Creativity Flourishes in Quarantine: The Ratatousical

By Hanah Li, Staff Writer

“Remy, the ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams!”

What happens when an “Ode to Remy” video on TikTok goes viral? The birth of Ratatouille the Musical.

Not only did 2021 begin with the annual Times Square Ball Drop, but it also began with another special thing: Ratatouille: the TikTok Musical. On January 1, 2021, the Ratatousical benefit concert streamed on the screens of Ratatoullie (2007) film fans, Broadway enthusiasts, TikTok users/followers, and curious watchers worldwide. The event had raised over $2 million for the Actors Fund. 

Lucy Moss, co-director of Six, directed the production. The cast featured Tituss Burgess (Remy), Andrew Barth Feldman (Alfredo Linguini), Ashley Park (Colette), Adam Lambert (Emile), Kevin Chamberlin (Chef Auguste Gusteau), and several more. The score was performed by Broadway Sinfonietta, a 20-piece all-female, majority women-of-color orchestra.

But how did a 15-second TikTok video turn into such a successful, 51-minute-long production?

It all began when Emily Jacobsen, an elementary school teacher, created a comedic song as a tribute to Remy, the main character of the Ratatoullie (2007) film, in August 2020. Her “Ode to Remy” was later reacted by Brittany Broski, a popular user on TikTok, where it began to trend. Two months later, in October 2020, Daniel Mertzlufft had turned the song into a Broadway musical-esque orchestral arrangement.

From there, #ratatoulliemusical was trending and TikTok users were hopping on by creating more songs, choreography, and stage and program designs. Some users included Gabbi Bolt, Sophia James, Alec Powell, R.J. Christian, Jess Siswick (designer of the playbill), and even Chamberlin himself.

Through collaboration and passion, TikTok has made history with the first virtual musical, Ratatousical.

To see the official Ratatousical digital playbill, visit Playbill’s website: https://www.playbill.com/ratatouillemusical