If you want to laugh until it hurts (in a good way), then be sure and catch Diablo Actors' Ensemble's production of "All in The Timing."

The collection of short plays by David Ives takes you from a new language scam to clever monkeys writing "Hamlet" to "do-over" dating and much more. Directed by Tim Beagley, and with a dynamite group of actors, the plays blend seamlessly together, creating a very funny, fast-paced evening of laughs. Ives is a master of language, and this particular collection shows him at his witty best.

The remarkable cast includes Nathan Bogner, Vince Faso, Jillian Head, Avi Jackobson, Laura Morgan, Sheilah Morrison, Randy Nott and Lewis Smith.

The show continues at Diablo Actors' Ensemble's theater on Locust Street in Walnut Creek Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Nov. 17. For tickets, call 866-811-4111 or go to www.diabloactors.com.

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    Center Rep debuted its "Off Center" series this past weekend with the world premiere of Dorothy Fortenberry's "Status Update" at Walnut Creek's Lesher Center for the Arts.

    Fortenberry's look at the hypnotic effect of the Internet and the various social networking sites rings all too true, creating a good deal of humor and more than a little angst among the audience.


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    While the writing could use some tightening up in spots, the wonderful characters Fortenberry has created certainly keep your attention, especially under Becca Wolff's tight direction and her creative cast.

    Looking feline sleek and appropriately seductive, Keyboard Cat (Joel Roster) curls up on the couch to lure computer artist Annabel (Rosie Hallett) further into her addiction. Annabel's boyfriend Brian (Ben Euphrat) tries to draw her back into the real world with an impromptu birthday party inviting his colleague Zar (Lynda DiVito) and her partner Niko (Darren Bridgett). But the allure of the Internet, not to mention Keyboard Cat (who literally plays a set of portable musical keyboards) is too much, and in a keystroke Annabel finds herself sucked into the computer. Will Annabel become wedded to Keyboard Cat? Will Brian save her or fall for the charms of Zar? Find out in this entertaining treatise on social networking obsession. "Status Update" continues through Nov. 17. Call 925-943-SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.

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    If you've been having trouble getting tickets to Berkeley Rep's wildly successful run of "An Illiad," the company has added two performances, on Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. Call 510-647-2949 or go to www.berkeleyrep.org for tickets.

    There will also be a free talk on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. with Mary Zimmerman the creator of "Arabian Nights," "Metamorphoses" and "The White Snake" (playing at Berkeley Rep Nov. 9-Dec. 23).

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    Contra Costa Musical Theatre certainly knows how to roll the dice when it comes to fundraisers. They will hold a Texas Hold-Em tournament/fundraiser on Nov. 15 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Walnut Creek Marriott.

    Players of all card-playing levels welcome. Your buy-in of $75 includes starting chips, "heavy" hors o'doeuvres and nonalcoholic beverages. There is also a raffle drawing with $1,000 as first prize. For more information, go to www.ccmt.org.

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    Denmark comes to Orinda as Miramonte High School presents "Hamlet" Nov. 7, 8, 9 at 7 p.m.

    According to director Heather Cousins, "To see or not to see should not be the question" as her talented Miramonte Players bring to life one of Shakespeare's best known tragedies. Tickets will be available at the door.

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    Diablo Ballet opens its season with a varied program featuring the California premiere of a passionate duet by Vicente Nebrada, a collaboration with sjDance that captures the intrigue and emotion of Shakespeare's "Othello," and a world premiere by Broadway choreographer Sean Kelly that mixes holiday tunes and swing music.

    It all happens on Nov. 16-17 at 8 p.m. at Walnut Creek's Lesher Center for the Arts. Call 925-SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.

    Contact Sally Hogarty at sallyhogarty@gmail.com