Old wives hedge their bets and tell it both ways; good things come in threes and yet bad things come in threes. So what were we in for with the current production of “No way To Treat a Lady” at the Cape Cod Playhouse – a play that proudly describes itself as a Murder-Comedy-Musical, a “three-for-the-price-of-one” move that is nothing if not courageous.
Well it was certainly great fun and you have to admire the versatility (and stamina!) of the quartet of actors who threw everything into this production but it has to be said that the result is more perspiration than inspiration.
The musical is an adaption of a 1968 film (starring Rod Steiger & George Segal), which itself was taken from the successful novel by William Goldman. The main character, the son of a recently departed Broadway diva, is a failed actor who strives for front-page media recognition by strangling a succession of mother-substitutes in a variety of disguises (him not them) and dodgy foreign accents. His nemesis is a nerdish live at home Jewish detective, who whilst trying to capture the psychotic murderer is also entwined in a love story with a beautiful, rich socialite art dealer. The part of the detective is played by Josh Grisetti, who delivers the strongest vocal performance but it’s hard to fathom why the blond socialite would find any interest in him. Stacie Morgan Lewis is very watchable as the aforementioned socialite not least because she could easily pass for Reese Witherspoon, all wide eyes, blond hair and sunny smile. The fourth main character is the detective’s stereotypical Jewish mother played with great aplomb by Judith Blazer, who also plays the part of all the murder victims and the protagonist’s mother.
The star of the show however is without doubt Bradley Dean as the killer. It is no mean feat to be able to pull off the portrayal of a strangler as a song-and-dance man without descending into parody. This he manages and his scene as the Latin dance instructor with Judith Blazer is the highlight of the show.
If you’re looking for some light theatre fun in the setting of an historic theatre building, I’d recommend trying to take in a trip to see the show during your Cape Cod vacation. It won’t be winning any Tony awards but it will bring a smile to your face.
If you need any theatre tips or a place to stay on Cape Cod gives us a call at The Platinum Pebble, the new boutique inn on Cape Cod.