Curtain Cover Art 2

Curtain by Mick Shane

(Final Scene)

Val pressed the knife to my throat, maybe harder then he did in the dress rehearsal, if that was possible. I knew it was a prop knife and it wouldn’t cut me but it could crush my larynx if he didn’t back off. I was starting to gag and I couldn’t breathe and I might have gone with the flow for the sake of reality but the fucker was laughing at me. I was supposed to beg for mercy at this point in the scene, but I kneed him in the ribs, knocked his knife hand away, climbed to my feet and staggered downstage right. The rest of the cast immediately knew something was amiss and they all froze. I rubbed my throat and coughed a few times then looked out at the audience and they were all engaged and invested in what was happening, like it was part of the play. I turned to Val and said in a raspy voice, “I told you if you ever did that to me again I would kick your fucking ass and I meant it.”

Val Raines, The Biggest Movie Star In The World, Making His Triumphant Return To Broadway, came down stage toward me and stopped about two feet away, still holding the fake knife in his right hand. He looked confused for a second, like I was improvising something and he was supposed to react to it. But Val never broke character or dropped that cocky grin, and when he opened his mouth to say something…

On opening night of my Broadway debut, in front of a full house of 600 people including The Mayor, my parents, my fiance, the press and anybody who was anybody in New York, I punched Val Raines right on the tip of his jaw and knocked him out cold.

Wilmington, NC 03.12.13

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