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A five-year, five-production retrospective of plays by Tennessee Williams begins Friday in the Studio Arena Theatre with "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Gavin Cameron-Webb directs; Terry Layman plays Big Daddy, Peggy Cosgrave is Big Mamma, Ron Mathews is Brick, Cheryl Kenan is Maggie, and Robert Rutland is Gooper. Performances continue through Nov. 16 in the theater, 710 Main St.

A thriller by Ira Levin, "Veron-ica's Room," opens next Thursday at 8 p.m. in a production by FreeFall. Steve Vaughan directs, and Lisa Ludwig, Rosalind Cramer, Keith Elkins and Michael Walline are featured. Performances continue through Nov. 15 in Daemen Theatre, 4380 Main St., Amherst.

Steven Luther's comedy "The Stairs," winner of this year's Maxim Mazumdar play-writing contest sponsored by the Alleyway Theatre, opens next Thursday at 8 p.m. in the theater in the downtown Theater District. Neal Radice directs, and Paul O'Hern, Gerry Maher, Jennifer Fitzery and William Lovern are featured. Performances continue through Nov. 23.

A new musical about Fred Astaire with songs and dances by Jeffry Denman opens next Thursday at 8 p.m. in a production by Summerfare Musical Theatre. Denman's "Dancing in the Dark" will be directed by Randall Kramer and feature John Fredo, Norm Sham, Anne Biancofiore, Erika Insana, Denman and others. Performances continue through Nov. 23 in the Pfeifer Theatre, 681 Main St.

The last installment of Ron Ehmke's trilogy "The Dark Times" will be performed Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 2495 Main St. Part 3 is called "Welcome to the Sausage Factory" and is performed by Ehmke under the direction of Margaret Smith.

A staged reading of Joseph P. Ritz's new play, "Family Honor," will be given Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Irish Classical Theatre, 48 W. Chippewa St. Darleen Pickering Hummert directs Joseph G. Giambra, Susan Toomey, Paul Todaro and Karen Kopryanski in the reading. Admission is free.

The Four Seasons Players will perform Herb Gardner's comedy-drama "The Goodbye People" starting Friday at 8 p.m. in the Kenan Center's Taylor Theater, 433 Locust St., Lockport. Sheri Posey directs. Performances continue through Nov. 15.

Comedian Bill Bellamy performs Saturday at 8 p.m. in the University at Buffalo's Alumni Arena, North Campus.

Ian Whitcomb performs music and lyrics of Tin Pan Alley's Jack Yellen on Saturday at 9 p.m. in the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo State College's Rockwell Hall, 1300 Elmwood Ave.

The American Family Theater performs a musical version of "Aladdin" on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St.

The Rochester Children's Theatre performs a musical, "Dilly and the Dragon," Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Ave., Lancaster.

Nancy N. Doherty directs a college production of "Twelve Angry Men" next Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Theatre, Niagara County Community College, 3111 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn. Performances continue through Nov. 9.

Six one-act plays under the title "Gow Shorts" will be performed Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Thompson Performing Arts Center, Gow School, Emery Road, South Wales.