As temperatures rise and summer truly begins in the Mesilla Valley, two Las Cruces theater companies – No Strings Theatre Company and Las Cruces Community Theatre – are ready to open the curtains on their summer productions, providing a great way to beat the doldrums of the summer months. Opening Friday, June 5, at the Black Box Theatre is a family-friendly production of the classic tale “Arabian Nights,” running for nine performances over three weeks, closing Sunday, June 21. Directed by Karen Caroe and adapted by Dominic Cooke, the timeless tale of “Arabian Nights” centers on the gorgeous and cunning Queen Shaharazad, set to wed the dark-hearted King Shahrayar – and sure to meet the same fate as his thousand brides before her. Her wedding night upon her, Shaharazad must call on her greatest skill – storytelling – to draw the king into a fantastical world populated by the likes of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Sinbad the Sailor and Abu Hassan, along with singing trees, golden fountains and animals that talk. “Arabian Nights” stars newcomer Devin Blackwell as Queen Shaharazad and Grady Easterling as King Shahrayar, along with Rebekah Rubalcava as Dinerzad, Shaharazad’s ever- loyal younger sister, and Heath Tjaden as King Shahrayar’s Vizier. The ensemble cast of storytellers features Stephen Caroe, Adolfo Enriquez III, Micah Glidewell, Heather Hosford, Marco Salazar and Tiffany Tyson. Of this family-friendly show, Director Caroe said in press materials, “Who doesn’t love a great story? The most fascinating part of this production is what the audience brings to each story. There are stories withing stories of the frame story and layers of meaning to be discerned. The power of any story to make you laugh, cry, fear or wonder is always in how much you will allow yourself to willingly suspend disbelief.” The Black Box Theatre is located at 430 N. Main St. Performances of “Arabian Nights” are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, June 14 and 21, and 7 p.m. Thursday, June 18. Tickets are $12, $10 students and seniors and $8 Thursday. For more information, call 523-1223. In conjunction with performances of “Arabian Nights,” thetheatregallery, located in the lobby of the Black Box Theatre, will feature works created by members of the Las Cruces Arts Association inspired by this classic storyteller’s tale, opening with an artists’ reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 5, during the First Friday Downtown Art Ramble, and on display through the end of the month one hour before showtimes. The following week, beginning with a gala opening Friday, June 12, complete with cake, wine and refreshments with your fellow theatregoers, the Las Cruces Community Theatre presents a play written for a decidedly more mature crowd – Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” noted as among the earliest musicals to tackle weightier, more-adult themes and subjects, especially its focus on the shifting dynamics of dating, marriage and interpersonal relationships. First produced in 1970, Sondheim’s musical follows the habitually single confirmed bachelor Robert, contemplating love, life and loss on the night of his 35th birthday over a series of dinners, drinks, dates and even a wedding. Over the course of the evening, Robert’s interactions with the five couples he calls his friends, along with his three separate girlfriends play out as a series of non-linear vignettes, rather than a direct, chronological narrative. “We hope the production provides some answers,” said Director Michael Wise in a press release. “More probably, it will contribute to the list of questions we already have about marriage. That’s OK. We have a century or two to figure it out. “Each audience member will see reflections of themselves in at least one of the character on stage, keeping them both engaged and entertained from the opening of the curtain to its close.” Under Wise’s direction, the ensemble cast of “Company” features a mix of familiar faces from the both the community and NMSU Theater Arts worlds including William Gilbert, Janet Beatty-Payne, Christopher Rippel, Vanessa Dabovich, Mario Ragazzone, Margie Brouhard, Norman Lewis, Autumn Gieb, Cameron Lang, Jamie Smith, Matthew Esqueda, Alyssa Gose, Aylin White, Miranda Lukens and Joel Fisk. The Las Cruces Community Theatre is located at 313 N. Main St. Performances of “Company” are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $14 adults, $13 seniors/students/ military, $11 each for groups of 10 or more and $10 children age 6 and younger. For more information, call 523-1200. The No Strings Theatre Company production of “Arabian Nights” opens Friday, June 5, at the Black Box Theatre, with performances at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Las Cruces Community Theatre opens its summer production of Steven Sondheim’s musical classic “Company” on Friday, June 12.