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The Boston Globe

Arts

STAGE REVIEW

‘Nights’ spins tales richly told

The magical stories of Scheherazade’s 1,001 “Arabian Nights’’ come to life with the simple combination of a storyteller’s hypnotic voice, a richly colored backdrop, and some extraordinarily dexterous performances in the Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater’s first coproduction at their Central Square Theatre home.

Adapter Dominic Cooke selects just five stories, ranging from the familiar (“Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves’’) to the more obscure (“How Abu Hassan Broke Wind’’) for a mix of tales that seem exotic at first but soon reveal familiar themes of jealousy, greed, bitterness, love, longing, and loss.

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