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SF, Ep. 5

November 6, 2007—For Opium’s fifth-ever west coast LDM (SF, Episode 5) at Harlot, stars aligned as four wickedly talented (and outstandingly hilarious) actors from the legendary Killing My Lobster comedy troupe stormed the stage and read from past print issues of Opium Magazine.

The actor-centric event, sponsored by Dr. Melina Protein Bars, finished up when Jon Wolanske (representing Opium5: Bad Company) out-hat-tossed Eric Schniewinde for the LDM Championship medal, along with a life of ever-lasting respect and admiration.

But well before the first hat was tossed, the night kicked off with KML’s managing director, Joel Dovev unspooling a yarn from Opium3: A Junkyard of Arresting Delight. Dovev delighted onlookers as he read Tyler C. Gore’s “A Sketch of My Childhood in the Country” (a Best American Non-Required Reading finalist for 2007, and a story first heard in public on May 22, 2006 at the third-ever LDM in NYC). Following Dovev was a bearded Wolanske (reading Thomas Cooper’s “The Old-Fashioned Way,” the lead story from Opium5). With an inspired old man voice at his disposal, Wolanske gob-smacked all onlookers. To conclude the first round, judges Michelle Richmond (The Year of the Fog), Kurt Bodden (Talk Show Live) and Sean Finney (Canteen Magazine) made an impossible decision between the two performing stallions when they chose Wolanske as the night’s first finalist.

After a boozy intermission it was a second round for the ages as Todd Brotze led off the proceedings by reading Bob Powers’ “Happy Cruelty Day” from Opium4: Live Well Now (No Matter What). A prop for the ages, Brotze had taped Powers’ work into the pages of a Nuns Having Fun calendar. A stroke of genius! Bow-tied and clever, he left the stage to lionous roars of appreciation, and the far-off sound of a giraffe chewing grass. His competition, Eric Schniewinde, was then tapped to read “The Art of the Deal: Xavier Lipschitz & William Zuma” from Opium1: A Whopping Collection of Fanatical Literary Brilliance. Schniewinde was paced and sharp, and his whimsical hand gestures stole the affection of both audience and judges. He was selected as the night’s second finalist.

The finale then begun in hasty fashion. Three volunteers from the crowd were brought to sit in front of the judges as Schniewinde and Wolanske took turns hat-tossing--two points if the hat landed on a judge’s crown, one for a volunteer. The game to three was dramatic, as Schniewinde couldn’t hold on to his early 2-0 lead, and Wolanske’s--fueled by a Dr. Melina Protein Bar (lemon raspberry)--was able to steal victory, 3-2.

Scarily, the entire night was more brilliant, more complete and more fun than these words make it sound. Endless thanks to Killing My Lobster, who is performing their latest show right now.

See all the photos from this event here!


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