During a break in the program at the last year’s annual Artvoice Artie Awards in the Town Ballroom, a tall man dressed in a white fur coat, draped in shimmering jewelry and wearing a pair of sleek black and white sunglasses made a long, theatrical sashay around the venue’s bar. He occasionally stopped to shake hands with a stunned attendee, introducing himself as the flamboyant media personality “Peter Damn Williams.”
The spectacle was designed to get the character of Peter Williams firmly embedded in the minds of Buffalo’s theatergoing community, and to prepare them for his debut on the stage of the Road Less Traveled Theatre this month. On Thursday, Alemaedae Theatre Productions will join with Road Less Traveled to present “The Wonderful World of Peter Williams,” a play by Alemaedae founder Phil Davis and starring Barry Williams in the title role. This follows Davis and Taura Stevens’ successful 2010 play “So Fierce: Peter Williams,” which introduced the eccentric character to followers of the small Buffalo theater company.
“Before he was stunning audiences all over the world with his flawless looks, quick wit and signature walk, the fierce model and enigmatic superstar Peter Damn Williams was known as ‘Little Petey,’ a sensitive, loving boy, the product of a single-parent home due to an absentee father,” Davis wrote in a statement about the show, which explores the childhood and later life of Davis’ morally complex character. “He walks a fine line between the victim and villain.”
The play, which has a preview performance on Wednesday night that will also serve as a fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo, runs through Feb. 3. Tickets are $15 to $25, with information at 602-6253 or www.atpgalaxy.com.
– Colin Dabkowski