Donna in Colorado Springs, CO, November 19, 1919 at the Burns Theater


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Donna in Colorado Springs, CO, November 19, 1919 at the Burns Theater

It was less than two weeks after Donna joined the “Chin Chin” before her superior skill was called out in a review.  
The pre-show buzz began as it typically did with stories from the Press Agents ten days before the show. Again on the 11th, the Press Agents wrote, and the Colorado Springs Gazette reported about “Charles Dillingham’s Stupendous Musical Comedy ‘Chin Chin.”
The pre-show buzz continued with an article on the 14th and again on the 15th with “What Press Agents Say.”  Also on the15th there appeared an here-to-unseen photograph of “‘The Four French Dancing Dolls’ in Charles Dilingham’s stupendous production of “Chin Chin, coming to Burns Theater next Wednesday evening.”  The woman on the far left looks surprisingly like Donna. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any further sources for the image and can’t confirm that it is Donna.
Again, on the 18th, “What Press Agents Say” ran a rehash of “The Evolution of ‘Chin Chin,” which has run in other papers. Also, in the newspaper of the 18th, there was a small advertisement by the Burns Theater indicating “Chin Chin” was coming, Wednesday, November 19th.  They ran a similar ad on the 19th indicating the show was tonight.
In a very unusual action, the Colorado Springs Gazette published a review of the show in the next day’s paper.  It is somewhat unusual for a review to run subsequent a one-show production.  The review said
‘CHIN CHIN’ OF PRESENT
  RECALLS PAST GLORIES
Spectacular and Tuneful Musical
Comedy Retains Much of Charm
Which Made It Success

The “Chin Chin” of the past and this “Chin Chin’* of the present are two separate and distinct attractions, only distantly related, in fact; yet this current production was gulped down by a hungry audience at the Bums last evening as eagerly as if it had been the original. “Which only goes to show what limited theatrical opportunities will do to a people who are commonly supposed to he somewhat critical. 

From this it is not to be judged that today’s “Chin Chin” is impossible. It is simply that it suffers by comparison. Were it not that its reputation had preceded it probably it [sic] would have been received without more than a word or two of dissent. For it did offer an evening’s entertainment.
Generally, the production is spectacular; somewhat the worse for the handling and a bit faded, but still possessing a glitter that made for friendliness. Numbers produce a sense or activity and a couple of comedians of slapstick tendencies kept things going where musical numbers fall. There is no music worth mentioning. Melodies of years gone by, “Goodbye, Girls, I’m Thru,” “Temple Bells,” “Love Moon,” et cetera, are on the program, but they simply account for so many minutes of playing time, there being no one in the company with a voice, sufficient even to get these over. Yes, there Is music; too; the clown band, a saxophone quintet which aroused, and legitimately, the only real enthusiasm of the evening.

Walter Wills and Roy Binder appear in the varied roles In which Montgomery and Stone once carried the play along with the greatest joy, and not without some degree of success. Particularly did Mr. Wills appear to good advantages in his ragtime Paderewski and in his mad dance with Miss Irene McKay. For the most part the comedy is of a low type which is not so noticeable when everyone is putting the full amount of life into h!s work, but which becomes woefully apparent otherwise. Miss Donna Montran. a stunning type, is the only other one likely to he remembered after the curtain. [Emphasis mine]

Wow, how exciting, Donna “A stunning type” and likely to be remembered.  
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The Burns Theater

The Burns Theater was built in 1912 for $300,000 on Pikes Peak Avenue near Tejon Street. In 1928 it was turned into a movie house and renamed the Paramount Theater.  Several years later it was renamed the Chief Theater.  The theater was demolished in 1973 and is now the site for a drive-through for US Bank.

Today


Sources: 
Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), November 9, 1919, Page 33 via Genealogy Bank
Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), November 11, 1919, Page 10 via Genealogy Bank
Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), November 14 1919, Page 7 via Genealogy Bank
Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), November 15, 1919, Page 12 via Genealogy Bank
Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), November 18, 1919, Page 6 via Genealogy Bank
Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), November 19, 1919, Pages 2 & 12 via Genealogy Bank
Colorado Springs Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO), November 20, 1919, Page 2 via Genealogy Bank
Cinema Treasures, Chief Theater, 21 E. Pikes Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Opera in Old Colorado, Opera Houses, Pueblo, Grand Opera House.

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