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Jewel Box Theatre to hold auditions for 58th season

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HERITAGE PARK MALL - JIM BECKEL
  • Jim Beckel
  • HERITAGE PARK MALL

Jewel Box Theatre will begin auditions for its 58th season on Saturday and Sunday. Production Director Chuck Tweed, who is beginning his 38th year with the company, said he is looking for actors to play roles in two popular shows: Chicago and Dial M for Murder.

Chicago will be the only musical this season,” Tweed said. “We need 14 men and 16 women.”

The Jewel Box seats 174 people in the round, so it’s one of the metro’s smaller theaters. Tweed said that 30 is about the maximum size cast they want.

“We did have a director stage Carousel once with a cast twice that size,” Tweed said. “I was sitting on the front row, and I nearly ate the shoe of a young woman who was doing a high-kick.”

The cast fro Dial M for Murder is only four: one woman and four men. The Frederick Knott play was popularized by Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 film of the same name, for which Knott also wrote the screenplay.

The story revolves around a failed plot to kill a wife for her money. The hired murderer is killed, leaving the husband to test his wits against Scotland Yard.

Translating such big-name productions into local theater can be challenging, but Tweed said it is a plus.

This year’s production of Chicago will be almost 30 years to the month from the first time Jewel Box performed the Bob Fosse production. It had to add performances that year.

Tweed still has the original production on VHS. He watched it recently in preparation for this production, and he said he was surprised by how tame it was, especially given the furor over Fosse then.

“We’re actually going bigger this time,” he said. “We’re going to razzle-dazzle it up.”

Theater in the round usually means that there is no major shifting of sets. Much of the performance’s narrative elements are carried by the dialogue, facial expressions, lighting and small set pieces.

“That’s the beauty of doing theater in the round,” Tweed said.

Auditions are 2-5 p.m. both days at the theater, 3700 N. Walker Ave. Tweed said he does not anticipate difficulty casting the roles.

“We have a humongous array of talent in Oklahoma City,” he said. “If you’re looking for actors over 60, you may have a hard time finding them in Oklahoma, but we have so many talented performers in the 20-35 range.”

Chicago opens the season on Aug. 20 with director Chuck Tweed, music director Tim Goff and choreographer Shawna Linck. It runs four weekends. Dial M for Murder runs Oct. 1-25. A director has not yet been named.

Print headline: Theater gems, Jewel Box Theatre is hosting auditions in preparation for its 58th year.

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