Steve Young, Vincent GeorgieSteve Young, who received 20 Emmy nominations in his 25-year tenure as a writer for the “Late Show with David Letterman,” discusses his love of industrial musicals on the WIFF stage with executive director Vincent Georgie.

Musical theatre class hears from film subject

When he started as a comedy writer for the Late Show with David Letterman, Steve Young had few interests outside of his day job. But while gathering material for a segment on the show, he stumbled onto a few vintage record albums that would change his life forever.

Tuesday evening, students in professor Bruce Kotowich’s fourth-year course “Musical Theatre Repertoire in Context” had the opportunity to hear the story of Young’s journey from not being exposed to musical theatre as a child and not sure he even liked the genre as a college student, to being a devoted collector of “industrial musicals.”

His discovery of full-throated Broadway-style musical shows about some of the most recognizable corporations in America, with the recordings marked “internal use only,” delighted him in a way that nothing ever had.

The documentary film Bathtubs Over Broadway follows Young on his quest to find all he can about this hidden world. While tracking down rare albums, unseen footage, composers, and performers, he forms unlikely friendships and learns that this discarded musical genre starring tractors and bathtubs was bigger than Broadway.

Following Young’s talk, the entire class went to a screening of Bathtubs Over Broadway in the Armouries’ performance hall as part of the Windsor International Film Festival. The festival will show Bathtubs Over Broadway again at 6 p.m. Sunday, November 4.