A modern Odyssey comes to the stage this week at the El Cerrito High School Performing Arts Center, 540 Ashbury Ave., where the school's Theater and Dance Conservatory will present "Anon(ymous)" by Naomi Iizuka.

The acclaimed play "is loosely based on Homer's 'The Odyssey,' and is the modern story of a young refugee who fled to America from a war-torn country, separated from family, filled with diverse adventures about immigrant life."

The premise strikes a chord with ECHS senior Gaby Flamenco, who has the role of Ritu and says, "(It) reminds me of my family in El Salvador, and that they are so far away and how I miss them."

Carmen Bush, who heads the Drama Department, directs the production, which represents a milestone as the first in a number of years at ECHS to be cast from the entire student body.

The staging will use "sets in motion" using students from the school Dance Conservatory under the direction of Jessie Kronenberg.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. April 25 and 26, and 2:30 p.m. April 27 in the theater. Tickets are $10 adults, $5 seniors and students at the door.

Specially roasted Gauchos Coffee will be available for purchase in ground or whole bean in the lobby, along with other theater swag. To learn more about supporting the ECHS theater program, contact Karen Shebek at karenshebek@sbcgloal.net or 510-525-1539 (daytime only).


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WEST COUNTY NOTES: Albany Recreation is hosting its third night of Pecha Kucha -- a series of slides and presentations done in a speed-dating style -- at 6:30 p.m. April 25 at the Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Ave. "Oh, the places we'll go," writes the department's Liam Kelly. "Make sure you come by for a wondrous night of interesting presentations, local bands, and of course, great drinks. Come by early as space might be limited."

Details: www.pechakucha.org/cities/albany-ca"

  • The next Berkeley Historical Society walking tour will be on May 3 in Oakland, where historian Dennis Evanosky will lead a morning stroll through Mountain View Cemetery. Prepaid reservations are required. Details: 510-848-0181.

  • The 29th annual Officer of the Year dinner hosted by the Albany-El Cerrito Exchange Club will recognize law enforcement from the Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito and Kensington departments, along with the Oakland office of the California Highway Patrol, the BART police and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's office on May 28 at the Galileo Club in Richmond. Tickets are $35 each, available along with more details by calling Angela Bither at 510-526-0335.

  • El Cerrito is holding its Spring Citywide Garage Sale on May 3. A list of participating locations will be available online and at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane, and the Recycling Center, 7501 Schmidt Lane, starting April 25.

  • "Hunters in Our Back Yards" is the topic of a free talk by biologist and naturalist James Hale from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 5 in the Edith Stone Room of the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave.

    Mountain lions, coyotes, foxes, rattlesnakes, raptors or bats are just a few of the hunter species that can be found in the East Bay that Hale has studied and defended for more than 40 years. He is also an "expert in how Native Americans used the land and its resources," notes the Friends of 5 Creeks, which is sponsoring the talk as part of its Bay Currents series on local environmental issues. Seating is limited, so those interested should come at 7 p.m. for refreshments and a seat.

  • The second annual Texas Hold'Em Fundraiser to benefit Friends of the Hercules Senior Centers is set for 5:30 to 11 p.m. April 26 at the Hercules Community Center, 2001 Refugio Valley Road.

    Cost is a $60 buy-in, $20 rebuys, $40 and add-on, open to ages 21 and older. A cash bar will be available and "If you aren't interested in playing you can always join us for our Outback Steakhouse Dinner which is $25 per plate."

    For tickets or details visit friendshscpoker.eventbee.com or call 510-592-4374.

  • The next Point Richmond Jazz concert features The Real Vocal String Quartet at 7:30 p.m. April 25 at First United Methodist Church, 201 Martina St. Tickets are $20 at the door.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway.