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NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY A musical comedy thriller in 2 acts. Book, music and lyrics by Douglas J. Cohen. Based on the novel by William Goldman York Theatre Company, St Peter's Church, New York. 11th December, 1996 - 2nd February, 1997. (44 perfs) SYNOPSIS New York City, 1970. Detective Morris Brummell and actor Christopher "Kit" Gill have much in common: both dream of success headlined in The New York Times and contend with overbearing mothers. Morris shares an apartment with his mother, Flora Brummell, while Kit's mother, Alexandra, a recently deceased theatrical star, continues to haunt him. To make a name for himself, Kit poses as Father Barry Fitzgerald and pays a visit on Mrs. Sullivan, whose husband recently passed away. He eases her suffering by offering mundane homilies and strangling her to death. His final coup de grâce is a red lipstick kiss, which he draws on her forehead. Morris is assigned to the case. After finding clues that lead nowhere, Morris begins interviewing the other tenants in the victim's building. He meets beautiful art gallery employee, Saran Stone, and it is love at first sight - at least for Morris. Sarah sees him as a welcome respite from her superficial circle of friends, and the two agree to a date the next night. Kit's murder gets a mention in the New York Post, Daily News, but not a word in The Times. Disguising his voice as Father Fitzgerald. Kit phones Morris at the precinct to protest this oversight. When Morris begins to suspect his caller might not be the genuine article, Kit abruptly excuses himself, noting "the stores will be closing soon … and I'm fresh out of lipstick." Disguised as an Arthur Murray, dance instructor, Kit calls on Carmella Tocci, whose recent dance partner, Paolo, joined God "in that great ballroom in the sky." After a dramatic clash of wills, not to mention tempos, Carmella reunited with Paolo. Kit immediately rings Morris to confess this late breaking news and urges him to notify the press. Morris, realising the case may finally eam him recognition, excitedly rushes to the scene of the crime. Meanwhile, Kit has fled to his loft to celebrate his latest escapade, while his mother's ghost looks on disapprovingly. He regresses in her "presence" and implores Alexandra to delay her "departure" f or the theatre to watch him perform. Her dismissal of his talent leaves Kit devastated and alone. For their first date, Morris takes Sarah for a picnic in Central Park. Even though they come from two entirely different worlds, they emotionally connect. As Morris tries to summon the courage to make a physical connection, Kit appears at another location in disguise as a French waiter and has no trouble making advances on his next victim. While making breakfast the following morning, Morris tries to keep his date a secret from his mother Due to her keen powers of deduction, he is woefully unsuccessful. A phone call from Kit interrupts this family feud, "If you're having trouble with mother," Kit notes, "I can dash right over and offer my services!" After a moment's hesitation, Morris declines. Kit encourages Morris to call The Times, if only to further Morris' own career. However tempted, Morris resolutely states, 'I don't negotiate with killers." During the next couple of weeks, Morris walks a tightrope, dividing his time between Sarah and Kit. Kit is angered by Morris' attentiveness to Sarah. and he decides to teach Morris a lesson by ending all communication. Morris, fearful he'll lose the case, becomes so obsessed with this 'silent treatment' that his romantic dinner with Sarah ends before the first course is served. Ever the optimist, Sarah believes the relationship can be salvaged once she has charmed Morris's mother at an forthcoming Sunday brunch.