April 19, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

‘Ratatouille’ TikTok musical adds Tituss Burgess to cast

“Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical,” which began as a crowdsourced TikTok endeavor over the summer of quarantine, is now being served up with a pinch of seasoned actors and a dash of Broadway spectacle on New Year’s Day.

Tituss Burgess was cast Monday in the role of Remy, the Parisian rat who loved to cook in Disney and Pixar’s 2007 film. Given the doldrums of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, the animated film’s popularity boiled over in August when TikTok star Emily Jacobsen (@e_jaccs) sang an ode to the culinary rodent.

The “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” breakout star will be adding his voice to the thousands of TikTok users, theater students and professionals who made grocery songs and odes to the movie a viral pandemic pastime.

The Broadway company Seaview Productions announced earlier this month that it’s turning the theater trend into a real-life show using content created and culled from TikTokers who sang duets and layered music for the crowdsourced show, backing their work with the 20-piece Broadway Sinfonietta orchestra, Deadline reported.

Seaview also announced Monday that Burgess will be joined by Wayne Brady (Django), André De Shields (Ego), Adam Lambert (Emile), Andrew Barth Feldman (Linguini) and Kevin Chamberlin (Gusteau). Chamberlin’s casting as the film’s legendary chef follows his now-famous performance of “Anyone Can Cook,” a song based on the original film’s catchphrase.

Other performers include Priscilla Lopez (Mabel), Ashley Park (Colette), Owen Tabaka (Young Ego) and Mary Testa (Skinner). Cori Jaskier, Talia Suskauer, Nikisha Williams, JJ Niemann, John-Michael Lyles, Raymond J. Lee and Joy Woods will comprise the musical’s ensemble.

Being featured in the show are music and content from TikTok users Jacobsen, Danny Bernstein (@dannykbernstein), Gabbi Bolt (@fettuccinefettuqueen), Chamberlin (@chamberlin_kevin), RJ Christian (@rjthecomposer), Nathan Fosbinder (@fozzyforman108), Sophia James (@sophiajamesmusic), Katie Johantgen (@katiejoyofosho), Daniel Mertzlufft (@danieljmertzlufft), Alec Powell (@phisherpryce) and Blake Rouse (@blakeyrouse). Seaview said the TikTokers are being credited and compensated for their work.

The so-called “Ratatousical” will stream Friday at 4 p.m. Pacific and will benefit the Actors Fund, which helps out-of-work performers. Tickets for the event range from $5 to $50.

“Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical uniquely lets Gen Z know that Broadway is watching and they are seen: as creators, as fans and as future audiences,” reads a statement on Seaview’s website. “This event provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to harness this extraordinary outpouring of creativity and galvanize the energy behind this viral moment to create an unexpected, unprecedented, landmark response.”

Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley adapted the music for the virtual benefit, which is being choreographed by Ellenore Scott and directed by Lucy Moss.

Jeremy O. Harris, Breslin and Foley will serve as executive producers on the show, which is presented in association with TikTok and TodayTix Presents.

It is unclear if Disney, which is notoriously protective of its intellectual property, is getting involved in the show. Reps for the studio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the FAQs on the show’s website said that Disney “does not have development plans for the title” but that “they are excited to see fans engage with Disney stories, and they applaud and thank all of the online theatre makers whose work on ‘Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical’ will benefit the Actors Fund!”