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OCTOBER
FIRST SUNDAY'S GUIDE TO AN EXCELLENT MONTH

7 Tuesday: Sabres' home opener against the Dallas Stars at Marine Midland Arena. 7:05 p.m. No one could say this season will be boring. 888-4000.
-- Downtown Arts and Crafts Show, Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza. Fifteen quality artists and craftsmen sell their work from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sponsored by Buffalo Place. Weather permitting. 856-3150.
8 Wednesday: Why, after vowing not to, is a middle-aged Mick Jagger still singing "Satisfaction"? "I changed my mind," he says. Rolling Stones' "Bridges to Babylon" tour. Rich Stadium. 852-5000.

9 Thursday: Carol Burnett's one-woman "Laughter and Reflection" show. 8 p.m. UB's Center for the Arts. 645-ARTS.

-- "Company," with Stephen Sondheim's knockout music and lyrics, continues Thursdays to Sundays through Oct. 19 at Daemen Theater, Daemen College, Amherst. Call 839-8540 for times and tickets.
-- Crowd-pleasing musical "Guys and Dolls" by Stage Struck Productions continues 8 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays until Oct. 19 at Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave. 692-2113. Same production 8 p.m. Oct. 25 and 2 p.m. Oct. 26 at Riviera Theatre, North Tonawanda. 692-2413.
11 Saturday: Western New York Toy, Collectible and Memorabilia Expo, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Batavia. Buy, sell and get free appraisals of toys, comic books, dolls, autographs. Show continues 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 12. $6 for adults. Kids under 12 free. 433-5064.

-- "In the Dark," the headline exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science, opens today and runs until Jan. 11. Learn about all things nocturnal, maybe even your teen-agers. Museum is open every day except Monday. 896-5200.

-- Pick of the Month here. Check out the World's Largest Cider Barrel at Niagara's Apple Country Festival, Niagara County Fairgrounds, Lockport. Apple products (apple sausage sandwiches, apple pizza, apple bread pudding with warm caramel sauce), fresh produce, kids' games (with apple themes), face-painting, storytelling, even a Scarecrow Village Maze. Admission is $1 per person ages 13 and over. Festival continues Oct. 12. Apple pancake breakfast 9 a.m. to noon Sunday. 433-3828.

14 Tuesday: Tony Award-winning musical "Chicago" opens at Shea's and runs to Oct. 19. Call 847-0850 for times. Ask about matinees.

15 Thursday: "Molly Sweeney," the lyrical, moving play performed by the Irish Classical Theatre about a woman trying to regain her sight, opens at the Calumet Theater, 48 W. Chippewa St., and runs Thursday to Sundays through Nov. 16. Call 853-4282 for times and tickets.

17 Friday: Sabres vs. Montreal Canadians. 7:35 p.m. MMA. 888-4000.
-- Vocalist Maureen McGovern ("The Morning After") joins the BPO Pops. 8 p.m. at Kleinhans. Show repeats 8 p.m. Oct. 18. 885-5000.
18 Saturday: After a free sample of fresh cotton candy, what could be wrong? Schambach's Maple Products of Sardinia will demonstrate and provide the goods, noon to 3 p.m. at Premier Gourmet, 3465 Delaware Ave., Kenmore. 873-3574.

19 Sunday: "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" debuts at Studio Arena. Jump off, Maggie, jump off. Performances every night except Moday until Nov. 16. 856-5650.

22 Wednesday: Sabres vs. Calgary Flames. 7:05 p.m. MMA. 888-4000.

23 Thursday: Mick Cochrane, author of "Flesh Wounds" (see "Ones to Watch," opposite page), gives a reading of his popular novel, 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 1089 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst. Buffalo Literary Group members will read original poetry at the Williamsville store, 7370 Transit Road. Events are part of Writers Harvest benefit. 834-0626.

24 Friday: Kids ages 3 to 8 can trick-or-treat at the gently spooky haunted Amherst Museum, 3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, late afternoon and early evening today and Oct. 25. $3 for children and $1 for adult chaperons. Reservations are due Oct. 17. 689-1400.

-- Another haunted house at the Herschell Carrousel Museum, 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. 693-1885.

25 Saturday: Downtown gets really scary with a Halloween Ghost Walk. Parade of costumes begins 11 a.m. at Studio Arena. Judging and prizes (most original, scariest, coolest) follow at Main Place. Treat Street trick-or-treating throughout the mall noon to 2 p.m. Free face-painting. Sponsored by KISS 98.5 FM. 884-5101.
-- Halloween Fun Trip on the Arcade & Attica Railroad, Arcade. Costumed riders get to visit a haunted railroad station along the way. 12:30 and 3 p.m. today and Oct. 26. 496-9877. 492-3100.
-- The BPO Classics welcomes Michael Stern, son of violinist Isaac Stern. Selections from Bernstein's "On the Town," Schumann and Prokofiev. 8 p.m. Kleinhans. Show repeats 2:30 p.m. Oct. 26. 885-5000.

-- Niagara Falls Kennel Club Dog Show, Niagara Falls Convention Center. Show continues Sunday. Call 286-4781 for details.

26 Sunday: Will they make our day or break our spirits? Bills vs. Broncos. 1 p.m. Rich Stadium. 649-0015.

29 Wednesday: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. 7:30 p.m. at MMA. Biggest circus outside of County Legislature meetings. Circus performs 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30, also several shows Nov. 1-2. Call 842-2266, Ext. 133, or 888-4000 for ticket information.

31 Friday: Celebrate Halloween with Doc Severinsen and the BPO Pops. The audience is encouraged to wear costumes, which may be redundant for Doc. 8 p.m. Kleinhans. 885-5000. Show repeats 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. 885-5000.

FIRST SUNDAY will publish its Guide to an Excellent Month calendar every month. Organizations may submit events information by Oct. 10. Send listings to FIRST SUNDAY, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240. Please include a phone number and personal contact for verification. FIRST SUNDAY will select those events with the widest or in some cases most intriguing appeal. Information and schedules are subject to change.