If you were at the Off the Grid food truck event in El Cerrito on July 9 you might have caught a talented and spirited group of young people supplementing the usual live entertainment by performing numbers from the classic stage musical "South Pacific."
The "flash mob" performance was by the Berkeley-based Youth Musical Theater Company cast to promote their presentation of the 1947 Rodgers and Hammerstein work on stage starting July 18 at the El Cerrito High School Performing Arts Theater, 540 Ashbury Ave.
From the capsule description of the play based on James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book: "Set in an island paradise during World War II, two parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war."
The original production, which won a Pulitzer Prize for drama and 10 Tony Awards, includes the songs "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," "This Nearly Was Mine," and "There is Nothin' Like a Dame."
The YMTC production, which closes the company's ninth season, is directed by Jennifer Boesing, with music direction by David Moschler and choreography by Pam Crane.
The cast is made up of 36 seventh grade through college students from San Francisco, Albany, Berkeley, Oakland, and El Cerrito, accompanied by a 35-piece orchestra.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 1 p.m. Sundays, July 18 to 27.
Tickets are available at www.ymtcberkeley.org or 510-595-5514 and the company offers group, senior, student and military discounts.
Produce swaps growING: Garden swaps have become popular in recent years in Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito and Richmond as a way to share excess backyard produce and supplement a household's bounty with different items from other home-growers.
El Cerrito produce gardeners hold a "Veg Mob" from 6:30 to 6:45 p.m. Thursdays through the summer or "as long as there is interest" at the south end of Fairmont Park by the Fairmont Elementary campus, most easily reached by coming up Eureka Avenue from San Pablo Avenue to Liberty Street. It is also accessible from the Ohlone Greenway for those who want to walk or bicycle.
Bring "extra fruit, veggies, herbs from your garden, seedlings, seeds; whatever would go to waste," say organizers, who advise getting there early, because goods tend to be claimed quickly, as they are at all such events.
The Veg Mob is led by Robin Mitchell of the El Cerrito Community Garden Network.
Plans are also being made to establish Fairmont Park as a community garden site.
For details on the community garden visit sites.google.com/site/elcerritocommunitygarden/home/fairmont-park.
For details on the Veg Mob, visit sites.google.com/site/elcerritocommunitygarden/veg-mob.
Find more details on area garden swaps online at playndirt.com.
EDUCATOR SCHOLARHIPS: A total of 29 high school graduates in West Contra Costa schools were awarded $1,500 toward their continued education by retired educators from California Teachers Association, Division 58 on May 29. This year's honorees:
Cali Nguyen of De Anza High School in Richmond;
Sydney Gallion, Ying-AnWang, Joshua Ko, Sweta Yonjan, Hannah Phalen, Linda Yuann, Kazaria Phillips and Qingqing Zhang of El Cerrito High School;
Christian Abraham, Nia Ewing and Olivia Vernetti of Hercules High School;
Jason Owusu, Ivette Alejandre, Camiila Quintana Del Carpio, Cynthia Ezeokoli, Tommy Saephan, Kevin Hulen and Audrey Webb of Middle College High School in San Pablo;
Syed Ali, Kimberly de Dios, Hannah Lee Pablo and Yessenia Reyna of Pinole Valley High School;
Henry Benitez, Salvador Jauregul, Toriana Blackwood, Alexandro Moya, Ngan Dam and Cynthia Sanchez of Richmond High School.
The retired educators have raised and awarded $580,450 in funds to 437 students since 1977, according to the group's historian, Elizabeth Underwood.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: Steve Sheinkin, author of the young adult book "Port Chicago 50" about the July 17, 1944, munitions explosion in Concord will give a talk about the tragedy and the changes it set in motion at a free program at 2 p.m. July 18 at the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park visitors education center, 1414 Harbour Way South in Richmond.
For details or directions call 510-232-5050 or visit www.nps.gov/rori.
The event, described as "Three walks, three leaders, three levels; one party afterward," will have a choice of outings at staggered departure times from John Muir School, 2955 Claremont Ave., all intended to have participants "back by noon for a bring-your-own picnic" (the group will provide carrot cake and lemonade).
Claremont Hills Power Walk, a moderately fast-paced, two-hour outing on difficult terrain, sets out to tour streets above the Claremont Hotel at 9:45 a.m.
Claremont Path Safari, an "all-ages, family-friendly expedition" at a moderate pace on medium terrain in search of animal art, starts at 10:15 a.m.
Monkey Park, A "Manet" Mural, and More, a leisurely walk on easy terrain, starts at 10:45 a.m.
For more details visit http://berkeleypaths.org/.
To schedule an appointment or get more details visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code "RICHMOND" or call 800-733-2767. Drop-ins are also welcome.