J. Michael Feldman defines a whole new type of "triple threat" by writing, puppeteering and acting in Fairy Tale Theatre: 18 & Over, this 90-minute barrel of monkey-filled laughs. But it's not just monkeys who populate this world; it's polar bears, squirrels, spiders, bees and other such mainstays of fairy-tale fare. The adult-themed stories — like "The Bi-Polar Bear and Co-Dependent Eskimo," "The Monkeys and Their Pet" and "The Cloud Who Was Into Some Weird Shit" — are filled with a hilariously caustic wit that's often self-referential, but not in an annoyingly hipster-ish way. Even Feldman's preshow announcement gets laughs, demonstrating his clear knack for comedy and setting the tone for the evening. His fellow players — puppeteers Jess McKay, Matt Cook and Tina Huang, as well as castmates Courtney Pauroso and Eileen Mulanee — are true chameleons who transform their voices, expressions and body language to endow a litany of animals with human traits. The actors truly throw themselves into the characters, lampooning highly relatable issues in outrageously funny ways. Contributing to their brilliant execution are director Annie McVey's daring choices and Stephen Rowan's colorful menagerie of props and costumes. With a go-for-broke vivacity and edginess reminiscent of Monty Python, Feldman and his crew spin comedic gold.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 20. Continues through Feb. 11, 2012