This was a virtual concert with all the performers performing in their own homes and cleverly edited to make a fun concert style show. Now, this is not a full-fledged musical but is absolutely the first steps and it’s own unique experience in its own right. The show had been carefully crafted to make sense with the theatre world. My favourite technical element was that during the musical interlude “I knew I smelt a rat” where the performers’ squares were cleverly edited to represent that tense chase scene. The characters were else edited to show the difference between the small characters (that represent rats) while alongside the full-sized characters who were humans. While it was impossible to fully portray this, I believe the creative team worked hard to showcase this to the best of their abilities. This show contained both back-up dancers and scenes of dialogue that took place throughout this concert which would be difficult to portray considering they are all in different places. To combat this, the had the ‘squares’ the performers next to each other to explain there positioning in a live performance which was great. For the lead performers when performing their solos the main focus was on them which helped to focus the audience. My only issue is that after performers there was an awkward pause that was supposed to represent the place for applause in a live performance however as this was done over zoom was very uncomfortable to watch.
There are things in life that you would never predict and the Tik Tok based phenomenon of Ratatouille the musical is something that I would never have saw coming. Now for those you who are not familiar with this app, it is a video streaming app where people post short videos usually with the main purpose to entertain through funny sketches etc. However, throughout the lockdowns, has become the workshop for a brand new musical. Many people will be aware that Ratatouille was never officially made into a musical so how could there be a concert performance of a show that was never produced? Well… this musical is made up entirely by the people of Tik Tok while showcasing original songs, stories etc. The show started with an interview with Emily Jacobson who started the craze by posting an idea of the show and it spiralled from there to gain the attention of many of the theatre greats. Other people then shared their ideas and original songs and these were used then to form a total picture of the show. This is the worlds first ever crowdsourced international musical and the concert seemed to respect its roots as it contained tik tok footage throughout including in an overture inspired montage which was a fantastic way to start the show.
So how did the show start it’s life from a few short video clips to a massive concert. Well all the songs, scenes etc were performed by a star-studded cast (with full credits being given where appropriate.) If you have ever read one of my reviews you would know that I am the biggest fan of Titus Burges who while being known for his role in ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ but is also known for playing Sebastian in the little mermaid. Titus bought his usual fun and campy mannerisms to the lead role Remi but focus his performance to more excitable than I have seen from him before. Titus’ singing was incredible as always and his rendition of “Remember my Name” was so wonderfully powerful and emotionally delivered. He seems to revel in the ridiculous lot high sections which showcases his amazing talent which is only exaggerated by the fact that he is simply performing in his home. Remi delivered an opening monologue to set the scene for the entire show and served as a narrator of the great show. My only issue was the fact that it appeared that most of the other performers had props and costumes whereas Titus seemed to have a lot less which was very strange considering he was the main, lead role. The show contained a dream duet for me between Titus and Adam Lambert as the amount of sass between these two performers is out of this world. I remember in production of Urinetown there was a note to performers to “move to rifftown” (which meant to perform the most ridiculous musical riff they could imagine. Adam, however, didn’t just “move to rifftown” he bought an apartment and is the mayor! There was a point where he seemed to do riffs just because he could which was hilarious to watch but also incredible to listen to!
The role of Auguste gusteau was planned but Kevin chamberlain who was fantastic in this role. His energetic and super fun portrayal of the role worked well especially during the song “Anyone Can Cook” which I imagine is the fantastical spectacular performance of the show filled with dancers, lights etc. The casting for Alfredo Linguini, who is the within the story a chef that cannot cook, was incredible. Andrew Barth Feldman was the perfect choice for this socially uncomfortable chef and looked somewhat like the original animation. Andrew is an insanely talented performer who performed “Anyone Can Cook (reprise)” excellently by giving a full-on performance which gave insane vocal, entertaining performing and some choreography which was amazing to see!
As previously discussed this show was created by musical theatre fans through Tik Tok and so it contained many things that fans of theatre would appreciate. There’s were references to Ratical rats (which is a play on the song from Cats) and also a joke about being 24601 (that is a reference to Les Mis.) The show also contains a fabulous tap dance break in a pre-recorded show that was incredible considering these performing just did it in their own homes. All these inclusions are a fabulous appreciation from the show of its roots which is very clever and great to watch.
Overall, this is an exciting concert adaption of a collection of materials from the Tik Tok videos which created a brand new show. The star-studded cast provides the star power and performance that the show needed but also helped bring in an even greater audience than it would previously have. The tickets start from all $5 (which was only £3.50 ish) and the money goes to support the actor’s trust so not only are you watching some brand new theatre but also supporting an important charity. This I don’t believe this is the end product in the life of this show and there is no doubt it will be crafted into a fully-formed musical in the future. If this is only the first step in the shows life then I can wait to see where it will end up and would like to book my ticket now! I would rate this concert 4.5 stars out of 5!