When TikTok creators posted songs inspired by the 2007 film Ratatouille this summer, they didn’t imagine they would ever form a star-studded musical.
But that’s what will happen on 1 January, when they are performed by big names from TV, music and theatre.
The one-off performance will feature Queen singer Adam Lambert, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess and Tony Award winner Andre De Shields.
The animated Pixar film follows French rat Remy’s dreams of becoming a chef.
The musical version started life in August when New York teacher and Ratatouille superfan Emily Jacobson wrote and posted a rousing song about Remy, “the rat of all my dreams”, on TikTok as a joke.
Two months later, composer and orchestrator Daniel Mertzlufft added a Broadway-style musical arrangement – and hundreds of other TikTok creators followed suit by posting their own tunes about the film’s characters and plot.
Now, the best songs have been assembled, and what began as a spontaneous crowdsourced online phenomenon will become a streamed show directed by Lucy Moss, the British co-creator of the hit musical Six.
Burgess will play Remy, with Lambert as his brother Emile. The cast also includes Emmy-winning actor and comedian Wayne Brady, plus Broadway stars Ashley Park, Andrew Barth Feldman, Priscilla Lopez and Mary Testa.
They will be joined by the 20-piece Broadway Sinfonietta orchestra, and the show will raise money for The Actors Fund, which has been supporting performers during the pandemic.
No location for the performance has been announced, with organisers saying they are “working primarily virtually to bring this event to life”.
They also say Disney has given the project its blessing, and that the company is “excited to see fans engage with Disney stories, and they applaud and thank all of the online theatre makers”.