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BWW Blog: The Man of all Our Dreams - A Conversation with Josh Abram

“Anyone can cook… and create.”

This article is about the parody musical being overseen by Josh Abram. For the production that premiered on January 1 benefitting The Actor's Fund, see our Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical Guide here.

BWW Blog: The Man of all Our Dreams - A Conversation with Josh AbramJosh Abram, the creative director of RATATOUILLE: THE TIK TOK PARODY MUSICAL wants the world to know "Anyone can cook... and create theatre."

What started as a song by Emily Jacobson (@em_jaccs on Tik Tok) became an internet phenomenon, and introduced us to a brand new way of collaboration in theatre. I spoke with Abram over Zoom about how it all started.

Josh Abram (@josh_abram_ on Instagram) is a theatre veteran from his youth, as well as a puppeteer. He says that he's always had the "urge to perform" for others. Graduating from Saginaw Valley State University right before the pandemic hit, he had been doing shows regionally. Now, he continues to create art virtually. His current projects include RENT on Smule (@rentonsmule on Instagram) premiering on December 24th at 9PM EST on Facebook Live, as well as, of course, RATATOUILLE: THE TIK TOK PARODY MUSICAL.

Abram says that he was amazed by the videos that he saw, and believed that it has "actual potential to be translated to the stage". There were thought-provoking concepts, musical compositions, and the like. But, for Abram, the major component that was missing was organization. That's why he created the Tik Tok account @ratatouillemusical.

"I made a video asking people for help," he says, "and the response was absolutely astounding, overwhelming, and completely unexpected... especially from Disney and Pixar themselves."

He continues with, "What really amazes me is that people who haven't been involved in theatre in any capacity before are suddenly inspired to create. That's what I love about this project so far - it really hits home about the point in the movie that 'anyone can cook', and anyone can be a part of theatre. Anyone can create. Theatre is for everyone, and it is inspiring to see so many gaining and taking part in a creative outlet during these difficult times."

Abram says that he'd like to give a shoutout to all of the amazing content creators: Emily Jacobson, Daniel Mertzlufft, RJ the Composer, Shoebox Musicals, and more. He was especially excited to see Kevin Chamberlain contribute a heartwarming song to the show.

As for his job as Creative Director, he's been working on putting RATATOUILLE songs into a plot that flows well and connects together. Currently, Abram and his team are "shooting towards a parody production; something that's StarKid-esque and can give people the laughs and break they need, and is accessible to everyone." The account, @ratarouillemusical, is essentially a "giant virtual workshop", beginning first with full-length songs, and then revision of the music to make it cohesive and eliminate gaps. The goal is first a concept album, then a possible virtual production. Abram adds, "I can't say much about it yet... but we're hoping to bring it to the stage, eventually. Those plans may or may not be in the works as we speak."

Of course, I had to ask Abram about his "Broadway Dream Cast" of the show. "Right off the bat - Kevin Chamberlain as Chef Gusetau." He says. "And then I'd say, Patrick Page as Anton Ego, Rob McClure as Remy, and Ethan Slader as Linguini."

RATATOUILLE: THE TIK TOK PARODY MUSICAL is the first of its kind; no other musical has been created entirely online with such a large group of collaborators and contributors. The "Rat of all our dreams" has created theatre history, and will greatly impact the way musicals are created as time goes on. "This could be revolutionary," Abram says, "changing the way we view theatre and how it's created."

What started as one video has blossomed into a wonderful project that has brought people so much hope and joy during this time. It's a beautiful example of how art will always be important, even in times of struggle. The world will definitely remember your names, Remy and Josh!

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