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Boston, Ep. 7

March 8, 2012 — Before a jam-packed audience at Cambridge's OBERON, the Literary Death Match turned 6-years old on a night that began with a group-sung Happy Birthday, and finished with Team Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich out-dueling Team Bob Shea in a titanic game of Pin the Mustache on Hemingway, in which Marzano-Lesnevich won by a length of seven whiskers to become the LDM Boston, Ep. 7 champion. 

But before cookie-dusters were even a thought, the night kicked off with children's book genius Bob Shea (author of Dinosaur vs. The Potty), who read an original story about a marzipan-thieving monster and adorable bunnies, then up stepped fictionist Ken Calhoun (the author of the fascinating interactive short Big Swing). Calhoun served up a masterful meta-performance piece inside a performance piece about a MC stretching the audience's patience. 

Then the mic was handed over to the night's trio of all-star judges  headlined by best-selling author/Academy Award-nominee Tom Perrotta (author of The LeftoversLittle Children and Election), chanteuse Niki Luparelli (one-half of the Steamy Bohemians) and comedian/writing hilariteur Joe Piccirillo (one half of Conan or Bust). The three praised both readers, cracked wise (specifics forthcoming on the mp3 release of the show), and after a long deliberation, decided it was Shea who would advance by the tiniest of margins. 

After a booze-fueled intermission, LDM Boston Executive Producer Kirsten Sims introduced the night's second round: the 2010 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award winner Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich and Fringe literary magazine editor Lizzie Stark (author of Leaving Mundania). Marzano-Lesnevich told a chilling story of a pedophile neighbor who entices a child into his house, then chokes and kills him before laying him gently down. Stark followed with a story about experiences of LARPing and about the people who do it. 

The mic was again turned over to the judges, and the judges felt like the creepy nature of Marzano-Lesnevich's story (Piccirillo, at one point, saying "That was hilarious!") was too much to ignore, and they passed her along to be the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Todd Zuniga who drew four volunteers from the crowd, then paired them with finalists so they could play an epic game of Pin the Mustache on Hemingway. Each finalist was handed the mustache of a famous writer — from James Joyce to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — and the teams took turns planting mustaches on a giant Hemingway poster. After a near perfect shot by Team Marzano-Lesnevich, Team Shea played catch up, and their captain/finalist was close with his team's final try, but Bob Shea wasn't close enough, and Marzano-Lesnevich won the Literary Death Match Boston, Ep. 7 crown, and literary immortality to go with it.  

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