Vanderbilt University Theatre opens its 2011-12 season with this 1765 work by Carlo Gozzi, as translated by Albert Bermel and Ted Emery. Inspired by the tradition of the commedia dell’arte, the play is a theatrical fantasy set in the imaginary city of Monterotondo, where a dysfunctional royal family — evil queen, doltish king, avaricious princess, etc. — and a mysterious green bird are just some of the characters who experience fairy tale-like adventures that are both funny and dark. Look for the requisite (more-or-less) happy ending, in a show whose production history includes a 2000 New York mounting by none other than Julie Taymor. Here, VU faculty newcomer Leah Lowe directs a cast of 25, and theater department techies have designed and constructed an ambitious set.