Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

“Sesame Street” Star Alan Muraoka Helms Lyric’s The King and I Starring Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Heather Geery, Christine Toy Johnson and Ron Domingo, July 9-13, 2013

Alan Muraoka Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka Photo by Lia Chang

The Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma is presenting the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, directed by “Sesame Street” star Alan Muraoka, from July 9-13, 2013, in the Thelma Gaylord Performing Arts Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 North Walker Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK. To buy tickets, visit Lyric’s box office at 1727 NW 16th Street, call (405) 524-9312 or visit LyricTheatreOKC.com.

Heather Geery and Mel Sagrado Maghuyop lead the cast as Anna and the King of Siam in The King and I, which was last presented by Lyric in 1983. The production holds a special place in Geery’s heart, as she appeared in Lyric’s 1983 production of The King and I as one of the King of Siam’s children. Her most recent regional credits include Beauty and The Beast at West Virginia Public Theatre and A Christmas Carol at Theatreworks USA. Maghuyop will travel to Oklahoma from New York City and this is not the actor’s first time tackling the role, as he played the part at Harbor Lights Theater in November 2012 and at Walnut Street Theatre in November 2011. He was last seen as “The Engineer” in Miss Saigon at Fulton Theater. He appeared in the critically-acclaimed production of Miss Saigon at the Walnut Street Theater first as “Thuy” and then as “The Engineer,” for which he garnered a Barrymore lead actor in a musical nomination. Besides 14 Miss Saigon productions, other favorites include Godspell, The UGate of Heaven and The King and I (North Shore Music Theater).

“Being a part of this show once again is so special and sentimental for me,” said Geery. “Not only is it a celebration of Lyric’s 50th Anniversary, but The King and I was my first show as a child, so to go from playing a princess to portraying the role of Anna means this experience truly brings my life on the Lyric stage full-circle. It is a wonderful and special moment for me!”

Lyric’s production includes Christine Toy Johnson as Lady Thiang, OBIE Award winner Ron Domingo, as The Kralahome, Hugh Cha as Lun Tha, Yoon Jeong Seong as Tuptim, Michael Mandanas as Prince Chulalongkorn, Autumn Ogawa as Eliza, Arisa Odaka as Angel George, Nobutaka Mochimaru as King Simon of Legree, Jacob Marino as Louis, Terry Runnels as Captain Orton, Vince Leseney as Sir Edward Ramsey and Yuki Ozeki as Littla Eva, who also serves as the associate choreographer.

“Lyric is proud to present The King and I, one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s masterpieces that has delighted and emotionally resonated with audiences since its premiere in 1951,” said Michael Baron, Lyric’s artistic director. “In addition, I’m proud to welcome Director Alan Muraoka and Choreographer Greg Zane to bring this show to life once more. Also, we will be hosting a chorus of 21 Asian-American children from right here in Oklahoma City. The splendor and drama of the court of the King of Siam will glitter once more as Anna and the King come to understand and love one another.”

Muraoka last joined Lyric to direct the hit musical Xanadu in 2012, complete with a roller skating cast. His directing credits also include Off-Broadway and regional theatre, as well as television. As an actor, he joined the cast of “Sesame Street” in 1997 and has been a series regular ever since.

Featuring familiar songs like “Getting to Know You,” the production will wow audiences with its majestic costumes and elaborate set pieces. Zane has choreographed the production multiple times, including the show’s national tour, and teaches dance at American Ballet Theatre and Broadway Dance Center in New York City, among others. The show will also feature music direction by David Andrews Rogers, sound design by Toby Algya, lighting design by Helena Kuukka and props design by Courtney Strong.

Heather Geery-Mayfield

Heather Geery-Mayfield

HEATHER GEERY-MAYFIELD (Anna Leonowens)
29 years with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Lyric: SOME ENCHANTED EVENING (Anna), DECEMBER DIVAS, URINETOWN (Hope), WEST SIDE STORY (Maria), CAROUSEL (Carrie), GUYS AND DOLLS (Sarah), INTO THE WOODS (Rapunzel), GEORGE M! (Agnes). Lead singer with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Regional; West Virginia Public Theatre: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Belle); Theatreworks USA: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Fan/Abigail). Local; Oklahoma City Philharmonic: A VERY MERRY POPS (Singer), THE SECRET GARDEN (Lily). Ms. Geery-Mayfield was 1st runner up for Miss Oklahoma.

Mel Sagrado Maghuyop

Mel Sagrado Maghuyop

MEL SAGRADO MAGHUYOP (The King of Siam) International; Snug Harbor Productions, Cambodia: WHERE ELEPHANTS WEEP (Guard). National Tour: MISS SAIGON (Engineer u/s, Ensemble). Off-Broadway; Scandal Productions: TOKYO CONFIDENTAL (Horiyoshi); National Asian Arts Project: OKLAHOMA! (Ike Skidmore); Pan Asian Repertory: IMELDA (Ferdinand Marcos); Prospect Theatre Company: HONOR (Kenshin). Regional; Harbour Lights Theatre Company: THE KING AND I (The King of Siam); Fulton Theatre: MISS SAIGON (The Engineer), North Shore Music Theatre: THE KING AND I (Kralahome); Walnut Street Theatre: MISS SAIGON (The Engineer); Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera: MISS SAIGON (Assistant Commander); Pioneer Theatre: MISS SAIGON; North Carolina Theatre: MISS SAIGON; Foothills Theater: MISS SAIGON; Lenape Performing Arts Center: MISS SAIGON (Thuy); Stage Left Theatre: Marriott Theatre: MISS SAIGON (Club Owner).

Christine Toy Johnson Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson

Christine Toy Johnson Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson

CHRISTINE TOY JOHNSON (Lady Thiang) Broadway: THE MUSIC MAN (Ethel Toffelmier), GREASE! (Patty Simcox), CHU CHEM (Standby). National/International: FLOWER DRUM SONG (Rita Liang), BOMBAY DREAMS (Kitty DeSousa), CATS (Sillabub). Off-Broadway: MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (K.T.), PACIFIC OVERTURES (Kurogo), BALANCING ACT (Optimistic), CRANE STORY (Crane), National Asian American Theatre Company: FALSETTOLAND (Dr. Charlotte); Public Theatre: GENESIS (Cherubim), National Asian American Artists Project: HELLO, DOLLY! (Dolly Levi). Regional; Harbor Lights Theatre Company: THE KING AND I (Lady Thiang). Television: “One Life to Live” (Detective Lisa West), “30 Rock” (Travel Agent), “Law and Order: SVU”(Doctor) “Law and Order: CI” (Doctor), “Ugly Betty” (Betty’s Real Estate Broker), “Smash” (Dr. Holland). Ms. Johnson is the recipient of the 2013 Rosetta LeNoire Award from Actors’ Equity Association, the 2012 WAi Look Award for Outstanding Service in the Arts from the Asian American Arts Alliance, and the 2010 Salute to Champions Award form the Japanese American Citizens League.

YoonJeong Seong

YoonJeong Seong

YOON JEONG SEONG (Tuptim) Off- Broadway; Ma-Yi Theatre: WILL SING (Helen);Abingdon Theater: RAIN (Voice of Heaven); Harmonia Opera: HAIBO (West Girl); New York Arts: DON PASQUALE (Norina). Regional; Harbor Light Theater: THE KING AND I (Tuptim); Dutch Apple Theater: THE KING AND I (Tuptim); Broadway Palm Theater: THE KING AND I (Tuptim); West Virginia Public Theater: THE KING AND I (Tuptim); Gretna Theatre: THE KING AND I (Tuptim); Gateway Playhouse: THE KING AND I (Tuptim); Virginia Musical Theatre: MISS SAIGON (Kim u/s); Evangelic Opera: AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS (Amahl); Bay Ridge Opera: TELEPHONE (Lucy), GIANNI SCHICCHI (Nella).

Hugh Cha

Hugh Cha

HUGH CHA (Lun Tha) Off-Broadway; Theater for the New City: CHALK CIRCLE (Inn Keeper); Mangioli Theatrical: BRONZE MIRROR (Fang Hou/Second Master). Regional; Boston Conservatory: ARCHIVES AND ETCHINGS (Principle Dancer); Tsai Theater/Global Theatre Project: KAMIOROSHI (Samaurai/Magistrate). Mr. Cha has danced with Kinnect Modern Dance Company, ROC Multicultural Dance Group, and Ground Hounds Breakdance Crew.

Ron Domingo. Photo by Lia Chang

Ron Domingo. Photo by Lia Chang

RON DOMINGO (The Kralahome) International; The Tricyle Theatre (UK): PAPER DOLLS (Chiqui). Off Broadway; WPA Theatre: ON HOUSE (Veluz); Manhattan Theatre Club: THE AMERICAN PILOT (Farmer); Ma-Yi Theater Company: THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO (Prudencio). Regional; Harbor Lights Theatre Company: THE KING AND I (Kralahome); Cleveland Playhouse: A DREAM PLAY (Poet). Mr. Domingo is the recipient of the OBIE Award for THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO.

Michael Mandanas

Michael Mandanas

MICHAEL MANDANAS (Prince Chulalongkorn) 3 years with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Lyric: LYRIC’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Ignorance, Turkey Boy); CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (Jeremy Potts u/s, Toby). Local; Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy: WE ARE MONSTERS (Westerley); Heritage Hall: THE LITTLE MERMAID (Prince Eric), GODSPELL, THE SECRET GARDEN; Oklahoma Children’s Theatre: SEUSSICAL (Conrad); St. Monica’s Musical Camp: JONAH AND THE WHALE (Turtle), ROCK SLINGER (Phillistine).

Jacob Merino

Jacob Merino

JACOB MARINO (Louis Leonowens) Local; Christ the King School: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Young Scrooge), PETER AND THE WOLF (Peter), member of St. Gregory’s Boys Choir; Missoula Children’s Theatre: THE PRINCESS AND THE PEA (Dust Bunny)

Vince Leseney

Vince Leseney

VINCE LESENEY (Sir Edward Ramsey) 15 years with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Lyric: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Peter), THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS (Narrator), GODSPELL (Vince), SWING! (Man #1), THE PRODUCERS (Franz Liebkind). Regional; Kansas City Starlight: THE PRODUCERS (Franz Liebkind).

Terry Runnels

Terry Runnels

TERRY RUNNELS (Captain Orton) 7 years with Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Lyric: ANNIE (Daddy Warbucks), SHOW BOAT (Ravenal). National Tour: ANNIE (Daddie Warbucks), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Max). Regional; North Carolina Theatre: ANNIE (Daddy Warbucks); Arkansas Repertory Theatre: ANNIE (Daddy Warbucks), Kansas City Starlight: ANNIE (Daddy Warbucks); Nutmeg Theatre: SWEENEY TODD (Sweeney Todd), MAN OF LA MANCHA (Don Quixote). Local; Oklahoma State University: SWEENEY TODD (Sweeney).

Tickets to all of Lyric’s 2013 shows are now on sale. To buy tickets, visit Lyric’s box office at 1727 NW 16th Street, call (405) 524-9312 or visit LyricTheatreOKC.com. Performances will be held at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 North Walker Avenue, Oaklahoma City, OK, on Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m.

The Civic Center Music Hall is located on North Walker Avenue between Colcord and Couch Drive in downtown Oklahoma City.

Lyric’s production of The King and I is sponsored by Continental Resources, Love’s, Express Employment Professionals, American Fidelity Foundation, Coppermark Bank, Oklahoma Natural Gas, Chesapeake Energy and The Oklahoman. Annual support is provided by Allied Arts, Inasmuch Foundation, Kirkpatrick Foundation and Oklahoma Arts Council.

About Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma
Founded in 1963, Lyric is Oklahoma’s leading professional theatre company. For 50 years, Lyric has produced classic and contemporary musicals and plays featuring both nationally known Broadway stars and local favorites. Lyric produces four large-scale, fully orchestrated musicals at the Civic Center Music Hall each summer, as well as four smaller works at the Plaza Theatre during the spring, fall and winter. Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy is a professional training ground for students ages 5-18 offering classes in all aspects of musical theatre. Academy students have the opportunity to perform in two full-scale productions each year on the Plaza Theatre stage. For more information visit LyricTheatreOKC.com.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Production Photos: Music Theatre of Wichita’s The King and I Starring Thom Sesma, Kim Huber, Alan Ariano, Karl Josef Co, Kay Trinidad, Tami Swartz at Century II Performing Arts Center through July 14, 2013
Photos: Q & A with Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, The King in Harbor Lights’ Production of The King and I
Playing Lady Thiang in the Harbor Lights’ Production of The King and I is a dream come true for Christine Toy Johnson
Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Tamara Jenkins, Christine Toy Johnson and Ron Domingo Lead the Cast of Harbor Lights Theater Company’s Production of The King and I, directed by Alan Muraoka, November 2-18, 2012
Celebrity Actress, Pauletta Pearson Washington returns home to North Carolina starring at 2013 National Black Theatre festival with Roscoe Orman (“Sesame Street,” Willie Dynamite) and all star cast in Lorey Hayes’ award-winning “Power Play”, a play about Politics, Passion and The Power of God
Video: Power Play’s Lorey Hayes and Lia Chang on The Carmen Mathis Show
Photos: Charles Smith’s Knock Me A Kiss Starring André De Shields Featured in Encore Performances at The National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC, July 30-August 1, 2013
Photos: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Phylicia Rashad, John Earl Jelks, Leslie Uggams, Anthony Chisholm, S. Epatha Merkerson, Taraji P. Henson, Jesse L. Martin, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Kenny Leon and More Set for August Wilson American Century Cycle Recording Series at The Greene Space in NY, Aug. 26-Sept. 28, 2013
Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams
Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season Features New Works by Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Chuck Cooper, Austin Pendleton, Nicholas L. Ashe, Kyle Beltran, Grantham Coleman, Jeremy Pope, and Wallace Smith Set for MTC’s World Premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy, June 18- July 21, 2013
Photos: David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Opening Night
Production Photos: Mary Zimmerman-helmed Disney’s The Jungle Book featuring Two-Time Tony Nominee André De Shields, Nehal Joshi, Akash Chopra, Govind Kumar and More at The Goodman, Extends Through August 11, 2013
Here Lies Love, Starring Jose Llana and Ruthie Ann Miles, Extends at The Public through July 28, 2013
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
C.J. Wilson navigates armor and swordplay in Signature Theatre Company’s World Premiere of Kenneth Lonergan’s Medieval Play
Up Close and Personal with Darren Pettie, Star of The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore
Photos and Video: Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas- In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2013 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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