amBroadway: ‘Ratatouille’ raises over $1M, theater community releases In Memoriam video and more

9.15.43_Joy Woods, Tituss Burgess, and JJ Niemann in RATATOUILLE_ THE TIKTOK MUSICAL
Joy Woods, Tituss Burgess, and JJ Niemann in RATATOUILLE: THE TIKTOK MUSICAL

‘Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical’ raises more than $1 million

One year ago, who would have imagined that the most inventive and elaborate theatrical event to come along in months would be an hourlong, tongueincheek digital musical adaptation of the 2007 Pixar film  “Ratatouille” culled from numerous contributions by the “#RatatouilleMusical Community”? “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical,” which was made available online for 72 hours beginning on Jan. 1, raised more than $1 million in ticket sales to benefit The Actors Fund. While crowdsourcing is unlikely to become a long term model for creating new musicals, “Ratatouille” ought to be remembered as the culmination of a spontaneous and joyful social media phenomenon that arose in the midst of the pandemic. A special edition Playbill was even created for the occasion. The cast included Wayne Brady (Django), Tituss Burgess (Remy), Kevin Chamberlin (Gusteau), André De Shields (Ego) and Adam Lambert (Emile), who were backed by a 20-piece orchestra. 

State Sen. Hoylman advocates for Broadway bailout

In an interview with NY1, State Senator Brad Hoylman, who represents the Broadway theater district, emphasized the need for federal and state aid in order to ensure that Broadway can reopen and that the nearly 100,000 jobs that it supports will be saved. “We need a Detroitstyle investment and bailout of Broadway, just like what we did for the automobile industry back in 2009,” Hoylman said. “The investment would be tied to making Broadway shows more accessible and equitable for workingclass New Yorkers…The United Kingdom has extended $2 billion to its small theaters across that country. We should do the same here in the state of New York.”

In Memoriam video released for theater community

“Broadway Remembers,” an eight-and-a-half minute in memoriam video honoring over 100 members of the theater community who died between June 2019 (when the last Tony Awards was held) and December 2020, has been released on YouTube. Against the backdrop of original vocal performances by Sierra Boggess and Raúl Esparza and many archival clips, the video remember such luminaries as Hal Prince, Terrence McNally, Jerry Herman, Larry Kramer, Brian Dennehy, Zoe Caldwell, Diahann Carroll and Rebecca Luker. “As we ring in a new year, it felt important for us to celebrate the lives we’ve lost these past many months,” Esparza, who also directed the video, said in a statement. “Normally, we have the occasion to collectively mourn at in-person memorial services, funerals, and – once a year at the Tony Awards, with the official in memoriam segment. This year all of that proved impossible, so this is an opportunity for us to process our grief and give these towering figures one final ovation.”

York Theatre Company sustains flooding damage

Off-Broadway’s York Theatre Company, which is located in the basement of Saint Peters Church, sustained flooding damage due to a water main break on East 54th Street and Lexington Avenue. In a Facebook post, longtime artistic director James Morgan said that “Most everything above 2 feet is OK; below that was under water and mud for a while.”

This week’s streaming recommendations…

Lazarus (London production of David Bowie musical, which premiered Off-Broadway right before Bowie’s death, starring Michael C. Hall and Sophia Anne Caruso), Fri-Sun, lazarusmusical.com…“Flight” (the first chapter of Mastervoices’ film adaptation of Adam Guettel’s song cycle “Myths and Hymns,” with performances from Renée Fleming, Kelli O’Hara and Norm Lewis), Jan. 13, mastervoices.org.

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