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Hollywood Fringe 2016

All The Best Killers Are Librarians

The Establishment.

Genre: Comedy, Theatre

Venue: Sacred Fools Theater, Second Stage


Low Down

Winner of Serial writing competition gets the full-length treatment.


“All The Best Killers Are Librarians” was the winner of season ten of Sacred Fools’ “Serial Killers”, a late night knockout competition where the audience vote on which stories they want to see further episodes of. Playwright Bob DeRosa has adapted the seven episodes from that winning streak into an action-packed hour of fights and funny.

Lauren Van Kurin stars as Margo, a mild-mannered librarian who gets head-hunted by the mysterious Lancaster (Eric Giancoli), who suspects she has potential as an assassin, he is right. Van Kurin is characteristically fearless and funny in what is essentially a fish-out-of-water comedy as Margo comes to terms with her duality as a nerd/killing-machine.
What lifts this show to the level of excellence it reaches is the comedy chops of the cast, as well as some spectacularly good fight sequences, choreographed by Mike Mahaffey (also a solid gold cast member).

All the actors are reprising their roles from the serial outing and are clearly enjoying this lap-of-honor. Director Alicia Conway Rock, also from the previous incarnation, uses all the available tech very well. Sound (Ben Rock) and lighting design (Matt Richter) manage to be both efficient and witty. Lighting Lancaster’s phone calls in an aisle allows for almost cinematic jump cuts in the main playing area.

Although Van Kurin seems never to be off-stage in what is clearly her story, everybody gets an opportunity to shine in DeRosa’s well-constructed ensemble genre mash-up. Carrie Keranen does solid and hilarious double-duty as a hard-nosed rain-coated cop and a seemingly harmless old lady. Pete Caslavka is also a stand-out as the love interest who cleans up the bodies (and his two siblings). But this is truly a comedy A-Team, Monica Green and Jennifer Christina DaRosa hitting exactly the right notes and still managing to throw knives and punches like ninjas.
As the piece gained momentum in the third act the scene-changes would benefit from getting faster but this was a preview so I’m sure some technical issues will be ironed out.
“All The Best Killers Are Librarians” manages to combine the free-wheeling fun of a sketch show, with the precision and clarity of a well-crafted action comedy. Everybody involved is bringing their A-game. If you want to see what fantastic improvisers can do when they actually have a brilliant script to work with, then I recommend this show. The fights alone are worth the price of admission.