Corporate Show Tunes

Bathtubs Over Broadway, a highly entertaining documentary about one comedy writer’s journey of self-discovery through the once-rampant world of corporate musicals, opens theatrically tomorrow in New York and Los Angeles.

We’d love to show you a sample, but Bathtubs Over Broadway is that very rare movie indeed – one without a trailer!

Instead, we culled the internet to find actual examples of corporate musicals: live and often extravagant shows put on by corporations to motivate their employees, from roughly the 1950s through the 1970s.

First, a half-hour round-up that, unlike the upbeat Bathtubs Over Broadway, takes a rather cynical view of the genre:

Next, the opening number of a mid-50s’ Chevrolet musical:

And here are the GE Silcones from 1973:

How about Seein’ the Light, a 1978 Allied Chemical production that’s more like an avant-garde off-Broadway production than a Broadway-stye extravaganza? We’re not sure this is actually from a corporate show, since it plays more like a consumer-targeted pitch, but, in honor of its 40th anniversary, take a look:

Finally, we’d be amiss if we didn’t also explain Bathtubs Over Broadway’s title. During the movie, corporate musical fanatic and former Late Show With David Letterman writer Steve Young actually finds film of a 1969 American-Standard musical, The Bathrooms are Coming! That show gave the world an infectious tune, “My Bathroom (Is a Private Kind of Place),” which includes such memorable lyrics as “Where I wash and where I cream….A special place where I can stay and cream and dream.”

You can only see the film footage in theaters, but enjoy the audio here! And please try to refrain from singing the song aloud in your office once the earbug takes hold.

For info on where to see Bathtubs Over Broadway, in theaters now and soon via streaming, visit bathtubsoverbroadway.com/screenings.

 

 

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About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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