Laguna Playhouse Executive Director Karen Wood and Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham raised the curtain at the Hotel Laguna on Monday on the 13 productions in the 2012-13 season.
"It's a 'baker's dozen of art and entertainment,'" said Wood.
Matthew Smedal performed a rousing overture and musical interludes on the piano to introduce the three musicals scheduled for the upcoming season.
"The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps & Gowns" is set for July 3 to 29. It features more than 20 hit songs from the 1950s and '60s, including "Rockin' Robin" and "River Deep — Mountain High."
"You remember our gals from their last visit, 'Winter Wonderettes,'" Wareham said. "Well, in this world premiere, our four favorite gals from the 1950s take us down memory lane when they graduate from high school and move beyond."
Smedal played "Let it Snow" as a hint to "Plaid Tidings," the special edition of "Forever Plaid" that will be on stage from Nov. 27 to Dec. 23.
"In this visitation, the hilarious, heavenly quartet croons their swingin' harmonic renditions in a lovingly nostalgic, holiday extravaganza," Wood said. "Featuring standards including 'White Christmas,' 'I'll Be Home for Christmas,' and 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' this is sure to be a holiday treat for the whole family."
The musical "Having It All" moves to center stage March 5, 2013, and will run through March 31.
Shannon Warne belted out "Picture of a Dream," one of the songs from the show, which explores the myth that juggling a career, a marriage, children and running a household is "having it all."
The show is being produced by the Playhouse in association with Peter Schneider, and Laguna Beach resident and impresario David Elzer; it's his fifth production with the Playhouse.
"We hope to have the original cast that debuted the show last year in Los Angeles," Elzer said.
The show's lyricist David Goldsmith also attended the Playhouse soiree.
Comedy and what Wood called dramedy takes the stage starting with Alfred Hitchcock's classic "The 39 Steps" thriller on Sept. 25 for a nearly monthlong run.
The 1935 movie featured the first of Hitchcock's signature cool blondes: Madeleine Carroll.
The long-running hit play is the winner of Tony and Drama Desk awards and London's Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.
"It's also one of the biggest challenges in the repertoire of a character actor, with 150 roles essayed by four very energetic, ambitious actors," Wareham said.
Former Playhouse Artistic Director Andrew Barnicle will return to direct "Chapter Two," Neil Simon's semi-autobiographical comedic take on the drama of adjusting to his wife's untimely death and his brother's match-making proclivity.
The play will jump start the New Year, opening Jan. 8.
Barnicle recalled mentoring a Playhouse staff member who was terrified of speaking to a group of ushers, mostly from Leisure World.
The staffer asked Barnicle, who once taught a college class on public speaking, for some tips. Barnicle suggested making an outline of what he wanted to say.