Sinéad O’Connor sang about it.

Danny Kaye sang about it.

Now a new theater troupe in Charleston has re-imagined it.

Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is an evergreen tale about innocent and accidental subversion.

Deuce Theatre has taken up those threads — questioning authority and the herd mentality — to weave a zesty fairytale for adults and others in need of a good laugh and maybe a chin-stroking think.

Their story opens in the Empire of Üs (rhymes, coincidentally, with “deuce”). All Üsland is agog in preparation for the Emperor Ramses II’s (John F. Ward) upcoming birthday. But threatening to spoil the festivities, Herald Harold (Michael Catangay) reports that war clouds glower on the horizon.

In truth, the neighboring country of Üsotopia has the good fortune of an abundant grain harvest that is secretly coveted by Üsland’s Ministers of Offense and Defense (Chad Layman, in a hilarious dual role).

Throughout the play, Herald Harold and his lovely co-herald Fleeca (prounounced “fleece-a,” played by Heather Moss-Layman) try to keep the audience up on the conflict only to have their war reporting continually pre-empted by Layman’s Ministers, who steer them on to happier topics.

No matter. There are plenty of spot-on satirical commercials for the heralds to cut away to: Üsland is awash in useless, must-have consumer goods.

In an empire run by a pair of Ministers ruthlessly manipulating a hapless Emperor, the principal task is manufacturing distraction, especially as the war effort spirals into the crapper.

The Emperor’s birthday celebration and the design of his new Birthday Suit are, luckily, tailor-made as a weapon of mass distraction.

Enter the Emperor’s new tailor, the clever and seductive Weaver (Andrea Studley), who may or may not be a “foreigner,” but who is without question just the kind of opportunist to shake things up.

One scene — one of many audience participation bits — has everyone voting on the four proposals of the Emperor’s new outfit. It’s a cheeky vignette on voter fraud in which the Weaver “wins” her bid for the imperial contract and the “sheeple” get a boost of confidence in their power to shape their country’s future. It’s all just a little scary.

And great fun, too.

There are puns, sight gags, and double-entendres galore. We’re regaled with songs, too — just as you’d expect in proper fairytale theater. That Emperor is told in this timeless fashion works to its advantage. Keeping it in a nether-realm both fantastical and endearingly human makes its barbs pointier and its laughs heartier.

Cast in this light, the questions Emperor poses about our culture and our personal moral courage give this show legs beyond this election cycle.

Deuce Theatre, originally founded in New Jersey by Andrea Studley and Michael Catangay, plans to continue developing original works. If Emperor is any indication, we’ve got a lot of worthy theater headed our way from these talented folks.

And at the post-show talk-back session, Emperor‘s cast mentioned they hope to bring the satire to Piccolo Spoleto next year.

They’ve got our vote.