Remy cooks up a full menu of digital antics in ‘Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical’ | Arts & Leisure
Theater nerds like me have had a tough time during the pandemic and have missed the magic of performing and seeing live theater shows.
When it became known that the TikTok sensation “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” was to be performed and streamed on New Years Day, I was thrilled to say the least.
“Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” was created on the social media platform TikTok when actors and theater enthusiasts alike connected through the lack of live theater during the pandemic. As the idea of a musical based on the Disney movie “Ratatouille” grew and TikTok users created songs and choreographies for the fictional show, the idea gained enough steam that Seaview Productions recorded it and turned it into a full-fledged virtual musical .
I didn’t know what to expect, but Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical was better than I could have imagined. The show started with a montage of TikToks related to the movie and I was worried for a second that the musical would just be a bunch of TikToks lined up in a row.
Fortunately, this was not the case. The musical consisted of a series of video clips of individual actors placed together on the screen to emulate when multiple characters were in a scene together.
With the actors unable to perform in the same physical space, the background behind their videos changed to match the setting of the show, and makeup and costumes seemed to be born from what the actors already had at home had.
Tituss Burgess played Remy, the rat who dreams of being a famous chef, and he brought the character to life with energy, a touch of sarcasm and a singing reach. Remy tells the entire musical from his point of view and the plot exactly follows the plot of the film and goes through the most important events of the story in just over an hour.
The opening number of the musical introduced all the characters and Remy tells the audience about his dream of becoming a chef. The cast was also full of talented cast members, including Andre De Shields as Anton Ego, Kevin Chamberlin as Chef Gusteau, Ashley Park as Colette, and Adam Lambert as Emile.
One of the challenges of doing a virtual musical is making it seem like the actors are interacting with each other, which sometimes looked silly. During a scene in which an old lady chased Remy and his brother Emile out of their house, the video boxes for the actors portraying the rats flew across the screen to transport the rats that were running away.
Not to mention the effects that were used throughout the show, from slow motion to a blurred video effect for Gusteau’s mind, to TikTok effects that were used in the ensemble members’ videos during the dance breaks. This gave the show a slightly cheesy look at times.
For a crowdsourced TikTok musical that is the first of its kind, put together during a global pandemic, take the effects with a grain of salt and it’s a good laughing stock anyway.
Highlights of the show included a hopeful ballad that Remy sang when he discovered he was living under Paris and Chef Gusteau’s famous restaurant, and the dynamic between Remy and Linguine, the man Remy controls like a puppet, with it he can cook in the restaurant.
Of course, the finale was also memorable, which contained a lengthy montage of the original TikToks that sparked the creation of the show and the TikTok song “Remy the Ratatouille”. I spent the next hour after the show singing the tune to myself.
The ensemble also gets a well-deserved reputation for being the only ones who danced during the show (even if half of them included TikTok dance moves). They also brought passionate energy and charm to the musical.
While Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical had some minor issues, mainly due to the challenges of not having actors performing in the same location, it’s definitely worth seeing the upbeat songs, talented performers who bring the characters to life and the joy of seeing a musical brought together by actors, designers and theater fans.
Lillian Piel is an employee. Follow her on Twitter @lillianpiel.