Summer Theatre will put America's past into song

Think of the 38th season of CPCC Summer Theatre as a time machine.

Your stops will include the turn of the 20th century, the years leading up to the Jazz Age and the Depression, the not-yet-hip transition from the white bread 1950s to the swinging 1960s, the fatally selfish 1970s and - well, what decade shall we assign to a world where time stands still?

The trip begins June 3-11 with "Hello, Dolly," starring CPCC veterans Deborah Rhodes as matchmaker Dolly Levi and Charles LaBorde as Horace Vandergelder, whom she decides will suit her better than any of her young clients.

Jerry Herman's musical will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014, but it's fresh in the memory of anyone who saw the Oscar-winning, animated "WALL-E:" The robot protagonist liked to listen to "Put On Your Sunday Clothes."

"The Will Rogers Follies" follows June 17-25. That Tony-winning musical with tunes by Cy Coleman covers four decades in the life of the cowboy sage, who starred in vaudeville, onstage and in dozens of films.

"Alice in Wonderland Jr.," a shorter presentation for kids, runs June 29-July 9. It has characters from both of Lewis Carroll's "Alice" books and Disney songs from various sources.

Ira Levin's 1978 comedy-thriller "Deathtrap," the Broadway record-holder in its genre (1,809 performances) runs July 1-9. It's about an aging playwright who reads an unpublished play by a younger man, senses a surefire hit and decides to kill the author and claim the work as his own.

The season concludes July 15-23 with "Hairspray," the ebulliently nostalgic musical about a plump high schooler who confronts the dullness of life in Baltimore, her unhappy parents, a neighborhood snob and racial segregation on a televised dance show in 1962.