CULTURE Viral TikTok concept celebrating ‘Ratatouille’ becomes virtual musical

CULTURE

Viral TikTok concept celebrating ‘Ratatouille’ becomes virtual musical

AFP

20:55, December 14, 2020

The pandemic has shuttered concert halls around much of the globe, but that hasn't stopped musical theater aficionados from flexing their creative muscles - on TikTok, of course.

Steven Chen at his home in Walnut, California, U.S. on Tuesday, December 1. Chen is a former public school teacher who runs a successful TikTok account, @calltoleap, that offers financial advice to about 360,000 followers. (Photo: VCG)

A crowdsourced musical based on the 2007 Disney-Pixar animated film Ratatouille is now set to hit the virtual stage, after thousands of TikTok creators posted original songs, dances, set designs, playbills and puppets on the content-sharing app.

It all started when New York teacher Emily Jacobsen posted an ode to Remy, the film's protaganist who charts an unlikely course as a rat who becomes a chef.

The power of her viral kernel of an idea blossomed into an organically grown, full-fledged virtual show: Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.

Seaview, a Tony award-winning theatrical production company, is partnering with TikTok and TodayTix to stream the show for three days starting January 1, 2021, with proceeds going toward the Actors Fund.

Viewers can purchase a ticket by contributing between $5 and $50.

"SOOOO wild!" tweeted Jacobsen. "We did it: A 'Ratatousical' is coming on January 1st, 2021!"

It's unclear who exactly will be involved in the final piece, though artists with actual Broadway credits are said to be taking part.

Which songs will make the cut for the final show will also be a surprise, but the original "Ode to Remy" is sure to appear, with other options including "Tango for Colette and Linguini," "Trash is our Treasure" and "Anyone Can Cook."

"The love for the performing arts shines through in the Ratatouille-inspired TikToks from theater lovers around the world," said head of the Actors Fund Joseph Benincasa in a statement.

He said the show "is sure to bring joy to arts lovers far and wide this holiday season, while at the same time will help raise much-needed funds for those in need in our entertainment and performing arts community."

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