On Scene for Feb. 11

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Pews emptied, stage filled

It started out as five men and one microphone, but after The Persuasions warmed up Monday night, they pushed the microphone away and let the acoustics of St. Paul's Episcopal Church carry their voices. All the pews were full. The folding chairs came out for the spillover, and still, the people kept coming.

The Persuasions sang gospel songs in three-, four- and five-part harmonies and versions of "Chain Gang," "Buffalo Soldier" and "In the Ghetto" that sounded like gospel songs. Their voices seemed to be holding up the walls of the church.

At the end of their concert, the audience stood. Admittedly, Steamboat audiences hand out standing ovations like Lincoln Avenue merchants hand out candy on Halloween, but this night, I think they meant it.

The Persuasions returned to the stage and started an a capella version of "In the Still of the Night." They invited the audience to get up on stage and sing with them. The pews emptied, and the stage filled. Carrie Elkin, who had been singing along from the back all night, finally took her chance at the microphone.

High Speed Dating

A national trend finally has reached Steamboat, be it years after it was trendy in the rest of the world.

In cities across America, people have been meeting in bars for seven-minute dates in an efficient and modern mating method called High Speed Dating. Here's how it works: After each seven-minute date, a buzzer rings, and you move to the next table and the next seven-minute date. At the end of the evening, you choose which of those people you would like to see again. It's all about first impressions.

In the Steamboat version, the dates will be five minutes long.

"I was reflecting on the times when I met people, and sometimes, 30 seconds was too long, so I didn't want to torture people," said High Speed Dating organizer and Elements manager Nicolette Powell. The High Speed Dating event will be at 4 p.m. Sunday in Elements at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, as part of the ongoing "Sundays at 4" series.

As of Tuesday evening, 12 people had signed up with a good ratio of men to women.

Daters will fill out a score card at the end of each "date." Each person wears a nametag with his or her first name only. Whoever is mutually interested, according to the scorecards, will be given each other's phone number or e-mail address for the chance at a longer date.

There is a $10 sign-up fee, and registration is required by the end of today. Call 879-6830.

-- Autumn Phillips

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