Bathtubs Over Broadway

NAME OF FILM: BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY

DIRECTOR(S): Dava Whisenant

STARRING: Steve Young, David Letterman, Martin Short, Chita Rivera, Susan Stroman, Florence Henderson, Sheldon Harnick, Jello Biafra, Don Bolles

GENRE: Documentary Film

SYNOPSIS: While researching unusual vinyl albums for David Letterman, comedy writer Steve Young never expected to stumble across anything quite like the long-hidden and forgotten world of industrial musicals. And little did he know that this quirky discovery would yield such a nerdy mystery and fascinating documentary. An obscure corner of show business that was meant to entertain and energize the sales forces of corporate America, these musicals were full scale productions with budgets often toppling their Broadway counterparts. Sure, the featured songs with titles like “Everything’s coming Up Citgo” (for Citgo Petroleum Corporation) and “Detroit Diesel Dazzle” (for General Motors) are easy to laugh at, but there’s also something truly beautiful at work here. Young’s giddy enthusiasm for these oddities turns insightful and meaningful, forming a community of collectors who uncover not only the well known people who got their start in the field (the film features interviews with the likes of Martin Short and Florence Henderson), but also the unknown craftsmen thrilled to finally have their work recognized. Told with such warmth, charm, and unabashed nostalgia, Young’s love for this slice of Americana cheese is infectious. It’s a film that works its delightful magic so thoroughly you’re sure to leave humming tunes about bathroom fixtures (“The Bathrooms are Coming!”).

UNITED SKATES

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