Ratatouille the Musical Review

Leyden Streed, Copy Editor

In October 2020, Emily Jacobsen, a 26-year-old schoolteacher from Hartsdale, N.Y., uploaded a video to TikTok of a song dedicated to Remy the rat, from the Disney film Ratatouille. The animated film is about a rat, Remy, who decides he doesn’t want to be an ordinary rat but wants to cook in a kitchen. When he meets a struggling cook, Alfred Linguini, they form a partnership where Remy helps him cook from under his chef hat.The film was beloved by many, especially those who are part of Generation Z and watched the film as children. The video quickly went viral. But the most extraordinary thing that came from this video was the formation of Ratatouille the Musical


This musical, composed of many different songs uploaded to TikTok from various Broadway fans, is unlike any other Broadway musical created before. Since Covid-19 caused the cancellation of Broadway musicals, young theater fans rose to the occasion by using their time in quarantine to produce songs, set designs, choreography, and costume ideas for Ratatouille the Musical


After seeing all the creative music sung from the perspective of all different characters in the original Ratatouille, these creators’ dreams finally came to life when Lucy Moss, a 26 year-old director, stepped up to the challenge and put the songs together to form a real virtual Broadway musical. She will become the youngest woman ever to direct a Broadway show. 


The most fascinating part of this musical was the cast. The cast contained real professional actors and singers, including stars like Andrew Barth Feldman, Titus Burgess, Adam Lambert, Ashley Park and André De Shields. Their performances were unsurprisingly accurate in bringing these cartoon characters to life. They all seemed to be having just as much fun as the viewers while recreating this beloved Disney film. It might not have been as professional as a traditional Broadway musical, with the cast noticeably reading off scripts behind the camera, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.


There were definitely many creative liberties taken by Moss when compressing this entire movie into a 40-minute musical; for instance, she, at times, took out significant plot points of the movie. In order to best keep the story flowing, Remy the rat narrated the entire show. He would take viewers through transitions, fill any holes in the plot and provide his perspective the entire time. It was, overall, a smart choice to make Remy the narrator, as the musical did start as a dedication to him in the first place. 


The biggest part of the original plot that was cut out was the romantic relationship between Alfredo Linguini and Colette Tatou. It was briefly mentioned, followed by Remy saying “blah blah blah” to indicate it was not an important part of the story. Although possibly disappointing, this change was a good choice considering the actors, Andrew Barth Feldman and Ashley Park, did have a significant age difference.


The costumes were in the hands of the actors themselves, as they were unable to distribute costumes to all the actors. 


“Our costume consultant, Tilly Grimes, looked through the actors’ closets over video chat,” producer Greg Nobile told Time


Grimes then made suggestions for what could work for each actor’s characters. Some of the costumes seemed better than others. 


Titus Burgess, who played Remy, wore a simple grey long sleeve turtleneck. Other actors like Wayne Brady, who played Django (Remy’s father), wore a more convincing grey beanie with ears, and makeup to have whiskers and a pink nose. If the musical were to be performed again, more effort on the side of costumes would help enhance the performance. 


Despite the costume challenges, the musical was a great success and streamed virtually on January 1, 2021. Each ticket cost $5, but the money went entirely to the Actors Fund to help support actors without work due to Covid-19. In the end, the production raised $1.9 Million. It is nice to see that even in the face of a pandemic, people are able to come together to create and help others.