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To help kick off the new year, Tituss Burgess, Andrew Barth Feldman, Ashley Park and more stars of the screen and stage sang of Parisian cooking and one rat’s dream to be a culinary icon in the virtual benefit performance Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.
The pre-filmed musical, put on by Seaview Productions to raise money for the Actors Fund, will be available to stream for three days and features content created by members of TikTok’s #RatatouilleMusical Community (whose collective work has garnered over 200 million followers around the globe).
Following the musical’s initial premiere on Friday evening, The Actors Fund confirmed more than $1 million had been made in ticket sales to benefit it.
“I am thrilled that we’ve begun the New Year with this seismic event that is clearly providing so much joy. Our gratitude goes to the producers, creators, performers and everyone in the TikTok community who came together so quickly to make it all happen so wonderfully,” Joseph P. Benincasa, president and CEO of The Actors Fund, said in a statement.
The musical generally follows the plot of Disney’s Ratatouille: Remy (Titus Burgess) the rat, who has a refined palate and dream to cook, teaches kitchen worker Alfredo Linguini (Feldman) how to cook by hiding under his chef’s hat. Linguini rises to the top of famed Paris restaurant Gusteau’s, raising suspicion from fellow chef Skinner (Mary Testa) and the curiosity from hard-to-please critic Anton Ego (André De Shields).
A recurring theme throughout the musical, which is told through the point of view of Remy, was his and Linguini’s admiration for renowned and talented chef Auguste Gusteau, and their hopes that his motto “anyone can cook” was true. From Burgess and Feldman singing of their desires to be successful chefs as Remy and Linguini to Adam Lambert’s poppy tune about a rat’s way of life as Emile, the virtual musical showcased an eclectic range of performances that were fairly on par with what one would expect for a musical version of the 2007 animated film.
The pivotal moment for the film — Ego’s critique of Remy’s ratatouille creation and him subsequently learning a rat was behind the dish — offered a touching monologue from Andre De Shields.
“The bitter truth we critics must face is that the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. The world can often be unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night I experienced something new and extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. I now know not anyone can but cook but a great cook can come from anywhere,” De Shields said, paraphrasing the critic’s speech originally performed by Peter O’Toole in the film.
The one-time performance was cast with Broadway stars including Tony Award winner De Shields (Ego), Tony winner Priscilla Lopez (Mabel), Tony nominee Park (Colette), Tabaka (Young Ego), and three-time Tony nominee Testa (Skinner) and the 20-piece Broadway Sinfonietta orchestra.
Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical also starred Wayne Brady (Django), Burgess (Remy), Kevin Chamberlin (Gusteau), Feldman (Linguini), Grammy Award nominee Lambert (Emile), with Cori Jaskier, Talia Suskauer, Nikisha Williams, JJ Niemann, John Michael Lyles, Raymond J. Lee, and Joy Woods as the ensemble.
The musical was adapted for this virtual benefit event by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, choreographed by Ellenore Scott, directed by Lucy Moss, and features music from Danny Bernstein (@dannykbernstein), Gabbi Bolt (@fettuccinefettuqueen), Chamberlin (@chamberlin_kevin), RJ Christian (@rjthecomposer), Nathan Fosbinder (@fozzyforman108), Emily Jacobsen (@e_jaccs), Sophia James (@sophiajamesmusic), Katie Johantgen (@katiejoyofosho), Daniel Mertzlufft (@danieljmertzlufft), Alec Powell (@phisherpryce), and Blake Rouse (@blakeyrouse).
Jeremy O. Harris, Michael Breslin, and Patrick Foley served as executive producers.
Jan. 1, 2020 10:52 p.m. Updated to include recent ticket sales.
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