Want to know more about the stars of last summer’s stunning production of THE KING AND I? You’ve come to the right place! We asked them a few pressing questions and this is what they had to say:

Heather Geery-Mayfield, Anna

Why are you excited to play Anna?

I am excited because THE KING AND I was my very first show at Lyric in 1983! So, to go from playing a princess to portraying the role of Anna now is quite exciting!

Is this your first time working at Lyric?

I have worked at several theatres, but I can honestly say that Lyric is my home. I have literally grown up on this stage and all of the people I have ever worked with here have been extraordinary!

What is the most memorable role you have ever played and why?

Maria in WEST SIDE STORY. I portrayed the role in 1992 and came back to play Maria again in 2000. It is such a beautiful show and I love singing the music!

Are there any special challenges you foresee in playing your character?

Mastering the British dialect!

Do you have any rituals you do before each show?

Not really before, but I always sing with a tiny piece of white gum in my mouth!

What is your favorite thing about musical theatre?

EVERYTHING! I live for it!

Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, The King of Siam

Why are you excited to play The King of Siam?

The King of Siam is such a great role for many reasons.  For one, the challenge of that connection with the character of Anna is such a fine balance of negotiating the battle of east versus west, male versus female and of course old traditions versus new ones.  In addition, I love trying to discover the funny moments and moments of vulnerability in such a strong and powerful role as The King.

Is this your first time working at Lyric?

This will be my first time working for Lyric!   I feel so honored!

What is the most memorable role you have ever played and why?

The most memorable role I have ever played was The Engineer in MISS SAIGON.  That particular show has always meant the world to me.  It was why I got into theatre in the first place.  I have been lucky enough to have done MISS SAIGON since 2001 in over 15 productions playing every adult Asian role in the show.  So, when I finally was blessed enough to be trusted with the role of The Engineer I felt that I had accomplished a life-long dream.

Are there any special challenges you foresee in playing your character?

I always expect challenges.  I will never be perfect, but I will always seek perfection.  The only challenge I see is being able to improve every performance I have and never settling for less.  Actually, the one challenge I do see is really getting to know all the wonderful people who I get to be surrounded and led by in this production due to time constraints.

Do you have any rituals you do before each show?

Actually … I DO! To get into character, I listen to Buddhist monks chanting and meditate.  I also look at pictures of the time I spent in Southeast Asia.  It helps place me in the right frame of mind to tell the truth of the story.  Then, I do a set of pushups to get the blood flowing!  Yes, I start of meditating then end up pumping up my adrenaline!

What is your favorite thing about musical theatre?

When you are so “into the moment” while performing on stage that you forget that there is even an audience watching.  It is in that instance that it feels “real.”  It is at that moment that “truth” is brought to life on stage.  It is that feeling of being totally immersed in the story and environment, where nothing else seems to exist.   At that moment, that story, scene, character is REAL.

Christine Toy Johnson, Lady Thiang

Why are you excited to play Lady Thiang?


I love this show for its gorgeous music and heart. Getting to sing “Something Wonderful” is truly a gift. Lady Thiang is such a beautiful character; a woman with strength, dignity and loyalty.  I had a chance to headline a concert in Thailand some years ago, and the compassion I saw in many of the people I met there inspires me to underline the compassion I see in Lady Thiang.

Why are you excited to work at Lyric?

This is my first time! I’ve heard so many wonderful things about the theatre and am excited to work with everyone.

What is the most memorable role you have ever played and why?

There are really two I have to mention. Just last month, I had a chance to play Dolly Levi in Baayork Lee’s production of HELLO, DOLLY!  in NYC, directed by Lee Roy Reams. Such a life-affirming story about taking second chances and running with them! (And talk about a gargantuan role!) Back in 1994, playing Maria in WEST SIDE STORY at Sacramento Music Circus, I met my husband, Bruce Johnson, who was playing Tony. We’re celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary this summer!

Are there any special challenges you foresee in playing your character?

I am always cognizant of the responsibility to bring authenticity to a character that comes from a different country than my own — especially pertaining to accent, carriage and essence. This is a great challenge and one I feel honored to rise to. 

Do you have any rituals you do before each show?

I always take a moment of gratitude –to thank the universe for the opportunity to tell the story I’m about to tell, to live up to my full potential and to be open to expressing and open to receiving. I also express gratitude for the audience getting there safely, and with all that the people in your region have gone through this spring, I will be thinking of this, tenfold.

What is your favorite thing about musical theatre?

I love the way we’re taken on a “bright cloud of music” through a story! Being a librettist and lyricist myself, I’m a constant student (and nerd) of especially the “golden age” musicals like THE KING AND I and really get swept away in the various ways (as they say), “songs make you feel a thought.” There’s nothing like it!

Yoon Jeong Seong, Tuptim

Why are you excited to play Tuptim?

The music is beautiful and I love singing the songs. I am excited to play the role because the character has such heart and intelligent.

Is this your first time working at Lyric?

It is my first time to perform at Lyric.

What is the most memorable role you have ever played and why?

Lucy from the opera TELEPHONE. It was my first major role and the character was a lot of fun to play.

Are there any special challenges you foresee in playing your character?

Having played the role a number of times before, I don’t foresee the challenges, but I always hope to learn something new.

What is your favorite thing about musical theatre?

My favorite thing is getting involved in the character and being able to express myself by singing.

Lyric at the Civic Center

The Sound of Music

June 27, 2023 – July 2, 2023