University of Pittsburgh
June 21, 2006

Pitt Film Studies Professor to Shoot Movie Scene at Point State Park July 1

Carl Kurlander, Hollywood screenwriter and TV writer producer, to shoot finale of A Tale of Two Cities, a movie about Pittsburgh, during the 29th Annual Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-They've done it in Hollywood, they've done it on Broadway, and now they're doing it in Pittsburgh. University of Pittsburgh visiting film studies professor Carl Kurlander wants Pittsburghers, from near and far, to join Mr. McFeely (David Newell) at 5 p.m. July 1 to sing "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" at the main stage in Point State Park.

This once-in-a-lifetime event is part of the grand finale of A Tale of Two Cities, a movie Kurlander-St. Elmo's Fire screenwriter and TV writer/producer of Saved By the Bell-is making about Pittsburgh. A crew of Pittsburgh filmmakers and Kurlander have previously filmed Pittsburgh expatriates in Broadway at Times Square and in Hollywood across from the Beverly Hills Hotel singing Fred Rogers' theme song for the film (

Prominent Pittsburghers also are part of the film, including Franco Harris and his son Dok tossing a football on the North Side, shopping in the Strip with Teresa Heinz Kerry, touring the new Alcoa building with Paul O'Neill, making a pot with Manchester Craftsman's Guild chief and University Trustee Bill Strickland, and visiting with renowned Pitt transplant surgeon Thomas Starzl and his dogs in his office.

"It is appropriate that this 'It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' shoot is located in Point State Park and at the Regatta because the rivers play a starring role in the film," said Kurlander. "It was at 'the Point' that former County Executive Jim Roddey and current County Executive Dan Onorato talked about how, when this city is in trouble, Democrats and Republicans come together to help their hometown, just as these two rivers become one."

Kurlander said that the film, which is intended for national release, echoes what Joanne Rogers told him while sitting at the piano her husband, Fred Rogers, would play on breaks during his show: "Fred would always say, 'We are more the same than we are different.'"

Part of the film's story is Kurlander's own journey of living above the Sunset Strip in Hollywood and moving back to his hometown with his wife and daughter-a journey that landed him as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Kurlander said he told Oprah how happy he was living in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which he says is not just one neighborhood, but the many wonderful neighborhoods that make up this region. He hopes all of Pittsburgh will show up for this special event.

Admission to the Regatta is $1. The rain date for the "Neighborhood/Regatta" film shoot in Point State Park is 5 p.m. July 3.

For more information about the Regatta, visit