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10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26
Not quite a documentary but too factual to be called a mockumentary, “Pittsburgh” is an amusing embellishment of Jeff Goldblum’s experience doing musical theater in his hometown. Most of the footage — including rehearsals, scenes with then-fiancee Catherine Wreford and a reunion with his proud mother — is true to life. However, many of the parts that give this movie its shape, direction and self-parodying humor are tongue-in-cheek creations.
The central fact is that Goldblum did return to Pittsburgh in summer 2004 for a two-week run of “The Music Man,” in which he played Professor Harold Hill. He was joined by Wreford, who played Marian the Librarian, as well as friends Ed Begley Jr. and Illeana Douglas. In the film (but not in life) Begley is distracted with the marketing of a new portable solar panel, and Douglas is in the midst of a fatally flawed relationship with rock star Moby.
Unscripted and reportedly produced for $300,000, “Pittsburgh” was directed, photographed and edited by Chris Bradley and Kyle LaBrache, and is full of slyly humorous moments and self-revelation. Goldblum doesn’t patronize the starstruck Pittsburghers. In fact, much of the film is about the wonderful irony of how hard it is for this superstar with super talent to master the lead in this staple of community theater. The end result, a good-natured and creative blend of comedy and documentary, is an enjoyable change of pace.
Starz Home Entertainment will release “Pittsburgh” on DVD in September.
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