'Bathtubs Over Broadway' Trailer: Discovering The Hidden World Of Sponsored Musicals

You may remember those bits on the Late Show With David Letterman, in which the host introduced obscure vinyl records for laughs in a recurring segment called "Dave's Record Collection." That segment actually stemmed from an hobby held by Late Show writer Steve Young, who in the mid-nineties became obsessed with the hidden world of industrial musicals, curating a vast collection of sponsored musicals that hawked everything from cars, to cereal, to — yes — bathtubs.

Now his obsession becomes a full-fledged film in the Dava Whisenant documentary Bathtubs Over Broadway, which oddly debuts a trailer nearly a month after the movie hit theaters. But regardless, take a look at the Bathtubs Over Broadway trailer below.

Bathtubs Over Broadway Trailer

Bathtubs Over Broadway takes a deep dive into the odd curios of Steve Young's collection of sponsored musical vinyls — a collection he initially began because he found the LPs "unintentionally hilarious," but slowly discovered that — beneath the absurd promotions and songs about appendectomies — there was a sincere spark of creativity.

The documentary chronicles Young's exploration into this exclusive world that was hidden from the public, going on to interview major artists, actors, and directors who were involved with these musicals before becoming famous. Those include composers like Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof), John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret), actors like Chita Rivera, Florence Henderson, Bob Newhart, and Martin Short, and directors including Bob Fosse and Susan Stroman.

It seems like a fascinating documentary, though I can't figure why Focus Features released a trailer after the film hit theaters on November 30, 2018. But the film continues to play in select theaters now.

Here is the official synopsis for Bathtubs Over Broadway:

When he started as a comedy writer for the LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, Steve Young had few interests outside of his day job. But while gathering material for a segment on the show, Steve stumbled onto a few vintage record albums that would change his life forever. Bizarre cast recordings – marked "internal use only" – revealed full-throated Broadway-style musical shows about some of the most recognizable corporations in America: General Electric, McDonald's, Ford, DuPont, Xerox. Steve didn't know much about musical theater, but these recordings delighted him in a way that nothing ever had. In BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY, filmmaker Dava Whisenant follows Steve Young on his quest to find all he can about this hidden world. While tracking down rare albums, unseen footage, composers and performers, Steve forms unlikely friendships and discovers that this discarded musical genre starring tractors and bathtubs was bigger than Broadway.