With Broadway houses and venues across the country closed due to the pandemic, music theater lovers this year burned pent-up creative energy on TikTok, creating songs, dances, and even sets for a hypothetical musical version of the 2007 Disney Pixar film “Ratatouille.”
Now the crowdsourced mess of a show is brought to virtual life in a one-time benefit performance.
Seaview, a theater production company, announced Wednesday that it would host an online performance of the show on Jan. 1 to raise funds for the Actors Fund. The performance will be available for streaming for three days, the company said.
“The love for the performing arts is evident in Ratatouille-inspired TikToks from theater lovers around the world,” said Joseph P. Benincasa, executive director of the Actors Fund, in a statement.
In thousands of TikTok videos, the creators have paid tribute to the film, an animated film about a rat who dreams of becoming a French chef. Creators, some of whom have Broadway credits, created their own songs, dances, makeup looks, sets, puppets, and Playbill programs.
Without a director, choreographer or stage crew, the performance will be different than any show on Broadway. It came together organically on TikTok, where users only have a minute to grab people’s attention.
“In a year that we saw Broadway shut, the TikTok community virtually brought music fans together with one of the most unique trends we’ve seen on the platform,” said Lizzy Hale, senior content manager at TikTok.
Disney attorneys have been diligent in protecting the conglomerate’s intellectual property in the past. As social media has become a global force over the past decade, Disney has become more tolerant of appropriating fans and has weighed the risk of public relations in stopping such efforts against losing control of its characters.
“While we have no development plans for the title, we love it when our fans engage with Disney stories,” Disney said in a statement. “We salute and thank all of the online theater makers for helping to support the Actors Fund during this unprecedented time of need.”
Daniel Mertzlufft, 27, composer, orchestrator and arranger in New York, used a computer program to create his own song for a Disney-style final scene that he presented.
Mr. Mertzlufft, who is involved in the performance, said there was coordination with Disney for the one night only benefit concert.
“I’m very excited about this and how the TikTok community has manifested this,” he said.
Brooks Barnes contributed to the coverage.