Donna King

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Donna King
Born
Donna King

1957
NationalityAmerican
OccupationDancer, singer, actress, teacher
Years active1977–present
Spouse(s)
John Napier (m. 1984–1994)
ChildrenJimmy Napes, Jessica Napier

Donna King (born 1957) is an American dancer and musical theatre performer who appeared in Broadway musicals in the 1970s and 1980s and has lived and worked mostly in England since the 1980s.

She is also an actress and has appeared in theatre as well as on film and television.

Life[edit]

Originally from Kansas City, King trained at the Miller Marley School of Dance in Overland Park, Kansas.[1] She worked briefly on a revue in Las Vegas before starting at Studio 54, New York City, on its opening night in 1977. She appeared as one of the good-time girls in the Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1978), then in Roland Petit's 1981 revival of Can-Can, before originating the part of Bombalurina at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats,[2][3] which she played from 1982 to 1984. In September 1982, the New York Magazine ran a feature on King, who was pictured as Bombalurina in a window display at Bergdorf Goodman.[4] She was also a lead dancer in the film Grease 2 (1982).[1]

In 1984, King married John Napier, a British theatre designer who had designed the set and costumes for Cats, and they had two children, James (now the musician Jimmy Napes) and Jessica.[2] They were divorced in 1994. In 2014, Andrew Lloyd Webber said in an interview about the production team of Cats — "Trevor, John and I all married a ‘cat’ eventually – so it really was life-changing!" The three “cats” were Sharon Lee-Hill, Donna King, and Sarah Brightman, respectively.[5]

In 1991, Donna King appeared in the lead role of May in a revival of Sam Shepard's Fool for Love at the Timber Street Studios, London. The Theatre Record reviewer reported that she gave a performance of great subtlety, but found King "too bright-eyed and bushy-tailed" for the part.[6]

King had a notable part in Jilly Cooper's The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous (1997). In the opening scene, her tryst with the anti-hero, Lysander Hawkley, is interrupted by her husband, who chases Lysander out of the house naked with a crossbow.[7]

She now has a studio in Camden Town and teaches music, theatre, and film students.[2]

Musical theatre[edit]

Films[edit]

This list is not complete

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Alumni: Donna King at millermarley.com, accessed 8 April 2018
  2. ^ a b c Biography at donnakingdame.com, accessed 7 April 2018
  3. ^ Biography from Cats program, 1982: "DONNA KING (Bombalurina) This K.C. kitty hit Vegas then split fast. Was an original best little whore from Texas a coupla blocks down. Loved playin' a Frenchie in Petit's Can-Can. Hit the celluloid for a Grease 2 slide. Now I'm exquisitely fulfilled just being an enchanted cat. Thanks for coming."
  4. ^ New York Magazine dated 13 Sep 1982, pp. 58—59
  5. ^ Rachel Stewart, 'They told me I was crazy': Andrew Lloyd Webber on Cats in The Daily Telegraph dated 10 December 2014, accessed 8 April 2018
  6. ^ Theatre Record, Volume 11, Issues 10-17, pp. 627, 644, 645
  7. ^ Dave Lanning, Sooper-Stud's Flight of Fancy dated June 8, 1997, in The People (London, England) at highbeam.com, accessed 6 April 2018
  8. ^ Dan Dietz, Off Broadway Musicals, 1910–2007: Casts, Credits, Songs, Critical Reception and Performance Data of More Than 1,800 Shows (New York: McFarland, 2012), pp. 43—44
  9. ^ Donna King at playbill.com, accessed 8 April 2018
  10. ^ John Stewart, Broadway Musicals, 1943–2004 (New York: McFarland, 2005, ISBN 978-0786422449), p. 820
  11. ^ The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous at bfi.org.uk, accessed 8 April 2018

External links[edit]