Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor
Donna Montran – Ill and Injured
The Donna Darling Collection has a page that included four little clippings. None of the four were dated. Elsewhere on that scrapbook page are articles regarding Donna’s playing at the Cosmos Theater in Washington DC in March. (More about that in another post.)
ILL AND INJURED [Transcript]
“Dave Kramer (Kramer and Boyle dislocated his knee in stepping out of an automobile. The team were forced to cancel the last half of last week as a result. (April 21)”
“Bill Vidocq. Keith agent, has returned from Lakewood and is back on the fifth floor of the Keith Exchange.
“Illness beset the Donna Montra [sic] and Bathing Girls Revue last week twofold when Juva Marconi dislocated her hip while dancing, causing her confinement in the Lankanau Hospital, Philadelphia. Later in the week Miss Montran, the prima donna of the company, underwent a nose and throat operation in New York.
[Globe Theatre, Philadelphia, May 16]
“Donna Montran, who with her Bathing Beauties was forced to cancel some time through the necessity of an operation recently, has fully recovered and opens at the Globe theatre, Philadelphia, for a return engagement, May 16.”
“Ann Troy, dancer, has replaced Juva Marconi in the Donna Montran and her Bathing Beauties act.”
[Donna Takes Summer Off]
“Donna Montran closed her Bathing Beauties act last week and will rest up for the summer. She will appear in production next season.”
- In April 1920, Donna was still performing with “Chin-Chin” in Maryland.
- In March 1921, Donna was performing “Donna Montran and her California Bathing Beauties.”
- By April 1922, Donna had changed her stage name to “Donna Darling.”
So, we know that “ILL AND INJURED” must be referring to 1921.
April 21 was the last half of the week of April 17 to 23. That means that Juva Marconi must have dislocated her hip sometime around April 17 to 19 and that Donna must have gone to New York for her surgery about 20th or 21st.
In Clipping 2, we learn the Donna and her Bathing Beauties opened at the Globe Theatre, Philadelphia on May 16.
In Clipping 3, we learn that Ann Troy replaced Juva Marconi in the show.
In Clipping 4, we learn that the show closed for the summer. It is unclear when that occurred.
What I learned:
- Donna and her Bathing Beauties, including Juva Marconi, must have been playing in Philadelphia or somewhere near Philadelphia the week of 17 April 1921. Possibly the Globe Theatre.
- Donna went to New York for nose and throat surgery about 20 April 1920.
- Donna and her Bathing Beauties “returned” to the Globe theatre on May 16.
- Donna and her Bathing Beauties closed sometime after May 16 for the summer.
Consequent to the above, I have updated the Donna Montran Timeline to include the following:
- April 17, 1921 – Unknown Theater near Philadelphia (Possibly the Globe Theatre).
- May 16, 1921 – Globe Theatre, Philadelphia, PA – Donna Montran and her Bathing Beauties.
- Date unknown [May, June, or July 1921] – Donna Closed the Show for the Summer.