Crime and Sweets Musical Comedy in 2 Acts Full-length (in progress)
Book and lyrics by Diane DeCillis
Music by Tracy Kash
Nerdy, sugar-addicted food chemist Mondo Bondidi is tinkering in his lab— test tubes on one end of his lab table, a pile of donuts on the other. To conquer his compulsion, he works on the formula his late chemist father Aldo had begun to curb the craving. (“The Formula The Formula!”) Mondo’s been in denial about his life-threatening addiction despite being fired from his professorship for excessive absence from sugar hangovers. When he receives his first job offer in months to lecture at the exciting new Detroit Food Arts Museum, he’s motivated to get his addiction under control.
At the museum’s Italian-American gala he’s greeted by an emotive chorus, the Bon Bons: Temptation, Guilt, Gluttony, Denial and Pleasure who, familiar with his foibles, shadow and support him. He soon finds himself distracted by the absence of the highly anticipated dessert table, claiming he only wants to view it as a culinary work of art. “This is a museum after all.” Mondo and Bon Bons sing (Where is the Dessert Table?) .When the over-the-top table is finally presented, Mondo’s willpower dives into a head-crashing halt. He surreptitiously gorges on the glistening zeppole donuts, his favorite, and passes out. Fortunately, his best friend and secret crush, commitment-challenged restauranteur Adrianna Balducci, sneaks him out before he’s noticed.
When his doctor informs him “this disease is no longer a kitten you can tame. It’s a tiger that will maul you,” Mondo is forced to consider the gravity of his addiction. The doctor and Bon Bon’s dance the conga around him (“The Doctor Said No Sugar!”).
Following his lecture, motivated by failing health, Mondo announces to the museum’s donors and patrons that he’s taken up his father’s mantel to finish the anti-craving formula. Eduardo Sudado, aka Sugar Daddy, head of the sugar cartel realizes Mondo is serious, and promptly sets out to stop him.
Sugar Daddy, a dapper thug with a penchant for flashy footwear, plots against Mondo using sexy, social-climbing Salina Toccalina. He sings (“I’m Your Daddy, Sugar Daddy”) to lure her with the promise of riches, a life of “high society and high heels.” Together they devise a plan to steal Mondo’s notes and ultimately destroy him before he’s able to present his formula, “Noglucosin,” to the World Health Alliance. (“Zeppole”)
Mondo falls for Salina’s seduction like hot fudge on hazelnut gelato. (“Pheromones”). In a short time she transforms Mondo into a much hipper version of himself. Complications arise when Salina fails to get Mondo to continue to binge (“Do You Donut Love Me?”). She lures him to Vegas where he loses his father’s grant money. (“Vegas Baby”). She also begins to see the merit of Mondo’s formula as she becomes addicted to sugar herself. Salina realizes Mondo’s more interesting than anyone she’s met and falls for him. (“He’s Kind of Sweet He’s Kind of Nice”) Sugar Daddy discovers Salina has feelings for Mondo and orders her to drug him. When she resists (“I Won’t Do It!”) Sugar Daddy threatens to expose her true motivation to Mondo and the world, saying “You’ll end up a sugar-addled pariah out on the street begging for gumdrops.” Salina is forced to do the deed.
When his secret crush Adrianna shows up with yet another hapless date, Mondo realizes she will never be his (“Hope’s Balloon”) and moves forward with Salina. Witnessing Mondo’s impact on Salina, Adrianna sees him in different light. Jealous and suspicious of Salina’s motives, Adrianna pursues her own investigation. (“Adrianna’s Gone PI Like a Television Spy”). When Mondo refuses to listen to Adrianna’s findings, cutting off their friendship, Adrianna is devastated but not deterred. She confronts Salina to tell her she’s on to her con (“Rap Battle”).
Adrianna discovers Sugar Daddy’s true identity and motive (“Don’t Mess With the Sugar Cartel”) and runs to Mondo, only to find him sprawled and unconscious. Salina returns and confesses to Adrianna. The EMT arrives along with the police who cuff Salina and take her to the station. Left alone with the lifeless body, Adrianna professes her love. (“If I Had One More Chance”). Mondo wakes up having heard everything while in his drug-induced stupor. Mondo and Adrianna declare their love for one another. (“This How You Say I Love You in Italian”).