There's enough meat in Tom Stoppard's 1974 play Travesties for several feasts, and enough allusions to literature and history to keep you happily poking around in library shelves for days.
But a superior production of Travesties - and the one that opened Friday at Princeton's McCarter Theatre under Sam Buntrock's direction is just that - lets the play speak for itself. It's a no-holds-barred telling of Stoppard's Tony winner, an outrageously bold combination of stories and situations that illuminates them by the very way it confuses them.
There's no confusion, though, in the way Buntrock stages Travesties, right down to a second-half scene in which two women in Stoppard's play turn into Gwendolyn and Cecily, from Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, in a conversation modeled closely on a scene in that play - but with a clear (and rhymed) footing in this one. The teatime scene is staged for all it's worth as a travesty, the name used for what amounted to Victorian burlesque, with David Shire's original happy-go-lucky music backing the wordplay.