For starters, the 1941 Bertolt Brecht satire is in an alternative space at the Blue Barn Theatre. Seats are on the stage in rows on both sides of Martin Scott Marchitto’s excellent set, built alley-style out of wood to represent several locales: the waterfront, a courtroom and a country home, among others.

The second indication that you’re in for something extraordinary comes when the cast lines up for the first scene, wearing exaggerated makeup and listening to a carnival-barker-like character announce what’s coming. It’s clear that this is a troupe of thespians poised to deliver what the program says is a “parable play,” using art as a tool in a similar way to what Karol Wojtyla did in Poland’s underground theater in 1941, years before he became Pope John Paul II.

And as the show goes on, the 2016 relevance of the material — the story of a 1930s Chicago gangster that’s an allegory to the rise of Adolf Hitler — might resonate.

The play asks a lot of the audience. The characters each have their counterparts in Nazi Germany, so it helps if you have some knowledge of the Weimar Republic, the Brownshirt militia and other elements of Hitler’s path to power. And most people in the 17-member cast play multiple roles, so you need to pay attention.

But this script couldn’t be in better hands. The actors, the crew and director Susan Clement-Toberer have created a multimedia marvel, paying exquisite attention to the details.

Ui (Nils Haaland) is determined to control the city’s greengrocery trade, specifically the cauliflower racket, and he’s systematically disposing of anyone who gets in his way.

His gang — Roma (Brennan Thomas), Giri (Daena Schweiger) and Givola (Jens Rasmussen) — represents real-life Brownshirts leader Ernst Röhm and Hitler henchmen Hermann Göring and Joseph Goebbels, respectively. Dogsborough (Mike Markey), a stand-up businessman who gets caught in Ui’s web, represents Weimar Republic President Paul von Hindenburg. Dullfeet (Paul Schneider), a weak vegetable dealer in Cicero, Illinois (where Ui wants to expand his empire), represents the chancellor of Austria.

As the story unfolds, film footage of Hitler and events in Germany during his era is projected onto a curtain behind the set — a nifty device that helps you understand what’s going on in Chicago.

The ensemble is uniformly excellent, with many actors easily and believably switching from role to role. Haaland, especially, is outstanding as the menacing Ui, who lets situations unfold around him, then reassures everyone involved that he is the answer to their problems. Rasmussen and Thomas also deliver as his aides.

Schweiger, Jennifer Gilg and Steve Denenberg credibly execute different dialects the script requires: Chicago mobster, Eastern European and German, a testament to the work of coach Susan Baer Collins.

Costume and prop details might seem small, but they made a big difference in the overall feel of the production. I loved the cauliflower hats — literally plastic heads of cauliflower — worn by the veggie business trust and the authentic-looking newspaper pages with screaming headlines about the latest murders. The veggie dealers also wore ball caps with a sly reference to the current presidential campaign. Kudos to costumer Lindsay Pape and props master Amy Reiner, who’s also the production manager.

Music — both in the background and performed by the cast — added an interesting layer to the show.

The plot probably was hard for some to grasp, especially those who need a refresher course on German history. In fact, I heard a couple of people ask if the show was over when the lights came up for intermission, and there were a few empty seats when the second act started.

But, as with any parable, the plot is secondary to the message it attempts to impart. And in the end, I thought that message was clear: Don’t turn a blind eye to evil and expect the other guy to save the world.

Brecht said it best: “The play is not so much an attack on Hitler, but rather on the complacency of the people who were able to resist him, but didn’t.”