The Cooperage will host The Weird Wonderful World of Industrial Musicals, a bizarre and hilarious evening of corporate musical films, on August 31st. The show is presented by Steve Young, former Letterman writer and star of the acclaimed documentary Bathtubs Over Broadway.
“I’m excited to be screening these strange, ultra-rare treasures for a Milwaukee audience,” says Young. “I’m bringing films that are glimpsed briefly in the documentary, like General Electric’s 1973 Got to Investigate Silicones and American Standard’s legendary 1969 plumbing fixture musical The Bathrooms Are Coming.
It’s hard to believe, but there were entire musicals created for company conventions and sales meetings. It’s a jaw-dropping alternate universe of business infotainment, and these films can’t be seen anywhere else.”
Young accidentally discovered industrial musicals while gathering strange record albums for a comedy bit on the Letterman show. As his collection grew, and began including films as well as souvenir vinyl records, he eventually co-authored a book, Everything’s Coming Up Profits. Young presents his live show about industrial musicals around the country, interspersing the films with wry commentary, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and even a bit of live music.
Sponsored by Milwaukee Record, Young’s show includes vintage authorized-personnel-only musical films from companies such as Purina Dog Chow, Hiram Walker distillers, American Standard, Citgo, General Electric, Kellogg’s, and more.