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Sarah Palin, sexual tension and Harry Potter: Ignite lights up Boulder

Ignite Boulder's 12th installment of blog-style rants presented as multi-media performance art was held last night at the Chautauqa Theatre. Speakers expounded on subjects ranging from why waitresses are uniquely positioned to adapt to a post-apocalyptic society to the epic profundity of children's picture books.

There were fourteen performers with twenty slides each that auto-advanced every fifteen seconds. The clock started when the first speaker hit the microphone. Here's what you missed:

The Money Quote: The night was predominantly apolitical, but in Casey Sidwell's treatise on the blood and guts of falling in love he inexplicably kept working in digs at Sarah Palin. It might have just been buried sexual tension, but regardless, it produced the line: "If Sarah Palin is elected President, it will be like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and she's Tina Turner."

The Social Media Moment: Just before the intermission, program host Andrew Hyde tweeted, "Is there an interpreter in the house? We have someone that would love you." By the time the crowd returned to their seats, a sign-language expert was onstage to skillfully interpret the second half of the show.

The Rude: In her enlightened defense of the Harry Potter series as a major work of literature, Danya Michael ruined some of the ending for those of us who only keep up with the series on film.

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The Bat: A bat got into the auditorium and stirred portions of the crowd that were already stirred by the night's funniest performer, Jeremy Tanner. While Tanner was dissecting the perils of travel -- "How many of you have seen Up in the Air? It's a movie about how easy it is for a white guy to get through an airport" -- he might not have realized that half of the shrieks were a reaction to the bat taking deliberate dives at the front rows of the west end of the auditorium. Three panicked individuals had to step out; the rest of the section gripped their bulletins as swatters or melted into their seats.

The Touching: Sam Stauffer spoke about living with General Anxiety Disorder. The crowd seemed relatively subdued before she took the stage, but her emotionally raw presentation seemed to open up the comfort vein. Audience participation came easier for the rest of the night.

You also missed free beer and Andrew Hyde's farewell performance. He founded Ignite Boulder and showed a picture of the first forum in a CU classroom that held less than 100 people. The Chautaqua Theatre seats 1,200 -- and there were not a lot of empty seats.

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