Anyone can cook, they say — and now, anyone can create a musical as well.
Featuring a star-studded cast of television and stage talent alike, the virtual production of “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” raised money for The Actor’s Fund, an organization dedicated to supporting performance arts professionals. Through sales and donations, over $1 million were raised.
Shorter than a typical two-act musical, “Ratatouille: A Tik Tok Musical” clocks in at just under an hour and features an original score of 12 songs. The opening number, “Anyone Can Cook,” introduces the live-action counterparts of the French-favorite animated movie. TikTokers worked hand-in-hand with Broadway creative teams to pull off this event.
Expectations for this production were not nearly as high as the profits. On one hand, community involvement paired with Broadway-quality production opens a new door for theater as technology moves to center stage. On the other hand… this was a musical written on TikTok. No one was expecting Tony-worthy performances. It was comforting enough to have an original piece of theater safely created during the pandemic.
Yet many of those involved truly gave it their all — the true star of this production was former “Mean Girls” musical star Ashley Park as Colette. Park exudes talent, empowerment and strength playing a female cook in a man’s kitchen, and she’s not afraid of the challenge. With a killer French accent and impeccable tone during her featured song, Park came to serve. Order up!
Other members of the star-studded cast include Tony award-winner Andre de Shields as Anton Ego and Titus Burgess as Remy. Burgess stood out for bringing even more comedic charm to Patton Oswalt’s beloved character. The simple role of an unparalleled food critic could not have been better matched with de Shields’ unparalleled Broadway icon status. Andrew Barth Feldman of “Dear Evan Hansen” fame honors the humble ingenuity of Linguini.
The musical is recognized but not endorsed by Disney, and it holds a special place in the heart of Gen Z for many reasons. The theme song, “Le Festin,” became a popular trend on the app in January 2020, and Ratatouille re-entered the spotlight across the country. Plus, who could forget that iconic strawberry-plus-cheese combo scene? The musical adaptation is a quirky homage to the Disney original motion picture.
All composers, actors and production workers received compensation for the musical. Everything, from the audio clip at the opening of the show to the choreography to the official Playbill design, somehow found its start on TikTok.
The musical opens with the original audio clip that started it all: Emily Jacobsen’s very own “Remy the Ratatouille/ the rat of all our dreams / I praise you, oh ratatouille / may the world remember your name,” followed by a smooth audio transfer to a full orchestra and clips of viral TikTokers with the same audio.
“Ratatouille The Tik Tok musical” celebrates theater for exactly what it is: a little bit “out there,” full of heart and ever-changing. After being stripped of the lights, thunderous applause and towering budgets, what remains is the spirit of theater and the joy of performance. In the words of Burgess’ Remy: “They imagine; they create; they create new paths when the old ones are shut down.” When Broadway returns, there’s no doubt it will be unlike anything we’ve seen before.