The Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond, fresh off its jampacked Memorial Day garage sale fundraiser, brings a musical to its stage, with performances through July 6.

"Closer Than Ever," an off-Broadway hit featuring music by David Shire and lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr., opens May 31 at the playhouse, at 105 Park Place.

The production, the West Coast premiere of a revised script that debuted last year, is "about growing up and growing older, getting lost, gaining love and getting loopy."

Peter Budinger and D.C. Scarpelli direct a cast that includes Coley Grundman, Shay Oglesby-Smith, Michelle Pond, LaMont Ridgell, Jennifer Stark and J. Scott Stewart.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. on June 9, 16 and 30.

Tickets and details: www.masquers.org or 510-232-4031.

LEARN IMPORTANCE OF ANTS: Ants are underfoot and -- unless they're in the kitchen -- overlooked anywhere you go. Entomologist Brian Fisher will examine the little creatures that play a big ecological role in

"Ants: The Invisible Majority," a free program for all ages at 6:45 p.m. May 31 at the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave.

Fisher is an associate curator of entomology at the California Academy of Sciences and adjunct professor of biology at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University who has made a career studying ants and biodiversity around the world.

BIG WEEKEND FOR PORTOLA: Portola Middle School in El Cerrito is having a busy weekend as the academic year comes to a close. A wine and cheese fundraiser "in a fabulous garden setting" will be held at 4:30 p.m. June 1, featuring live salsa music. Tickets, $20 each, can be reserved at lesmac@sbcglobal.net and paid for at the door. Proceeds benefit the PTSA.

At 2 p.m. June 2, there will be a groundbreaking ceremony kicking off construction of the new Portola campus at the former Castro Elementary School site, 7145 Donal Ave.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: If you've hiked around North Berkeley you're familiar with Rose Walk, a scenic pathway established a century ago. Councilwoman Susan Wengraf, the Berkeley Historical Society and the Berkeley Path Wanderers Association are hosting a celebration of Rose Walk's 100th birthday at noon on June 1 at the entrance to the path on Euclid Avenue just south of Codornices Road. A reception will follow.

  • Donors are needed for a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 31 at the Doctors Medical Center outpatient facility at 100A Towne Center across from the Starbucks and Ross in San Pablo. Make an appointment at 800-RED-CROSS then look for the donor bus in the parking lot.

  • El Cerrito, like many other locales, has seen a sharp rise in residential burglaries. The city is hosting a Home Security Expo from 1 to 4:30 p.m. June 1 at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane, to provide residents with access to resources and information.

    Burglaries in town are up 40 percent from last year. The expo will have representatives from the police and alarm, locksmith, window, landscaping, electrical, insurance and personal security firms. Details: www.el-cerrito.org/homesecurity.

  • Some 15 galleries on Solano Avenue in Albany and Berkeley are hosting the Solano Art Walk at 5:30 p.m. June 8. The event is close to what the Solano Stroll originally started as, with many retail shops open late in addition to the galleries, many of which will be hosting receptions with refreshments and live music.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway. Stay up-to-date on West Contra Costa news at IBABuzz.com/westcounty.