I’m slightly addicted to Tik Tok. I’ll admit it. I’m on some ‘niche’ Tik Toks but my favourite genre of Tik Tok content the algorithm gives me is Musical Theatre Tik Tok. I get spoon-fed a healthy dose of jokes about theatre kids, stage managers, and musical memes. I’m very into it. So I like the videos and Tik Tok gives me more musical theatre.
So this is how I ended up on a sub-genre of Musical Theatre Tik Tok – Ratatouille: The Musical Tik Tok.
To simplify this – it started out as a single joke video that fed a whole eco-system of people “contributing” ideas to this hypothetical musical. People made up songs, sets, costumes, playbills, choreography, stage directions, lighting, and more. It was incredible.
The OG track – Ode to Remy has been stuck in my head for months. I will randomly burst into the classic “Remmmmmyyyyy, the ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams” much to the annoyance of my roommate.
But then this Tik Tok trend became a real musical. I was honestly shocked – the part of me that is a producer rather than a fan thought it would never happen because of Disney trademarks and copyright conflicts. Proving Chain of Title and IP ownership would be a disaster. But somehow they figured out a way to bring this trend to life and create Ratatouille: The Tik Tok Musical.
Presenting this performance for charity on a pay what you can model was brilliant. Obviously, it was a great cause but this is going to give back to the community in many ways.
First – because it was for charity, no one expected a big-budget production and having actors film on their phones was efficient and acceptable. Second – because it was for charity, Disney probably waved their legal concerns and the ‘for charity’ aspect encouraged big names to sign up to get involved. Third (and most imporant) – the ticketing company now has my email and can send me suggestions for musicals that are for-profit. After seeing how “easy it was to view” – maybe I’ll watch another musical this way. I bet they will see an increase in ticket sales in general after this.
Ok so brilliant idea established. I’m into it. I’ve signed up. I’ve got my link – the PLAYBILL – and I’m settled in.
Well friends this was so much fun. I haven’t enjoyed myself “at the theatre” like that in a long time. The music was phenomenal, the cast was great, the Tik Tok integration was smart and overall it was an evening well spent.
Here are my highlights:
1. Andrew Barth Feldman
What a brilliant casting choice. If you don’t know ABF, here’s his mini-story: he won a Jimmy Award in 2018 then played Evan Hansen on Broadway in Dear Evan Hansen in 2019. He’s only 18 and a first-year student at Harvard.
He’s had a meteoric rise and after seeing him as Alfredo Linguini – I’m calling it now. This kid is going to be a major star. It’s his facial expressions that stuck out to me. This kid can act. He is going to have a long career and I cannot wait to see his next move.
2. The Rat’s Way of Life
I cannot say enough good things about this song. It is ridiculously catchy. In my opinion Ode to Remy is the classic, but this is the song that should the awards. It is so good. Here is the full original by Blake Rouse:
And here… is ADAM LAMBERT (yes the guy from American Idol/Queen) singing the song as Emile:
3. The Tik Tokers getting the credit they deserve.
It would be so easy to slap all these famous faces up front and hide the original creators away in the credits – but I am so glad they put the Tik Tokers front and centre. From having Emily Ann Jacobsen introduce the show, to having all the creators join the chorus at the end – they made it clear this was their idea. They tagged them and said their real names. I just loved it. I love that they included broadway Tik Tokers in the show – people like JJ Niemann and Kevin Chamberlin. It was just brilliant.
All this said – I’m very serious when I say this was the best musical of 2020 and I hope that one day it ends up on Broadway for real.
The Ratatouille Musical is no longer streaming – but you can find it if you search for it…