Ira Glass has a new one man stage show and is currently touring the US (next stop UCLA). (Check out wikipedia if you don't know who he is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ira_glass According to the review posted below he is ending his show with a nod to the Nights which I find interesting and which gets to some core element that I think is inherent in the Nights' everlasting ability to intrigue (its loose form and frame story).
I'm always skeptical but also amused to hear why people think Shahriar doesn't kill her and what he learns from the storytelling experience but, given the nebulous nature of the Nights, the answer is provocatively elusive.
link to review from his Kansas performance article: http://blogs.pitch.com/plog/2010/02/ira_glass_at_the_lied_center_review.php
from the article:
"But Glass ended with a yarn that wasn't his own.
With the quintessential This American Life-style music swelling behind him, the radio host told a rendition of the Arabian Nights, the story of a woman who is spared by a murderous king for 1,001 nights because she keeps her captor wrapped up in the suspense of the stories she tells. "So remember what I'm telling you today, because these are tools that can save your life," Glass joked.
There was a serious lesson in Arabian Nights, too. Because of the woman's stories, Glass said, the king learned empathy. He ultimately spared the woman's life.
"Narrative is a back door to a really deep place in us," Glass said. "A place where reason doesn't necessarily hold sway. All of us in the room tonight live in a very unusual cultural moment where we're bombarded by stories like no other people who have ever lived. ... It's not just that we see actors everyday. Everything is a story. The NFL is a story and every story on the Internet is a story. Every ad is a story, every song is a story, and just, like, every little thing, all day long, is a story coming at us. I don't know about you, but it's rare for a story to feel like it's possible that that story could be me; that that's what it would be like to be that person. When that happens, you definitely notice because it's so unusual. And I don't know if it's important to make stories that have that power, but it's important to me. Like, when it happens, I feel more sane."
Ira Glass at the Lied Center review
By Carolyn Szczepanski in Entertainment, Media, Out & About
Mon., Feb. 22 2010 @ 11:00AM
The Pitch Kansas City