Like the animated film, the musical follows a precocious rat named Remy on his journey to culinary perfection in a Paris kitchen.
Details are slim about who will star in the upcoming concert, but producers have promised the cast includes “a bunch of beloved Broadway actors” along with the TikTok creators who made it. They can hardly believe it’s real, either.
It often takes years for new theatrical works to officially debut. Not so for TikTok’s “Ratatouille.”
It all began in August, when user Em Jaccs shared a clip of herself singing an ode to Remy.
Em Jaccs, whose real name is Emily Jacobsen, regularly shares short songs about animated Disney characters. But her musical praise for Remy sparked something special.
The rest of TikTok started to chime in with their own contributions to the score.
Since Jacobsen shared her original video that kickstarted the “‘Ratatouille’ challenge,” the platform says that 200 million TikTok users have viewed the crowdsourced choreography and heard the original score.
And with TikTok features like “duet,” users were able to add their names to the musical’s increasingly long list of contributors. Of course, they had the source material of “Ratatouille,” from Pixar’s oeuvre.
Tickets will benefit out-of-work performers
Seaview CEO Greg Nobile said in a statement that he was impressed by the way TikTok users performed on the platform, a “new outlet for creative collaboration.”
Already hailed as the “biggest theatrical event of 2021 (so far),” the concert version — presented in association with TikTok and ticket service TodayTix — of “Ratatouille” will be performed only once and be available to stream for just 72 hours starting on January 1, 2021.
Ticket sales will benefit the Actors Fund, a non-profit that supports performers and behind-the-scenes employees in the entertainment industry.
Actors Fund President & CEO Joseph P. Benincasa said in a statement that he believes the project “is sure to bring joy to arts lovers far and wide this holiday season, while at the same time will help raise much-needed funds for those in need in our entertainment and performing arts community.”
While much of TikTok’s “Ratatouille” was created by theater enthusiasts who work other jobs, Jacobsen said that professional set designers, costumers and performers — many of them out of work during the pandemic while theaters are closed — contributed their talents, too.
“I’ve been tuning in myself to many benefits for The Actor’s Fund over the past few months and the idea that now I feel like my work is playing a small part in bringing one to life is so thrilling for me,” Jacobsen told CNN.
“It’s like, you did this, TikTok!” she said. “You made this a thing! You are the cause of this great benefit for the Actors Fund, to help so many people out of work.”
Though her video was the impetus for the musical’s creation, Jacobsen and her fellow collaborators don’t take ownership of the work. It belongs to TikTok — the little show that could about the little rat who could cook.