The Middle East is a big topic in theater these days—but taking an unusually lighthearted approach in yet another desert-set play is Laboratory Theater, whose new piece, Sherri Zahad and Her Arabian Knights, turns Sir Richard Francis Burton’s translation of the Arabian Nights into a Vegas lounge act. In the play, as Sherri Zahad and her fictitious performance troupe rehearse a ballet based on Burton’s text, crazy things happen—not unlike reality, in which the Brooklyn-based theater company (helmed by Yvan Greenberg) subverts the classic work by throwing in elements of stand-up, improv, cross-dressing,
and dance, all to the tune of (what else?) Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, Op. 35 . . . In other words, crazy things happen.

Wednesdays, Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: April 13. Continues through April 30, 2008