Local actor and theater educator Jose Antonio Mercado met Hollywood couple Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman the same way they met each other: acting in a production of The Berlin Circle in Los Angeles back in 2000. They all became fast friends — and in the case of Mullally and Offerman, husband and wife — but Mercado ended up in Denver, staging a famous production of Zoot Suit as a drama teacher at North High School and later teaching at the University of Colorado Denver. "And one thing led to another, and before long, I hadn’t seen them in ten years," he laments.
Tonight, that will all change, when Mullally (most famous for her role as Karen Walker in Will & Grace) and Offerman (whose Parks and Recreation character Ron Swanson is a veritable cult figure) take the stage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for an evening of music, comedy and maybe — no, definitely — a few surprises.
Mullally will sing with Stephanie Hunt as Nancy and Beth, belting out an eclectic repertoire, and Offerman will handle the comedy with a taste of his solo act, American Ham, but the whole evening seems likely to swell over with laughs.
"I can't wait for it to go down in the opera house, which is usually a quiet place," says Mercado. "It's more of a sit-down-and-shut-up kind of space, but this show is going to make you want to get up out of your seat and dance." And, he adds, the performance will also include an audience talkback segment, which doesn't usually happen. Catch the Mullally-and-Offerman show at 8 p.m. at the Ellie, located in the Denver Performing Arts Complex; for tickets, $35 to $95, go to ticketswest.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit a theater scholarship in their names for UCD students.
Sat., Sept. 7, 8 p.m., 2013