego, Priscilla Lopez as Mabel, Ashley Park as Colette, Owen Tabaka as young Ego, and Mary Testa as Skinner. Also featured in the “Rataousical” was the Broadway Sinfonietta orchestra, Cori Jaskier, Talia Suskauer, Nikisha Williams, JJ Niemann, John Michael Lyles, Raymond J. Lee, and Joy Woods in the ensemble.

Throughout the musical there were effects and choreography that clearly referenced TikTok. These moments acknowledge the hundreds of people that worked together on this musical. Although the “Ratatousical” does not exactly replicate the environment of an in person performance, the hard work and dedication put into this musical lets anyone watching know that performers are not giving up, and musical performances can still be enjoyed through a screen. Overall, this musical was a phenomenal way to start the new year and a true reflection of the power that we as people hold when we work together.