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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Chase

Daniel Mertzlufft: "Grocery Store" & "Ratatouille" Musicals Tik Tok Sensation

Young composer from Lancaster, New York is an internet phenomenon

Daniel Mertzlufft, a young man with a beard wearing a lavender colored hoodie sweatshirt
Daniel Mertzlufft (image pirated from Twitter)

You might have heard about "The Grocery Store Musical" or the collaborative "Ratatouille Musical" on Tik Tok. Internet phenomenon Daniel Mertzlufft, a 2011 graduate of Lancaster High School shares his story with Peter Hall and me on "Theater Talk" on WBFO: CLICK HERE

"The Grocery Store Musical" was inspired by Louisa Melcher's "New York Summer" which contains the line, "And we're fighting in a grocer story." Mertzlufft took this dramatic situation and created his musical, belting out a full throated, fully orchestrated parody of contemporary Broadway, complete with a central character sharing far too much in a pubic location, an inexplicable backup chorus over-emoting, the requisite high notes to show off his range; and an overly dramatic pullback for a minor dramatic moment. It's hilarious and attracted a deluge of attention as other Tik Tok users added harmonies.

An abundance of media interest followed. This was further fueled by Mertzlufft's contributions to "The Ratatouille Musical," another Tik Tok phenomenon. Finally, "The Late Late Show" called and asked Mertzlufft to write "A Late Late Show Family Thanksgiving Song."

He did.

It's another overwrought musical theater moment. This time, Mertzlufft asks why Thanksgiving always ends with a fight. His father comes in to sing how much he loves Thanksgiving. His mother harmonizes with her pride over the meal. Grandma comes in, already sloshed and ready to party. The Trump Republican Uncle decides that the Thanksgiving table is the perfect place to voice his views. Even the turkey and the smoke detector have a say.

As Daniel worked with the Late Late Show team, he was told that the cast and musicians of the show would join James Corden to perform the number.

That was a lie.

The true scheme was revealed live on television when Daniel saw his fully produced number performed by James Corden as his father, Kristin Chenoweth as his mother, Patti LuPone as his grandmother, Josh Groban as his uncle, Josh Gad as the Turkey, and Audra McDonald as the smoke detector.

Needless to say, it became an out of body experience for the aspiring composer. His phone hasn't stopped ringing since. Listen to Daniel talk about is on Theater Talk: CLICK HERE


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