Fairy tales for the pierced-navel set, the self-styled “junk opera” Shockheaded Peter takes an Edward Gorey-ish approach to the Struwwelpeter stories that a doctor in a German lunatic asylum composed as gleefully ghastly cautionary tales for 19th-century kiddies. Foolish tots who suck their thumbs or play with matches are given delectably appropriate punishments in the tales, and this production animates them with Tim Burton-esque puppetry, Victorian pop-up-book techniques, and the bizarre falsetto harmonics of the Tiger Lillies, an underground cabaret act that has a huge cult following in Europe. Too gruesome for actual thumb-suckers, the evening has been interpreted by some as a kick at conventional moralizing, by others as a gratuitously gruesome exercise in rhetorical payback (as when a hare swipes a hunter’s gun and offs not just the hunter, but also his wife). Everyone agrees, however, that it’s pretty spellbinding theatrically. It opens today at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. $20-$50. (202) 467-4600. (Bob Mondello)