Friday, December 7

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Bathtubs Over Broadway

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Theatrical Premiere Run!

Friday, December 7 – Thursday, December 13

(2018) dir Dava Whisenant w/Steve Young, Jello Biafra, Martin Short, Chita Rivera, Susan Stroman, Florence Henderson, David Letterman [87 min; DCP]
A lighthearted yet surprisingly multi-layered documentary that chronicles one man’s immersion into the world of industrial musicals. That man is former Late Show with David Letterman writer Steve Young, who discovered the strange, hidden world of Broadway-style musicals written about car sales, beer distribution, fast food management, bathroom fixtures, and more while working on a comedy bit. These shows were never meant for exposure to the general public – living their brief lives at conventions – but, thanks to souvenir recordings, they have gained a cult status among record collectors. These were not hack jobs; they were often written, directed, choreographed, and performed by real Broadway professionals. The tunes are catchy (if often unintentionally hilarious) and some of the shows achieve a true, bizarre kind of brilliance in their ability to make the mundane spectacular.

As the movie unfolds, Steve tracks down the people responsible for these productions as well as the collectors who love them, befriending many of them in the process. The filming also coincides with Letterman’s retirement and Steve finding himself on the job hunt after a lengthy career. At this point, the documentary becomes a story of self- as well as artistic discovery ending with a heartfelt message about taking chances in life. There’s even a fun cameo from one of our favorite places in the film! Staff Pick: Alissa

“Dava Whisenant’s endearing documentary is a portrait of hobby turned obsession, a chronicle of a little-known subgenre of musical theater and an elegy for a period in midcentury America when company loyalty was, well, fun.” – New York Times

“It’s a chronicle of an obsessive quest to compile an unknown history that combines a music nerd’s love of esoterica with a detective’s love of following leads down interesting detours.” – Rolling Stone

“The most charming documentary you never knew you wanted to see… An ode to a forgotten genre and a charming look at the unbridled enthusiasm of true fandom.” – mxdwn

“Ridiculously entertaining… a fascinating picture of optimism and corporate loyalty in mid-20th-century America.” – Now Toronto

Ticket Information:

Click a showtime to purchase tickets:

Friday 12/7
at 5:00 7:00 PM
Saturday 12/8
at 1:00 3:00 5:00 7:00 PM
Sunday 12/9
at 1:00 3:00 5:00 7:00 PM
Monday 12/10
at 4:00 PM
Tuesday 12/11
at 4:00 PM
Wednesday 12/12
at 4:00 PM
Thursday 12/13
at 4:00 PM

Brattle passes accepted. Special, Usher, and Producer members may reserve seats in advance [instructions]. Regular & Dual Members may redeem passes at the box office pending availability.