The all-star London premiere of Douglas J Cohen's musical No Way To Treat a Lady opens next month at fringe venue the Arts Theatre. The production, which opens 3 August 1998 (previews from 29 July), will run for a limited four-week season.

The musical comedy is based on the William Goldman novel which was also the inspiration for the 1967 film of the same name, starring Lee Remick, George Segal and Rod Steiger. Set in New York in 1970, the thriller musical revolves around a serial killer who is also an out of work actor, a lonely detective with an overbearing mother and a pretty girl who links them all together.

The London production boasts a prestigious, award-winning cast including Donna McKechnie, Joanna Riding, Tim Flavin and Paul Bown.

Donna McKechnie, who is choreographing as well as performing in the new production, is best known for her Tony Award-winning role as 'Cassie' in the Broadway production of A Chorus Line. She also won a 1996 Fred Astaire Award for Best Female Dancer and has recently appeared in a revival of Follies. Joanna Riding won a Laurence Olivier Award for her role in Carousel and has also starred in Royal National Theatre productions of Guys and Dolls, A Little Night Music and, most recently, Oh, What A Lovely War!.

Tim Flavin won a Laurence Olivier Award for his role in On Your Toes. He also starred in Crazy For You and recently appeared in Divorce Me, Darling at the Chichester Festival Theatre. Paul Bown, most known for the BBC series Watching and The Last Salute, was last seen in the West End in the skiing comedy On The Piste.

No Way To Treat a Lady received its world premiere at the Hudson Guild Theatre off-Broadway in 1987. Since then, it has enjoyed several US regional productions including one at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA, for which it received three 1997 Helen Hayes Awards including Best Musical and Best Actor (which it won). During its tours, the production underwent several rewrites - four new numbers were added with three new reprises as well as extensive book changes - before arriving back in New York in 1996-97 for a limited run at the off-Broadway York Theatre. The new New York version received two Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Revival and Best Featured Actress.

Book, music and lyrics of No Way To Treat a Lady are by Douglas J. Cohen who has won two Richard Rodgers Awards - one year shared with Rent author Jonathan Larsen. Cohen's other musical The Gig was also presented off-Broadway last year.

Neil Marcus, former artistic director at the Jermyn Street Theatre, directs No Way To Treat a Lady. Design is by Claire Lyth and lighting by Jacqui Leith. The musical supervisor is Rob Mitchell and musical director is Chris Frost. It is produced by Ballantrae Theatre Productions.