Film News: Patrick McDonald Hosts ‘Bathtubs Over Broadway' for AHFS on May 13, 2019

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CHICAGO – How does one man rediscover and revive an art form? This question is answered in the magnificent “Bathtubs Over Broadway,” a 2018 documentary about the quest of comedy writer Steve Young, as he saves the legacy of the “industrial musical,” a form of American corporate entertainment from the 1950s through the ‘70s. Patrick McDonald of will host a screening of the film on Monday, May 13th, 2019 (7:30pm), and facilitate a discussion afterward, at the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove, Ill. To purchase tickets, click here.

To experience “Bathtubs…” is to witness a miracle. What began as a minor comedy bit on “Late Night with David Letterman,” where Steve Young was a writer, morphed into a bit of an obsession for the low-keyed jokester. His delving into the industrial musical began with the souvenir records from these shows, done in very limited runs (the records were usually given to the insider audience and participants, then thrown in a back closet, if they were kept at all). Young then discovered that corporations like Alcoa, Xerox, Ford and McDonald’s hired Broadway level composers and performers to present these musicals, usually for product launches or employee events.

The AHFS Presents “Bathtubs Over Broadway,” Featuring Steve Young
Photo credit: Focus Features

After researching the celebrities associated with these shows… like Florence Henderson and Martin Short, plus Broadway stars like Chita Rivera and lyricist Sheldon Harnick, Young’s curiosity was peaked, and soon he began to seek out the people who both wrote and performed in these strange masterpieces. The shows themselves are amazing in their context, and director Dava Whisenant creates a breezy tribute to them, as well as giving proper due to Steve Young himself. Not only is the subject matter fun, but an original tribute to them at the conclusion of the film will make you happy to be alive.

Established in 1989, the After Hours Films Society – curated by Executive Director Debbie Venezia – has been a vital Chicagoland source for film lovers of all ages. Operating out of the prestigious 75-year-old Tivoli Theatre in downtown Downers Grove, the film society meets on the second and fourth Monday of every month. The audience is greeted by live music played on a 1924 Wurlitzer theatre organ, and each screening is followed by refreshments and further explored through an open and informative film discussion.

After Hours Film Society (AHFS) Presents “Bathtubs Over Broadway on May 13th, 2019 (7:30pm), at the Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Avenue, Downers Grove, Illinois, hosted by Patrick McDonald of For more information about the AHFS, click here. For a full review of “Bathtubs Over Broadway,” click here. senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2019 Patrick McDonald,

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