Bathtubs Over Broadway

While looking for quirky records to mock on the Late Night with David Letterman show, comedy writer Steve Young came across a forgotten subgenre of musical theatre – so-called industrial musical. As he began to study the phenomenon further, he found hundreds of songs that no outsider was ever supposed to hear. They came from Broadway-style musicals that major corporations commissioned for meetings between the 1950s and 1970s to motivate their sales personnel. In these absurd musicals, high-class compositions met product advertising and personnel training. Industrial musicals soon became a passion for Young who said they suited his mindset which had become twisted by comedy work.

Dava Whisenant’s sympathetic documentary follows Young as he tracks down industrial musicals and their makers around the United States, thus revealing a piece of lesser-known American entertainment history. And like all proper musicals, this one, too, teaches a lesson: dare to deviate from the straight and narrow and do what you love, no matter how silly it may be.

Anna Möttölä / Translation: Marko Pyhähuhta

Language: English

  • Director: Dava Whisenant
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2018
  • Length: 87 min
  • Age limit: null
  • Cinematography: Natalie Kingston, Nick Higgins
  • Editing: Dava Whisenant
  • Music: Anthony Di Lorenzo
  • Production: Cactus Flower Films / Blumhouse / Impact Partners


  • Cinema Sõprus: Saturday, 02.02 - 16:00