Its the ultimate fairy tale of female empowerment: After the discovery of his ex-wifes infidelity, some asshole king decides to marry a long series of virgin brides, only to execute them the following morning. (Hang on, the empowerment part is coming.) The female protagonist, Scheherazade, volunteers herself to be his next bride. She weaves the king a long, hypnotic, intricate story of extraordinary circumstances, layering each story atop one another, distracting him from his vendetta for 1,001 nights. Some of the most famous stories-within-a-story? Aladdin, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Sinbad the Sailor. Arabian Nights at the Orange County Performing Arts Center celebrates this epic saga thats been passed on for centuriesgoing on to influence other storytellers whove carried on the frame story tradition, such as Jorge Luis Borges. This musical version of One Thousand and One Nights includes classics from Vivaldi, Baderddin, Abdul Karim and Rimsky-Korsakov.
March 12-14, 8 p.m., 2009