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NYC, Ep. 30

September 16, 2010 — Fantastical thunderstorms couldn't keep die-hard fans and intrigued newcomers from LDM NYC Ep. 30 to watch four writers brandish their literary battleaxes. NYC Exec Producer Ann Heatherington and co-host, LDM London Producer Nicki LaMasurier (who came ready to fight dressed in a British flag) outlined the rules, and introduced the judges: in-pat/ex-pat critic Liesl Schillinger took on Literary Merit, and Moth Star Jim O’Grady, Performance. Emmy-award winner Cory Cavin, the self-appointed ‘Stupidest Man in the Room,’ would judge Intangibles.  

In the first round, reader Dawn Raffel suggested the audience envision her as a beautiful, naked Brazilian woman while she read a tense, revealing dialogue that Schillinger described as read-between-the-lines pillow-talk of the married kind. Cavin acknowledge liking raffles and so also liking Raffel, and thanked her for the image she put in his head of a Brazilian woman; O'Grady wanted to know where to find the film version. For his part, Amitava Kumar countered with a tale about the Indian translation of the Starr Reportre: the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, essentially transformed into soft-core Hindi porn. Judges praised Kumar for his modulation and stage presence. Schillinger liked seeing America through other eyes, and revealed to be strange and oversexed. After a heated debate, the men sided with their own (or so said Schillinger) and Kumar won the round.

Then began the battle most regal between Dave King and Khadijah Queen. King appealed to the judges' love of myth, reading from his forthcoming novel based on Cupid and Psyche. Schillinger applauded his ‘Speed Racer’-esque shirt, while Cavin liked King's use of ‘downy’ as an adjective and not a fabric softener. As the last reader of the night, Queen, having survived a harrowing bus journey from the wilds of New Jersey just to compete at LDM, pulled out all the poetry stops reading from her award-winning new manuscript Black Peculiar a piece personifying blonde institutions, brown vaginas, and online payments. Ultimately, after another tough deliberation, the judges decided King's Greek myth and hot rod shirt were no match for Queen's poetic inscrutability, hat, earrings, and palpable glamour.

With the readings out of the way, the real violence could begin. Recalling the era of gladiators, LeMasurier dumped a pile of weapons on the stage and pitted Queen against Kumar, preparing them for metaphorical bloodsport. The rules were simple: they picked clues, which they could draw or act out in charades. The audience, divided into two camps, would guess, and each correct answer landed their writer one weapon. The one with the most armaments would be the champion. A spirited contest, a literate audience ('wimple' was nailed in seconds!) - and Kumar narrowly eked out a victory over Queen, winning the LDM NYC ep.30 crown!

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