Will “Ratatouille The Musical” make it to Broadway?

Who knew a rat could cause a revolution?
Don’t know what I’m TikTok-ing about?
Let me catch you up, my over 40-something friend.
The latest social media platform to hit the e-waves goes by the name TikTok. It made a name for itself by doing two things:
  • Allowing users to post 15-second clips of themselves doing crazy dance moves.
  • Getting accused of espionage by our ex-administration (sorry but not sorry if that “ex” part was a spoiler for anyone).
And now it’s getting a new rep . . . for making musicals.
A few MONTHS ago, a TikTok-er posted a made-up melody for a hypothetical musical based on the Disney film, Ratatouille.
And then, a few weeks ago, another Tok-er added orchestrations like you’d hear in an Act II finale.
And boom.
Viral sensation born.
But here’s where it gets interesting.
See TikTok isn’t about viewing content. It’s about MAKING content. So people didn’t just view the video. They added to the theoretical musical by making up songs of their own. Some added choreography. Makeup.  
In other words . . .
An entire musical, created by its fans, is coming together right before our virtual eyes.
(And, I might add, much faster than “real” ones get made!)
So now you’re up to date.
But what does all this mean? It means a ton, actually, but here are 3 Takeaways from The Ratatouille Musical on TikTok (and a special surprise too).
1. TikTok has tipped.
The “kids” make social media sites. Adults break them.
See, like new musicals, young people can only get a social site so far. Unless the site finds an older audience (i.e. the moms of those early adopting kids), the sites ends up as another MySpace. (Ironically, the kids find the NEW social-site because their moms found the old social-site. And like fleas on a dog, they jump to the new one.)
This is why Facebook went beyond its “college-only” membership model, and why it tipped into the big-billionaire-boys-club.  I remember when Twitter tipped in 2008, which I predicted and wrote about here (the Arab Springs had something to do with it).
And, this musical is drawing the adults to TikTok, like, well, like a rat to the subway.
I’ve gotten at least seven emails in the last few days from people my age asking me “Did you see that rat musical on “The TickTock?”
Yep, TikTok is now officially a thing.  
What does this mean for you?  Get ready to start focusing your promotional efforts on this new platform.
(But don’t worry, Twitter is just about dead so you won’t have to manage that one for much longer.)
2. TikTok is a great place for TheaterMakers to get discovered.
You know who made this musical go viral?  A musical theater writer.  
And in this one video (not to mention his previous “Grocery Store” the musical) he’s gotten more attention in a few months than in his entire career.  (I don’t think he’d mind me saying that – and if he does, I’ll apologize to him directly, because I’d love to meet this guy.)
It wasn’t too long ago that YouTube was the place for musical theater writers to break out (Pasek and Paul talked about their success being tied to YouTube’s birth here). Now, TikTok looks to be the next place that song writers can get discovered.
(IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THOSE LOOKING TO EMULATE THEIR SUCCESS): They used a big brand to get a spotlight on their stuff. I call this strategy “brand-jacking” and it’s awesome.)
3. People effin’ miss musicals.
If you EVER thought musicals were losing their relevancy, take a look at the 10 million views these videos have gotten. And take a look at how major media has gotten involved. And Playbill.com. And even Tony-nominated composers.
People all over the world are banding together to write a musical. Would this be happening if they could see one? No. That first video never would have been posted in the first place.
And our audience has kept Broadway and musicals top of mind better than any marketing agency could ever dream of doing.
– – – – – 
Now the question is . . . will Ratatouille The Musical actually get produced??? Will Ratatouille make it to Broadway?
I don’t know. But I know this . . .
I want to produce it.

See my appeal to the writers of Ratatouille The Musical to give me the rights to produce it on TikTok here:


If I had a show running pre-pandemic that was going to come back, I’d do this.

Boy did I need something to distract me from CNN today.  You?

When I need some misdirection from something that is causing me a lot of anxiety, I play “Fantasy Broadway.”  I put myself in the hypothetical chair of a decision-maker on Broadway . . . a Producer, a Theater Owner, a Director or any kind of TheaterMaker . . . and then I put myself in a tough situation  . . . and  I ask myself, “What would I do?”

I’ve played this game for Tony Award campaigns (how would I convince voters to pick my show?), staffing questions (what designers do I think are best for this project?), and more.

Here’s what I toyed with today:

One of the things I am grateful for is that I didn’t have any shows running on Broadway when the covid-curtain came down.  (The four musicals that I have teed up- Broadway Vacation, Joy, The Neil Diamond Musical and Harmony- were just about to go into the workshop phase.)  So I asked myself, “If I did have a show running on Broadway, what would I do to keep that show top of mind before our return?”

I came up with a bunch of stuff, but here’s the one I liked the most.

I’d put it on sale.

“But how, Ken?  If you don’t know when Broadway is coming back, how would you know when to put the show back on sale?”

Let me be more specific.

I’d put ONE performance on sale.  And that performance wouldn’t have an exact date attached.  But it would be a guaranteed ticket to the VERY FIRST PERFORMANCE back.  🙂

See, at a time when so many things are unknown (including who will be our next President – although that seems to be relatively clear to everyone except ONE person), there is one certainty in my book . . .

When we’re given the “all clear” and Broadway reopens again?  The very first time a curtain is raised on a show is going to be one of the most magical nights in the theater . . . EVER.

Just imagine for a moment . . .you’re sitting in the audience of your favorite musical.  The house lights go out . . . the orchestra strikes up . . . the curtain rises and an actor appears.  And then she sings . . .

I mean, people are going to go ballistic!!!!

It’s going to be historic.  And fans are going to want to be a part of that incredible, sob-inducing, standing-ovation-that-may-last-an-hour, moment.  They’re going to want to be a part of it so badly, that they’d buy a ticket for it now.  Even without knowing exactly when it is!

Don’t you think?

And if you don’t think . . . tell me below why.  And then YOU PLAY THE GAME!  Come up with your own way that you’d keep your audience talking about your show while Broadway is shutdown and put it in the comments!

And then you can go back to watching CNN.

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Marketing is going to change in the post-pandemic world.  That’s why we have a marketing panel at the TheaterMakers Summit, which starts in just SEVEN DAYS!  Get your ticket here and see some of the 100 (!) speakers we have ready to help you in your theatrical pursuits.  Click here and join us now.

There are TWO things you should do today.

It’s November 3rd.  Election Day.

It’s the climax of the biggest political drama of the century.

And today is THE day.

There are two things you should do.

First, the obvious one.  It rhymes with “schmote.”

Been there and done that?  Whether in person or by mail?

Great.  Or should I say, “Schmreat.”

Then on to the second one.

As I said, this is one of the biggest dramas we will see, played out on the biggest stage . . . REAL EFFIN’ LIFE.

So as you watch the results come in.  Think about why this is so dramatic.  What about the characters make you like them?  Hate them?  Root for them?

And as you think about all these things, then ask yourself, “How can I inject just a little bit of the drama from this real life “play” into my own show?”

Because if you can capture 10% of the drama of this Presidential election, you’d have your audiences riveted to their seats.

(Don’t forget to “Schmote!”)

– – – – –

Curious how the winner of the election will impact making theater in the future?  You’re going to hear a lot about that in just 11 days!  Click here and make sure you don’t miss out on what will no doubt be one of the most interesting TheaterMakers Summits ever.

Tonight on the Livestream: Original “Altar Boyz” and star of stage and screen, Cheyenne Jackson.

Cheyenne Jackson left Seattle in 2002 to pursue a career on Broadway.

His jet lag hadn’t even worn off when he was offered his first job.

How do I know?  Because I was the one who offered it to him.

I was the Company Manager of Thoroughly Modern Millie, and seconds after his audition, the director, Michael Mayer, called me and said, “Ken!  Make sure you get to his agent today!  This guy is a star!”

We got him for Millie.  And yeah, it was clear he was a super-talent.  And was destined for success.

But it was more than talent that got him cast in Xanadu, All Shook Up, Flight 93, American Horror Story, 30 Rock . . . and sold out Carnegie Hall 2x, etc., etc.

What is it?

I’ll tell you on my livestream when I interview him tonight!  (And it has to do with how we were lucky enough to have him in the original NYMF cast of Altar Boyz.)

Join me and Cheyenne tonight at 8 PM EDT!  Set a reminder here!

– – – – –

Do you enjoy hearing the origin stories of Broadway A-listers?  And how they are continuing to create during the pandemic?  Then you have to click here.

Is it ok if these guys stop by your house tonight?

Tonight, at 7 PM Eastern Time The Doo Wop Project, a guy group featuring stars of Motown and Jersey Boys, who sing tight harmonies and have even tighter dance moves . . . are performing LIVE!

That’s right!

This ain’t no zoom concert of Brady Bunch video boxes.  The guys will be together at Shubert Studios (under strict covid-19 protocols of course), bringing you the best cure for this pandemic besides a vaccine . . . joy.

And you can see them strut their stuff from your couch by clicking here.

I’m even offering a “dancing” guarantee.  If these guys don’t get your moving your head and boppin’ along, you can ask for your $25 back.

(Oh, and check out the VIP options that give you a chance to watch tech!)

Hope you’ll join us.  I’ve been waiting for ’em all week.

Click here to get a ticket for TONIGHT at 7 PM Eastern!

– – – – –

P.S.  Watch this space tomorrow for the announcement of our NEXT virtual event!  Or sign up here!

Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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