Originally created 12/08/00

'Peter Pan' flies into Bell Auditorium



Becky Gulfvig is unsure which is more fun, performing as Wendy in a traveling production of the musical Peter Pan or meeting children from the audience after the show.

"The kids are always excited," said Ms. Gulfvig, part of a troupe that will stage the childhood favorite at 8 p.m. Saturday at Bell Auditorium.

Freddy Ramirez as Nana the dog gets the most attention from the children, according to Ms. Gulfvig. "He gets the biggest applause of the whole show," she said in a telephone interview from a hotel room in Raleigh, N.C., where the show was staged last weekend.

The play is based on several chapters of James M. Barrie's 1902 novel The Little White Bird. The play was first performed in London in 1904.

It has undergone several transformations. Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard appeared in the present musical-comedy version in 1954. Some of the music was written by Jule Styne, who also wrote music for Funny Girl, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Gypsy.

The tale of a boy who never wants to grow up, his friends, the Lost Boys, pirates and fairies is timeless.

"Nobody really wants to grow up. That's probably its appeal," Ms. Gulfvig said.

In her first professional production, Ms. Gulfvig, from Moorehead, Minn., considers herself lucky to be in the cast. She moved to New York and landed the role after only three weeks in the city.

An excitement over her first role exudes from her voice as she talks about the play and her role in it. Ironically, she plays the character who is the least excitable of them all.

"As excited as Wendy gets, she's the tame one. She's the grounded one," she said.

Peter Pan is part of the Broadway at the Bell Series. Other shows are Chicago at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4.; Man of La Mancha at 8 p.m. Friday, March 2; and the Irish Rovers at 8 p.m. Friday, March 16.

Tickets are $16.50-$34.50.

On stage

What: Peter Pan, part of the Broadway at the Bell Series

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: Bell Auditorium, 712 Telfair St.

Tickets: $16.50-$34.50, TicketMaster outlets or call 828-7700; available online at www.ticketmaster.com; discounts available.

Kids calendar

8 tonight and Saturday night and 3 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Dec. 15-16:
Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical; Aiken Community Playhouse on the corner of Price Avenue and Two Notch Road; $12 adults, $10 seniors, $8 students and $5 children 12 and younger; (803) 648-1438.

8 tonight, 5 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday:
Augusta Ballet production of The Nutcracker, Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St.; tickets $10-$35, available at box office in Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 1301 Greene St., or call 261-0555; discounts available for children and seniors.

11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday:
The Augusta West Dance Guild presents It's the Night Before Christmas, Augusta State University's Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, 2500 Walton Way; $7 adults and $5 children and seniors; benefits Make A Wish Foundation; 860-0998.

1 p.m. Saturday:
The Legend of the Candy Cane; hear the story of the candy cane and make ornaments; Borders Books and Music, 257 Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway; 737-6962.

3 p.m. Sunday:
Aiken Jaycee Christmas Parade; begins on Park Avenue at Union Street and continues to Laurens Street, then right on Laurens to Edgefield Avenue; (803) 648-6494.

1-4 p.m. Sunday:
Wild Things! A special event in honor of The Sporting View exhibition at the Morris Museum of Art, 1 10th St.; demonstrations by wildlife and sporting organizations and a scavenger hunt for children; 724-7501.

7 p.m. Monday:
Magic Murphy teaches magic tricks, Borders Books and Music, 257 Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkway; 737-6962.

8 p.m. Tuesday:
Augusta Collegium Musicum holiday concert, Augusta Museum of History, 560 Reynolds St.; free to museum members, $5 for nonmembers; 722-8454.

Reach Charmain Brackett at (803) 441-6927 or czbrackett@hotmail.com.