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Tuesday
Mar032015

LA, Ep. 36

March 3, 2015 — To celebrate LDM's 9th birthday, Largo's stage was rife with award-winning talent, for a show that boasted the highest of highs, exceedingly high lows, and a down-to-the-wire finish that saw M.G. Lord topple Carson Mell in a sudden death game of Fictionary: Great Adaptations edition, winning Lord the LDM LA, Ep. 36 crown. 

But before the finale was even a consideration, the magical night kicked off with Kseniya Melnik, author of the Dylan Thomas Prize and Frank O'Connor Award-nominated Snow in May who blew minds with a just-for-LDM stunner about the surprise vanishing of love and trying to answer the impossible why. Next up was Carson Mell who read a story called "Truth" that centered around a marriage established on a lack of trust that descends into absurdity. 

Then the mic was turned over to the quartet of superstar judges: Jason Reitman, award-winning writer/director of Up in the AirJuno and Labor DayMae Whitman, award-winning actress from The DuffParenthood and Arrested DevelopmentAisling Bea, award-winning actress & 2014 British Comedy Award for Best Female TV Comedian; and Rhys Darby, comedian and actor from Flight of the Conchords & Netflix's Short Poppies. The foursome riffed and quipped and wooed the sold out audience — applauding Melnik's wowing turns of phrase and loving Mell's pitch-perfect performance — before announcing the night's first impossible decision, declaring Mell as the Round 1 winner. 

Then it was on to Round 2, led off by Lord, award-winning author of Astro Turf and The Accidental Feminist, who read a sensational excerpt from Forever Barbie focused on the history of the Ken doll's genitals. Finally it was the inimitable Baratunde Thurston, co-host (About Race) and CEO (Cultivated Wit) who read a hilarious piece from his best-selling book How to Be Black about how to be a black employee (which dealt with the decision to eat watermelon at an office party in front of white co-workers and the expectation of being a good dancer because you're black). 

Again the judges were center stage, with each lauding Lord's descriptors for Ken's "junk" and everyone praising Thurston's comedic genius, before they made the night's second impossible decision, announcing it would be Lord who would be the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga who announced the night's finale: Fictionary: Great Adaptations, in which audience members drew great novels who had been adapted into great films. After Mell leaped out to an early lead, it was Lord who battled back, and with everything the play for Lord whispered, "Up in the Air?" to win her the LDM LA, Ep. 36 medal, and literary immortality to go with it.