PRINT November 1983



OPENING NIGHT, 1988. THE BROADWAY theater is packed with the international elite. They’re in ecstasy. The show’s a real hit, gorgeous show girls and a new dancer-singer who’s running through all of Fred Astaire’s routines even more perfectly than the old master-hoofer in his best days. And why not? The star’s been programmed with every Fred Astaire move and inflection: he’s a Roman robot named Ranxerox. To his 12-year-old girlfriend, Lubna, sitting in the loge with the show’s leather-masked producer, Mr. Volare, he’s known as Ranx. And now, just as he is in the middle of a song and the audience starts to rise to their feet in jubilation, Ranx screams out, “Leave Lubna alone, pig.” Swinging the huge heavy arm of a stage-prop phonograph out into the crowd, crushing a few under its weight, he leaps to the box and breaks the producer’s neck with his cane. He rushes out of the theater with the

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