NOVEL Transcript Reading: PRINCE RIC: A TALE OF COMING OUT, by Kevin Michael Irvine

Performed by Shawn Devlin

Advertising heir Richard “Ric” Terrence Smythe-Bigge has it all, and longtime wingman Hal Burke is there to narrate. “Ric adds a spice rack of power, looks, money, and personality to the sauté pan of our relationship,” says Hal with the fawning of someone who’s been riding in his draft since college. But Ric is unhappy working for his legendary adman-father, Malcolm. Loathsome and despised by his family, Malcolm is suspected of having a hand in his brother Terry’s death. Now, a play written by Terry before he died is the torch Ric holds for his uncle’s unappreciated talent. Staging it could help Ric escape his father’s sinister shadow, so Ric and Hal get to work on the play, but every obstacle bears Malcolm’s fingerprints. After a TV commercial is sabotaged, Malcolm fires Ric and Hal, stripping Ric of his assets. During a retreat, Ric reveals to Hal that he’s gay; Hal feels betrayed while Ric disappears into gay life and, banished from advertising, uses his only remaining resources to make a living. Hal, meanwhile, is rehired by Malcolm, and for several years, “Life spread its opportunities before me like a nymphet dropping rose petals in a DeMille epic.” Hal comes into his own by living the dream life Ric once possessed, yet something is missing. The two reunite to find they have something much deeper than platonic friendship; and when Malcolm decides to retire, his farewell retrospective involves his estranged
family and reveals more than they’d like to make known.


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