Today's featured event: Fledgling actors at UC-Denver take on David Ives

Any stage director worth his salt knows that it's all in the timing. Without it, the stars won't align onstage or backstage and -- horrors -- the moment will be mediocre. In the world of theater, that's the kiss of death -- a point the accomplished local director José Mercado, known for his work with students at the University of Colorado at Denver and North High School (Laura Bond wrote of this eloquently in a 2004 Westword feature), makes very deftly. It's the secret of his success, and, he hopes, that of the kids he mentors and instructs.

Perhaps it's no accident that Mercado chose All in the Timing, the hilarious collection of one-act plays by the very funny David Ives, for a spring production by students at UC-Denver's College of Arts and Media. Short, sweet and side-splitting (in one of the plays, Hamlet is rewritten by chimpanzees; another parodies the minimal music of Philip Glass), they comprise a great testing ground for young actors, while rewarding the audience with plenty of laughs.

Give ´em a hand: Mercado's protégés will roll out the Ives wit for only seven performances, beginning tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. and continuing Wednesday through Saturday, until April 15, in the Eugenia Rawls Courtyard Theatre, King Center, 855 Lawrence Way on the Auraria campus. Admission is $12 (or $5 for UC-Denver students with ID). Tor tickets go to the King Center's online box office or call 303-556-2296.

For more ways to rock the night and kill the day, go to westword.com/calendar.

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