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Side show

By SHARON FINK, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 7, 2002

SHE'LL SOON HAVE LOTS OF COMPANY: Hollywood's plan to remake Peter Pan as a story of Wendy's sexual awakening has one member of author J.M. Barrie's family using the words "appalling" and "horrifying."

"It is a shame the play is being treated in this way. My father and Mr. Barrie would have been horrified," says 73-year-old Laura Duguid, whose father was adopted by Barrie and who is Barrie's goddaughter.

The movie is to be directed by P.J. Hogan, best-known for Muriel's Wedding and My Best Friend's Wedding, and it will heavily embellish the relationship between Peter and Wendy to show her developing sexual fantasies about him, London's Sunday Telegraph says. Wendy's love will be unrequited, which the producers hope will add a tragic element.

Duguid, who says she remembers Barrie from her childhood (he died in 1937 at 77), said that plot grossly misrepresents Wendy's character.

Hogan has begun a search for a 12- or 13-year-old girl to play Wendy and a boy of the same age to play Peter.

DESPERATELY SEEKING TALENT: No, the critics weren't just being petty. After all these years, Madonna has a problem with that acting thing.

At Monday night's performance of her London play Up for Grabs, she ran into trouble in a scene that required her to answer a cell phone. The phone rang. Madonna fumbled to find it in the coat she was wearing. She found it, which she was supposed to do. She dropped it, which she wasn't supposed to do. The phone broke in two. She tried to put it back together. She started to laugh, then covered her face.

"The audience applauded to display their support, and the show went on," the pro-Madonna says. Of course it did. This isn't a play; it's a Madonna performance piece.

Anyway . . .

A few weeks ago, says, Madonna's blouse came unbuttoned during a scene with a co-star. The co-star ad-libbed to Madonna to "cover yourself up," but Madonna shrieked when she saw her gray bra peaking out of her blouse. Madonna later tried to slip in an ad-libbed line. Perhaps it was, "I usually don't have a problem showing my bra in public."

HER PROBLEMS ARE BEHIND HER NOW: Undercover Brother co-star Denise Richards was fuming a few weeks ago when she saw a poster for the movie and realized her posterior had been digitally enhanced to look bigger.

Friends would mention that they didn't realize her rear end was that big, and she would scream that it wasn't. But Richards has recently started getting compliments on the poster, and she's mellowing.

" Brian (Grazer, the film's producer, is) a marketing genius," she says in a report. "I'm getting so many compliments that I've started saying, "Yeah, that's my behind.' "

Meanwhile, fiance Charlie Sheen is helping to relieve any embarrassment she still feels by joking that the poster depicts his rear end superimposed onto her body.

A LITTLE TOO QUICK WITH THE RAZOR: Actor Hugh Jackman (Kate & Leopold), seen on Sunday's Tony Awards telecast with a beard, is growing one to return as Wolverine in the next X-Men movie. And he's growing it for the second time this time around.

"I grew it for X-Men 2, which got delayed, so I shaved it off," he tells the New York Post. "And half an hour later they called and said, "We start June 17.' So I'm starting again, hoping it grows quickly, because they asked me if I still had my beard. I said, "Definitely.' "

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