It wasn’t long ago that a "Ratatouille" jingle, now viral on TikTok, was just a tune in 26-year-old Emily Jacobson’s head. Now, the song is about to become a full-blown Broadway musical, available to stream for just 72 hours to support out-of-work entertainers.
“Did this really happen?” Jacobson said in an interview with Inside Edition Digital’s Leigh Scheps, shocked. “I’m not waking up from this everlasting dream.”
It all started when the teacher from Westchester, New York started singing a song to herself about Remy, the rat chef from the Disney movie “Ratatouille.” She thought it was funny, and sang the song for a TikTok video, with animated images from the movie.
The jingle quickly took off, and before she knew it, music makers on TikTok began coming up with their own versions, including Kevin Chamberlain, most famous for his role on the Disney sitcom “Jessie,” who came up with an ode to Auguste Gusteau, the chef in “Ratatouille.”
“I wrote the song in 40 minutes,” Chamberlain said. “I had my husband buy me a chef’s hat and I sat down on the piano, boom, boom, boom, recorded it and then the next day, it was 1.4 million views.”
Before long, and with the creative addition from composer Daniel Mertzlufft, who arranged the music together and dreamed of how all the songs would come together, a 45-minute long musical was born, with out-of-work stars jumping in on the production.
“For years, everyone’s told me I look like the guy from Ratatouille, that I looked like this character, Alfredo Linguini,” said Broadway star Andrew Barth Feldman, famous for his role in "Dear Evan Hansen."
Unsurprisingly, Feldman will now be joining the cast as that very character. "It's been a total honor," he said. "It's like a prophecy being fulfilled."
Similarly, Chamberlain will play Gusteau. “Collaboration is what’s so exciting about theater and this is the epitome of it,” Chamberlain explained. “Look at how many people are involved in this. And yet, we all started in our own little living room or our study or in front of a little camera. It’s incredible.”
Even one of Chamberlain's former students, Sophia James, whom he met teaching a MasterClass, is a composer of the musical.
Starring as Remy is actor Titus Burgess, most famous for his role in "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."
For Tony Award-winning producer Greg Nobile, the mission to support the Actors Fund was his motivation.
“It’s not just the people we see on stage,” he told Inside Edition Digital. “It's the ticket takers, and the stage door people, and the crews, and the designers, and anybody who's in the arts community who needs help right now. The unemployment for arts workers has never been higher and unfortunately, as a country, we don't take care of this sector of people in the way that we should.”
The musical, which will be both performed and streamed virtually, will premier Friday, Jan. 1, for 72 hours. Tickets, sold through TodayTix, are sold on a “Contribute What You Can” basis and start at just $5.