There’s a fundamental choice in re-staging a classic: 1) Re-imagine the play in a different setting, thereby making a modern statement; or 2) Keep the settings, costumes, and characterizations within the context of the original.

The first choice is often the most tempting, particularly when reviving a social satire, but the College of Charleston production of Tartuffe takes the second route with happily entertaining results.

This is trickier than one might imagine. Moliere wrote Tartuffe in 1664, during the baroque reign of Louis XIV, and that origin demands an ornately detailed approach to set and costume design that would likely exceed the budgets of most local theater companies.

But college theater is a different beast: With plenty of student labor led by a talented faculty, a theater department can afford to take on big logistical challenges, and the resulting material aspects of this production at the Emmett Robinson Theatre are colorfully and appropriately opulent.

This would be only furniture, of course, if director Evan Parry failed to commit modern theater against such an exquisitely corseted backdrop. But Parry succeeds by walking a third path and winking all the way: Accept the basic structure and look of the original, but tweak its conventions freely.

So while the text is the standard American version of the play, Parry uses improvised dialogue and elaborately extended stage business. He takes a comedy that probably emphasized spoken wit in the 17th century and remixes it with broad strokes of physical humor. And, as the director made clear in an after-curtain discussion Thursday night, he let the particular talents of his actors inspire some key decisions.

The result is an exuberant and winning ensemble performance. Peyton Gray Robbins, a scenery-chewing ham with natural comedic timing, is the show’s undisputed star, but Charley Boyd and Nick Smithson also stand out in supporting roles, as does the expressive and nuanced Sierra Garland.

Are there flaws? Sure. The third time Tartuffe steps on Orgon’s hand (without noticing his screaming) was at least one time too many. Having silly young lovers run to each other while “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing” (from 1955) swells in the background breaks the play’s baroque contract with the audience for an isolated laugh.

But let’s pick those nits in context. This is a legitimate piece of comedic theater, not some amateur charity case, and it’s a can’t-miss bargain at $15.

Enjoy.