Bathtubs Over Broadway

Watch Bathtubs Over Broadway

"A toe-tapping new documentary"
  • PG-13
  • 2018
  • 1 hr 27 min
  • 7.6  (1,219)
  • 78

Bathtubs Over Broadway is a 2018 documentary film that follows Steve Young, a comedy writer, as he explores the world of industrial musicals. The movie begins by introducing Steve Young, who has been working as a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman for many years. Steve is a passionate collector of old records and memorabilia, and one day he stumbles upon a collection of LPs in a thrift store that pique his interest. These records turn out to be the soundtracks to industrial musicals, which were elaborate productions put on by corporations to boost morale and promote their products during the 1950s to the 1980s.

Intrigued by these oddities, Steve starts to investigate this obscure world and discovers a whole subculture of people who collect and perform industrial musicals. Along the way, we meet some of the most eccentric characters in the business, including writers, composers, designers, and performers.

Through interviews with former cast members and archival footage, we get a glimpse into the world of these productions. We see that the shows were lavish affairs, with big budgets, Broadway-level talent, and over-the-top staging. They were often put on in hotel ballrooms and convention centers, and were attended by corporate executives, sales reps, and employees who were treated to a night of entertainment that was meant to be both informative and inspirational.

As Steve delves deeper into this world, he becomes increasingly fascinated by the music and the stories behind the shows. He uncovers some of the most bizarre and hilarious show titles, such as "Diesel Dazzle," "The Bathrooms Are Coming," and "Lipton on the Loose." He also discovers that many of the songs from these shows were written by some of the greatest composers of the time, including Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, and Kander and Ebb.

Throughout the film, we see Steve's passion for this obscure corner of entertainment grow. He attends performances, meets with collectors, and even goes to a reunion of former cast members. He becomes friends with Martin Short, who shares his love of these forgotten musical gems.

The highlight of the film is a performance by the legendary Chita Rivera, who was a star of many industrial musicals herself. We see her rehearsing with a group of young performers, and then performing one of her signature songs from a show called "Skylark." Chita's talent and charisma are on full display, and we can see why she was such a beloved figure in this world.

In the end, Bathtubs Over Broadway is a love letter to the weird and wonderful world of industrial musicals. It celebrates the creativity and passion of the people who made these shows, and shows us that there is joy and beauty to be found in even the most unlikely places. Steve Young's journey is a reminder that there is always something new and exciting to discover, even in the most unexpected corners of our culture.

Bathtubs Over Broadway is a 2018 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 78.

Bathtubs Over Broadway
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 27 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (1,219)
  • Metascore