Michael Breslin, Patrick Foley (Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical) chat
“It was a crazy experience,” says Patrick Foley of the hectic activity it took to produce “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” in just one month. Foley and Michael Breslin are both executive producers and writers of the musical special that grew out of the phenomenon of hundreds of TikTok users writing original songs for what was then a hypothetical musical adaptation of the 2007 Disney / Pixar film. Check out our exclusive video interview above.
As executive producers, Breslin and Foley put together an all-star team behind the scenes, including Jeremy O. Harris as co-executive producer, Lucy Moss as director, Ellenore Scott as choreographer and David Bengali as video designer. “When we had these core pieces together, we went to the races,” says Foley. The entire team, he adds, shared the goal of “honoring and elevating the TikTok material,” particularly the “exuberance and inventiveness of the original creators.”
WATCH our exclusive video interview with Lucy Moss (‘Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical’ director)
Breslin and Foley also wrote the libretto and adapted the nearly two-hour film into a one-hour musical. “We started by watching the original film three times in a row and re-familiarizing ourselves with the amazing script,” says Breslin. “We had to make really difficult decisions about which storylines remain and which storylines can end,” he continues, telling everything in service, telling the story “quickly and efficiently at this time”.
In addition to casting director Taylor Williams, Breslin and Foley were involved in putting together the ensemble, which featured Tituss Burgess as Remy, Andrew Barth Feldman as Linguini, Tony winner André De Shields as Anton Ego and many other Broadway stars. Foley calls the process “overwhelming”, especially since they managed to achieve their goal that “every performer had to be iconic”. Breslin highlights Priscilla Lopez’s appearance as a “big fan” of “A Chorus Line,” and Foley highlights Wayne Brady’s “amazing” twist and creativity.
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Just last week, Breslin and Foley were named finalists for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Circle Jerk. Breslin calls the quote “shocking” and “deeply meaningful”. Foley adds that they conceived the piece as a “love letter to the theater world”. He sees a connection between “Circle Jerk” and “Ratatouille” and says, “Sometimes we’ve had to defend them as plays, so it’s incredibly gratifying to have such a famous institution agree.” “Ratatouille” has been played over 1.4 million times viewed and raised over $ 2,000,000 for the Actors Fund.
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