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Seven by Seven / Seven things you need to know by 7 a.m.

1. Broadway actors Jeffry Denman and Marc Kudisch are "The Holiday Guys," two modern song-and-dance men who want to restore some integrity to yuletide theater. When they bring their cabaret-style show to MusicalFare Theatre, 4380 Main St., Snyder, they want to evoke that old warm and happy holiday feeling, using plenty of Christmas song classics. "It sounds cliche, but it's family, friends and, in some instances, your hopes and dreams about what you want," says Denman, who's a Western New York native. It opens at 7 tonight for the first of two performances. The other one is Thursday night.

2. The applications have come in. The applicants have been vetted for proof of residency and good character. Now the Buffalo Board of Education gets down to the make-or-break stage of sizing up the people who want to fill the unfinished term of departing at-large member Chris Jacobs, who has been elected Erie County clerk. They begin interviewing the prospects at 3 p.m. in Room 801 of City Hall. The interviews are open to the public.

3. Fans of superstar country singer Kenny Rogers will have it both ways. He will sing his hits -- songs like "The Gambler," "Ruby" and "Islands in the Stream" -- in the first half of his Christmas show this evening in Kleinhans Music Hall. Then, for the second half, he will do the holiday songs. Music starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 to $80.

4. Steven Spielberg's digitally animated film "The Adventures of Tintin" opens across the country today, and it promises to be the biggest of the holiday blockbusters. The tale of a young reporter and his dog, drawn from the beloved Belgian children's comic book series, already is a huge hit overseas. It's one of two Spielberg films that will show up during the holidays. Due to open on Christmas Day is his World War I epic, "War Horse."

5. About 50 people die homeless in Western New York every year, and for the most part, they're forgotten. Often their bodies go unclaimed, and their families have no idea that they have passed away. They'll be remembered for the first time today when the Western New York Coalition of Homeless Providers unveils a memorial stone at 4:30 p.m. in a garden at the Matt Urban Center on Paderewski Drive, across from the Central Terminal.

6. A workshop for homeowners who want to learn how to challenge their property tax assessments will be held at 6 p.m. in the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave. at West Utica Street, under auspices of the We Are Women Warriors Group and Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant. Officials from the city Department of Tax Assessment and attorney Michael Hughes, an expert in real estate and tax laws, will lead the session. For good measure, homeowners will have a chance to fill out the application form they need to challenge their assessments. Last day for challenges in Buffalo is Dec. 31.

7. More than 500 parents and children are expected to attend as the teaching staff at West Hertel Academy holds a holiday party in the school at 489 Hertel Ave. from 5 to 7 p.m. The party, part of an effort by the teachers to promote an alliance with parents and the community, will include pizza, cookies, a singalong, live llamas, gingerbread house-building, postal letter carriers to assist in writing letters to Santa and a visit from Santa himself with a gift for every child.

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