• Bathtubs Over Broadway

    Directed by Dava Whisenant
    USA | 87 minutes | True Stories

In this exuberant and heartfelt documentary, comedy writer Steve Young delves into the strange and little-known history of industrial musicals: original, Broadway-style extravaganzas that turned humble products like insurance and toilets into the stuff of magic.


January 14, 2019 11:30 AM   Tickets not available
Tickets not available

film synopsis

Born at a time when both Broadway and postwar American industry were booming, industrial musicals were original productions meant to drum up enthusiasm for consumer products at conventions and sales meetings. Though originally intended only for an audience of salespeople and managers, these odd amalgamations of art and commerce have found a small but ardent fan base. One such obsessive is comedy writer Steve Young, whose desire to learn more about industrial musicals and the people who made them provides the framework for this funny, touching documentary. Bathtubs Over Broadway catches up with some former industrial players who went on to bigger things (like Chita Rivera and Martin Short), but the real triumph of the film is paying tribute to the many men and women whose contributions to musical theater remain unacknowledged. It’s a stirring testament to the talent and ingenuity of the composers and performers who somehow managed to elevate spark plugs, tomato sauce, and polyester into art.

In competition for the Schlesinger Documentary Award.

film details

Country: USA
Year: 2018
Running Time: 87 minutes
Language: English
Director: Dava Whisenant
Producers: Amanda Spain, Dava Whisenant, Susan Littenberg
Principal Cast: David Letterman, Chita Rivera, Martin Short, Susan Stroman, Sheldon Harnick, Jello Biafra
Primary Company: Focus Features
Cinematographers: Natalie Kingston, Nick Higgins
Editor: Dava Whisenant
Music: Anthony DiLorenzo
Screenwriter: Ozzy Inguanzo, Dava Whisenant

guests in attendance

Director Dava Whisenant, Screenwriter Ozzy Inguanzo and Subject of Film Steve Young will be in attendance on January 4 and 5.

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