Hollywood and Broadway Hit the Burgh

A few days ago, I wrote about some of the unique experiences I have enjoyed as a TV reporter. The blog was entitled “How Cool Is This?”. Well, I had another one of those moments Monday afternoon.

I was on the set for the latest movie shooting here in Pittsburgh. It’s called “Shannon’s Rainbow” and it’s based on a true story. The writer, John Mowod, is a Pittsburgh native and a gentleman I got to know when he was the owner of Tusca on the South Side.

John co-wrote the story about a young girl and a horse and the script has captivated some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Listen to this line-up: Darryl Hannah, Charles Durning, Steve Guttenberg, Eric Roberts, Louis Gossett and Jason Gedrick. That’s only the beginning.

The best part of this production? It’s all being shot in western Pennsylvania. John and his co-writer, Larry Richert, pushed to have the movie made here in town. They won their fight and the scenes are being shot in Kennedy Township and at the Meadows in Washington County.

While I was on the set of a scene being shot Monday inside the halls of Ohio Valley General Hospital, I saw Darryl Hannah upc lose.  I guess I expected to see the young woman who grabbed every young man’s eye in “Splash” circa 1984. Instead, I saw a woman who was mature, experienced and playing a role as far away from the mermaid as you can imagine. I was also stunned how many people were on the set. They must have had 25 people in this little hallway to shoot a scene where Hannah plays the doctor and Claire Forlani is the patient.


The newest doctor at Ohio Valey General? Nope, just actress Darryl Hannah on the set of “Shannon’s Rainbow”.

We’ve got Hollywood in one part of town … and Broadway in the other. The New York Yankees are at PNC Park for the next three nights. It’s the first time the Yankees have come to Pittsburgh since the 1960 World Series and I think you know how it all ended. Thanks to a quirk in the schedule, it took 11 years of inter-league play to bring the Bronx Bombers to the North Shore.

While this series will not go down in the annals of history, it will pack the  for three straight nights and I believe it will give a little insight to why Pittsburgh is so passionate about it’s past … and it’s sports. Long before the Super Steelers of the 1970’s and the “Immaculate Reception”, Bill Mazeroski’s series-winning homer against the Yankees began the narrative of Pittsburgh and it’s professional sports. There is a great article in today’s New York Times that sort of spells this out.

Here we are, 48 years after this home run, and it still resonates. Even Bill Mazeroski told me he can’t believe that people still celebrate a championship that happened 48 years ago. It’s because we derive so much of who we are as a region by our achievements on the playing field. When times have been tough for us as a region, our heroes in sport have given us not only reason to cheer, but reason to believe in ourselves.

While many outside this area may think we are obsessed, we are actually very much in commandof our faculties. We just realize that sports is our way as a region of remembering when times were bad, that we could find inspiration in the successes of our heroes … and no success was greater or more unexpected than the 1960 World Series.

I would not expect lightning to strike twice … but, then again, you never know what may happen in baseball. No one expected the outcome of the 1960 World Series either.



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