After L.A.-based actor Antonio Mercado's mother died of cancer, he found himself back in his native Denver, teaching high school. There he found himself struck by just how many of his straight-A students were undocumented — and that high school graduation left these otherwise all-American kids bereft of options. That experience inspired Dreaming Sin Fronteras, a night of storytelling with musical interludes, which premiered in Denver in March and now comes to L.A. for a one-night stand sponsored by USC's Visions and Voices. The stories are true, though the performers relating them are actors — and, of the eight stories to be presented here, only two come from the Denver production. The rest come from SoCal kids telling SoCal stories. After this evening, the production moves to Arizona and Texas, but this isn't just a stop on the tour. “L.A. is special for personal reasons,” says Mercado, a UCLA grad. “And [Mayor Eric] Garcetti's speech opening the doors to kids from Central America was a big deal.” Hizzoner will even make an appearance — or, at least, a USC student playing him will. USC Bovard Auditorium, 3551 Trousdale Parkway, University Park; Thu., Oct. 16, 7:30-9 p.m.; free, RSVP required via

Thu., Oct. 16, 7:30-9 p.m., 2014
(Expired: 10/16/14)

LA Weekly