industrial musicals

Show, Business: “The Lost World of Industrial Musicals”

Author and collector Steve Young brings an odd corner of American musicals to light in a Wednesday show at the Hollywood Theatre.

The 1950s and 60s are often considered the Golden Age of American musicals, both on stage and film. A special confluence of innovation in storytelling, songwriting and choreography coincided with the last vestiges of pop-cultural naiveté to produce classics such as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Oklahoma!,” and “West Side Story.”
But these years also saw the birth of a different sort of American musical, one that will be showcased on Wednesday, July 20, at the Hollywood Theatre, when author and collector Steve Young will present “The Lost World of Industrial Musicals.” These productions were designed for a very specific audience–attendees at corporate sales conventions—and were never intended for public consumption. Their goal was to introduce a new product line, or boost morale for the coming year, and the results are frequently surreal.

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