Steve Young with a box of records

Bathtubs over Broadway

Hot Docs

When Steve Young, writer for The Late Show with David Letterman, was looking for strange record albums to mock on a comedy segment, he turned up a few that sparked big audience laughs and a passion that would last over 20 years. Corporate musicals from the 1950s to the 1980s—with titles like Got to Investigate Silicones and Ford-i-fy Your Future—literally sang the praises of everything from petroleum to ball bearings, Broadway-style.

Businesses like General Electric and McDonald’s commissioned these full-scale million-dollar productions strictly for their annual conventions, never intending them for public eyes or ears. Hooked on their hilarity and surprisingly high quality, Young not only began collecting the recordings, but also tracked down their singing and songwriting talents: stars like Martin Short, Chita Rivera and Florence Henderson, as well as talents who never became household names. Meeting the unknown stars of an unsung chapter of musical history strikes a personal chord with Young, an artist reflecting on his own limelight-adjacent career. (Myrocia Watamaniuk)

May 1, 9:30 PM (closed captioning)
Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle

May 3, 9:00 PM (closed captioning, ASL interpretation for introduction and Q&A)
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West

May 5, 3:45 PM (closed captioning)
Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West

For more information and tickets: Bathtubs over Broadway at Hot Docs