The show has only a loose connection to the book of the same name, despite the fact that the author adapted his own work. The musical theater genre has significantly different needs than the novel, after all. The show homes in on questions of image with accompanying issues of propaganda and truth. Another of its major themes is the very nature of good and evil and how events can shift quickly from one to the other and back.
Lest it sound incredibly boring, let me also note that there is a giant mechanical dragon. The costumes look like what might happen if Escher were a Victorian fashion designer. The music gives me chills. We all laughed at the one-liners embedded in the dialogue.
It felt like magic.