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I ushered for a stage performance of (selections from) Arabian Nights (Dominic Cooke), put on jointly by the Nora Theatre and Underground Railway Theater companies at the Central Square Theater. I enjoyed the performance; they did a great job with lovely costuming (it looked period, yet so comfortable; plus a ship hat that was particularly striking and gave me ideas of things to consider), some pillows, and an impressive variety of puppets that ranged from a small hand puppet to a huge, multi-person roc that flew the hand-puppet Sinbad away. The stories are enjoyable, as always, but the frame situation bothered me a lot more than it has in the past: all those girls dead, yet the sultan is redeemed by finally realizing his love for Shahrazad. Plus, one-night marriages are obviously only about sex/sex-appeal, not real marriages at all, so it's particularly icky, basically a loophole droit de seigneur to salve his conscience.

Tangential to the performance: I was the only one of three ushers to show up at the stated time, one hour before curtain. I stuffed programs, scanned tickets, handed out programs, directed people to their seats. Luckily it was not a full house. Then another usher showed up five minutes before curtain, doing almost nothing (handing out programs), sleeping through the first act, then leaving without cleaning up after either. I was not impressed.

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