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Bathtubs Over Broadway

Synopsis

Comedy writer Steve Young’s assignment to scour bargain-bin vinyl for a Late Night segment becomes an unexpected, decades-spanning obsession when he stumbles upon the strange and hilarious world of industrial musicals in this musical-comedy-documentary. With Chita Rivera, Martin Short, Susan Stroman, Sheldon Harnick, Jello Biafra. Executive Produced by Impact Partners, Blumhouse, and David Letterman.

The Filmmakers

Dava Whisenant Director/Producer/Co-Writer

Dava Whisenant is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker making her directorial debut with BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY. Recently, she was the Co-Producer and Editor of TWO TRAINS RUNNIN' - a Grammy-nominated blues & civil rights documentary directed by Sam Pollard (2016 New York Film Festival). Dava was also an Editor for Focus Features' 3D documentary UNDER THE ELECTRIC SKY (Sundance 2014), and she cut the doc feature MERLE HAGGARD: LEARNING TO LIVE WITH MYSELF for PBS' AMERICAN MASTERS. Her diverse experience includes serving as Supervising Producer for BBC Worldwide, an editing assistant to Steven Soderbergh, and several years as an editor at THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN. Dava is a 2016 Sundance Fellow.

Amanda Spain Producer

Amanda Spain has been a producer and director in feature documentaries and television for over 15 years. She is thrilled to be a part of the producing team of BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY. She recently produced and directed two short documentaries for ESPN's acclaimed 30 FOR 30 series: WRESTLING THE CURSE and SON OF SOUTH SUDAN (executive produced by Eva Longoria), which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival. She also produced and directed IN THEIR BOOTS (executive produced by Robert Greenwald), which was nominated for an IDA award in the Limited Series category. Spain’s work has appeared on A&E, PBS, MTV, Link TV and The Sundance Channel and her films have been accepted into Women's International Film Festival and New Fest. She was a 2016-2017 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow and in 2013 she started Giving Voice Films, a company dedicated to producing compelling documentaries for both the large and small screen.

Susan Littenberg Producer

Susan Littenberg is a producer and editor with over 20 films to her credit. Most recently, she completed editing ALL ABOUT NINA for director Eva Vives. Other editing credits include THE BATTLE OF RAMBLIN’ JACK, 13 GOING ON 30, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, and AND EVERYTHING IS GOING FINE, directed by Steven Soderbergh. Susan produced SLITCH, a short film directed by Dianne Bellino, and she produced and directed a Jazz doc called VISIONS. Her short SUNBROKE went to the L'Alternativa Film Festival in Barcelona in 2002, and in 2010 Susan was nominated for an ACE Award for Best Edited Comedy for her work on EASY A. 

Ozzy Inguanzo Co-Writer/Co-Producer

Ozzy Inguanzo is a Cuban American writer and consultant on both studio and independent films. He is a frequent collaborator and research consultant to writer/director James Mangold, most recently on the feature film LOGAN and its Academy Award nominated screenplay. He was a primary aide to director Sam Raimi on the original SPIDER-MAN trilogy. Other credits include THE WOLVERINE, OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, and THE PATRIOT. Ozzy's documentary TOMAS MILIAN: ACTING ON INSTINCT was produced by Oscar winner Bob Murawski for the Blu-ray release of the Spaghetti Western cult classic THE BIG GUNDOWN. He is the author of "Zombies on Film: The Definitive Story of Undead Cinema" (Rizzoli/Universe 2014), and "Constructing Green Lantern: From Page to Screen" (DC Comics/Universe, 2011).

THE LATEST FROM @BathtubsOverBwy ON TWITTER

@sexgeekAZ Hi Andrea, thanks! we’re still figuring out distribution 🤞 but we’ll be updating Twitter & FB with new i… https://t.co/g5kBPkcUbA

August 20, 2018

@BGSUBatman @MLBSSA Thanks! Looping in @PANTSSteve who is always looking for new material 🕵️‍♂️

August 20, 2018

RT @ABFalecbaldwin: Some of the best musical theater writing of the 50s/60s/70s was for corporate sales conferences (really). I talk to wis…

Retweeted from @ABFoundation

August 16, 2018

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Festivals & Awards

Tribeca Film Festival

2018

As a writer on Late Night with David Letterman, Steve Young’s duties included scouring through record bins in search of potential subjects for the show’s “Dave’s Record Collection” segments. Little did he know, his hunt for offbeat vinyl would thrust him into the world of Broadway-style “industrial musicals” put on by such companies as General Electric, McDonald’s, Ford, and Xerox at their annual sales meetings in the ’50s through the ‘80s. These productions dazzled and motivated their only intended audience, each company’s salesforce, which was regaled with lavish productions such as Lipton on the Move, Lucite, You and ’72, and The Bathrooms Are Coming.

Dava Whisenant follows Young’s odyssey as he tracks down these shows’ souvenir albums, finds kindred fanatics, interviews the performers, songwriters and directors, and discovers rare performance footage of songs such as “My Bathroom” and “Everything’s Coming Up Citgo.” These shows helped pay the bills for then-emerging performers like Florence Henderson, Martin Short, and Chita Rivera, as well as songwriters Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock. A fascinating and hilarious homage to Young’s unique obsession, Bathtubs Over Broadway opens up a seat alongside Young as he takes the audience into a previously unknown world of corporate song and dance. 

—Brian Gordon

+ Festival Website

Hot Docs International Film Festival

2018

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

+ Festival Website