Tribeca Film Review: ‘Bathtubs Over Broadway’ A Delightful Hidden Gem

Review by L.C. Cragg

Who knew that for decades corporate American financed musicals to promote products, processes, and sales training to thousands of employees? Well Steve Young knew. As a writer on Late Night with David Letterman, he scoured record bins for the Dave’s record collection of offbeat titles. What started out as an assignment, turned into a passion, and perhaps an obsession, which we should be very thankful can now be shared.

These Broadway style musicals were called industrial musicals, (or industrials) and also served to help fledging and not yet super star talent pay the bills as well as their dues to get to award winning musicals. While there were no awards for these industrials, the collection of clips and the story telling thread of this movie is superb. With titles such as “My Bathroom,” and “Everything’s Coming up Citgo,” you can expect an historically comedic treat.

You’ll enjoy seeing, Florence Henderson, Martin Short and Chita Rivera, describing their roles in these industrials. You’ll also meet industrials’ regulars and icons whose talent may have gone unrecognized if not for this film. And while we learn of the proficiency of the directors and lyricists, some of the songs are more akin to the parodies of Weird Al Yankovic.

At the recent Tribeca Film Festival (2018), debut director, Dava Whisenant received a well-deserved Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director.

This is a gem not to be missed.

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