Danny Gans had just finished his show Wednesday when his manager Chip Lightman sent a text message.
"Apollo show. Are you OK. No curtain?"
Something didn't feel right to Lightman.
Looking back, "that was the scariest thing," Lightman said Friday, still in shock hours after the death of Gans at age 52.
A creature of habit, Gans rarely ended with "The Curtain Falls," Bobby Darin's favorite closer.
Through most of his thousands of shows as a 13-year Las Vegas headliner, Gans preferred ending with "Apollo," which featured snippets of songs by Sammy Davis Jr., Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles and others.
No one will ever know for certain, but just maybe Gans knew something was amiss and sent a message through Darin's curtain closer at the Encore theater.
A "health nut" -- Lightman's words -- who appeared to be in top condition, Gans had not been feeling up to snuff for a couple days, he told Lightman.
Gans went to bed Thursday afternoon. About 3 a.m. his wife, Julie, found him unresponsive. Paramedics told her Danny's heart "just stopped."
Dead at 52, at the peak of his career.
The words of Las Vegas ventriloquist sensation Terry Fator came back to me Friday, while touring Gans' backstage area with Lightman.
Back in March, a couple of days after Fator opened his show at The Mirage (in Gans' former home), he told me how blessed he felt to have made it to the top.
"I want to be George Burns and live to be 100 and perform on the day I pass away."
That's how his hero, iconic ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, went out, said Fator. Bergen performed in Las Vegas, "and that night he passed away. That would be the dream life."
It didn't quite happen that way, but close enough that we get the point. Bergen announced during his final run at Caesars Palace in September 1978 that he and his dummy sidekick Charlie McCarthy were retiring after 56 years. Two weeks later he died in his sleep at age 75.
Near the end of Friday's walk-through to capture photo snippets of Gans' backstage life, Lightman brought up the mystery of "The Curtain Falls."
It was one of many why's that didn't make sense to Gans' longtime friend and manager.
I offered a theory.
Maybe Gans' switch to "The Final Curtain" was hinting about his health by channeling Darin for the finale.
Darin had a meteoric run before dying of heart-related problems at the age of 37 in 1973.
The final words of "The Curtain Falls":
"Your cheers and laughter will linger after
They've torn down these dusty walls
People say I was made for this
Nothin' else would I trade for this
And just think I get paid for this ...
"Goodnight ladies and gentlemen and God love you."