TikTok Is Funding Its First Musical, From Creative Lead Behind Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical

Musical theater has become a thing on TikTok. This Sunday, for example, “The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical” became the first project that originated on TikTok to win a Grammy.

Now the popular video-app maker announced that it commissioned its first original musical, called “For You, Paige,” led by Daniel Mertzlufft — the creative force behind viral hit “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.”

“For You, Paige” will be available to livestream on the @TikTok account on Thursday, April 14, at 7 p.m. ET, performed at a theater in New York City.

The show’s story is inspired by real TikTok creators. It features original songs written by Mertzlufft, Julia Riew, Katherine Lynn-Rose, RJ Christian, Blake Rouse, Morgan Reilly, Alex Engleberg, Kate Leonard, and Gosz & Fotos, and with orchestrations by Macy Schmidt. The tunes include “Playing in My Key,” “Out of My Mouth” and “Beyond the Dome.”

In “For You, Paige” (a pun on TikTok’s For You page), teen music nerd Landon (played by Roman Banks) collaborates with his best friend, Paige (played by Sri Ramesh) on a TikTok song inspired by her favorite book series. Landon’s TikTok goes viral, thrusting him into the spotlight — and leaving Paige behind. When a producer offers Landon the opportunity to adapt the book series into a musical, Landon discovers that the glory of doing it all himself isn’t worth the stress and enlists the help of Paige (and the TikTok community) to turn the show into a success.

The cast of “For You, Paige” also features James Henry as Tyler, Krystina Alabado as Kaia and JJ Niemann as Jarek. Maria Goulamhoussen and Emily Maltby will co-direct the live performance of the show, with Emily and Katie Spelman choreographing.

Since January, Mertzlufft (pictured above) has been documenting the creative process behind “For You, Paige” on TikTok, providing a behind-the-scenes of how a musical goes from an idea to reality. As you would expect, the show features multiple references to TikTok trends and communities (such as Paige’s obsession with fictional YA series “Utopia,” which is a nod to #BookTok).

“Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical,” based on the song “Remy the Ratatouille” by Emily Jacobson, became a rousing success among theater buffs (and beyond). On Jan. 1, 2021, a livestream of the show raised $1.9 million for the Actors Fund. That featured Tituss Burgess, Wayne Brady, André De Shields, Adam Lambert, Andrew Barth Feldman and Kevin Chamberlin.

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