Ratatouille: The Tiktok Musical was impressive for its time frame

Image of the playbill created by Jess Siswick for Ratatouille: The Tiktok Musical

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Image of the playbill created by Jess Siswick for Ratatouille: The Tiktok Musical

As someone very immersed in the theatre community, I did not take it very well when Broadway temporarily shut down due to COVID-19. 

I look forward to the escape I face when I sit in an auditorium. I look forward to seeing certain aspects of life from the perspective of someone else. 

The loss of theatre forced me to turn to Tiktok—a place where I could experience that same escape, even if it was for a shorter amount of time—so I became quite thrilled when the release of Ratatouille: The Tiktok Musical was announced. 

The COVID-friendly musical was put together in only a month. It was directed by Lucy Moss—the youngest woman to ever direct a Broadway show—who also directed Six

Moss reached out to many Tiktok creators in order to create a virtual performance of Ratatouille. However, the choice of Ratatouille was not random–back in June of 2020, numerous Tiktok creators began composing and choreographing songs that they believed would fit in the movie Ratatouille. 

The Ratatouille trend on Tiktok became so gargantuan that it drew the attention of Broadway, which led to Moss’ decision. 

The musical may not be as long as the movie, but the running time of 51 minutes is quite impressive seeing as it was put together in such a short amount of time. 

Major actors such as Kevin Chamberlin and Tituss Burgess as well as singer-songwriter Adam Lambert all starred in this virtual musical. 

All of the actors outdid themselves with the scores they had to work with, especially in such a short time frame. However, there was one character that seemed to disappoint me more than I expected: Chef Skinner. 

Skinner was played by Mary Testa. The casting of Testa, alone, surprised me. The role of Skinner is one designed for a man, but I remained optimistic considering her experience onstage. 

Sadly, Testa was unable to live up to the expectation I had for Skinner. Her incredible vocal range did not seem suitable for the part of Skinner; I wish Moss had type-casted that role more than she did. 

I am not going to say that Ratatouille: The Tiktok Musical is an amazing show, but everyone involved in the show did an amazing job in the amount of time they had.”

Despite each of the songs reaching their full potential that the Tiktok creators prepared them for, a part of me wishes the songs were the only thing written into the musical. 

I know very few musicals containing only songs, but Ratatouille: The Tiktok Musical would have benefitted from this executive decision greatly. Though it is essential to understand the plot of the show, the scenes took away from the magic of the music. 

I think it would have been better as a concert-style musical, but I understand the reasoning behind the script. 

However, this musical is different from any other musical—other than the obvious fact that it was virtual—because of the effects. 

One of the many facets Tiktok is known for is its filters. I don’t see very many videos on Tiktok anymore that are completely rid of filters; Ratatouille: The Tiktok Musical mirrors this video standard. 

From filters that duplicate the number of dancers on the screen to ones that create lighting effects, this musical was nowhere near short of filters, which created the illusion that it was fully created on Tiktok.

This musical also stands out due to the amount of money raised for donations. 

All of the money accumulated from the tickets was put towards the Actors’ Fund: a fund that pays every one that contributed to the production, including the small Tiktok creators that paved the path for the new story. 

The Actors’ Fund may have been unique to this show, but I hope future Broadway productions follow in its footsteps and allow outside help. 

I am not going to say that Ratatouille: The Tiktok Musical is an amazing show, but everyone involved in the show did an amazing job in the amount of time they had. Despite the minor technicality issues in the show, I could not have asked for a better musical that truly lives up to its name.