By Mallory Harris | Staff Writer
The infamous TikTok app has taken the nation by storm from hitting millions of users to President Trump attempting to shut it down. While funny videos and cool transitions seem endless, one idea was too much to just stay on the app: Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.
With ideas circulating from the original film around October, many people became involved and created new material, including songs, dance numbers, duets, costumes, scene settings and more. Within three months, the passion and energy grew to the point where one brave soul was needed to step up and put it all together.
Incorporating work from more than ten different creators, some material was made by professionals and some by college students. For example, Sophia James was a college student when she created a song for the play while Daniel Mertzlufft served as the music supervisor, arranger, and songwriter. With help from Seaview Productions and director Lucy Moss, they brought together all the pieces for a Broadway play.
The cast list held a surprising stack of actors, including Tituss Burgess, Kevin Chamberlin and André De Shields. From Tony, Grammy and Emmy nominees, these actors bring a lot to the table.
With little time to spare as the premiere date of Jan. 1 was approaching, Time magazine said, “The point was to really lean into the aesthetic of TikTok, which is totally frenetic and DIY.”
In their respective scenes, each actor filmed in isolation with whatever props, backdrops, and makeup they had on hand.
Throughout the global pandemic, many departments shut down leaving artists with no job, but with performances such as this, there is hope.
In my honest opinion, this play was nothing like I imagined it would be. I was excited by the videos I was seeing on the app with the catchy songs, and once the cast was posted, I became ecstatic. While still following the same storyline from the movie, the added songs and dances made each scene somewhat deeper in emotion.
My favorite part was seeing how Remy could still fit into a chef hat in this new age along with the new tango between Linguini and Colette. The added flair that TikTok brought and the memorable details from the movie made this play feel like a new adventure.
Even though it held the spotlight for a short amount of time, the musical about rats will live in infamy as a sign of what the year 2020 brought on. This play demonstrated a possible new way of producing and creating in a time where everything is uncertain. Yet again, the Broadway stage remains an iconic place where anything can happen.