Donna Darling Collection – Part 50

Monache Theatre & Gypsy

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two pages from the Donna Darling Collection because two of the four clippings are related.

The first one (#1464) is a tiny clipping that filled in a memory gap I just couldn’t fill. I’ve seen photos of Donna with her little Pekingese dog many times and, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the dog’s name. On this page is part of an article which says,

“On the Country club links tomorrow early golfers will see Donna Darling and Sammy Clark doing 18 holes. A little pekingese most likely will be in tow. It is “Gypsy,” the prima donna’s pet,

Reading it, I said to myself, “that’s it.  The dog was Gypsy. I remember now.”

The second clipping on the page is for the Monache Theatre playing the “Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.” What is great about this clipping is that Donna hand wrote “Porterville, Calif. Oct 19” on it.

I knew Donna and Sammy played the Yost Broadway Theater in Santa Ana on October 7-9 and played at the American Theater in San Jose on October 23-26, 1926.  Porterville is about halfway between Santa Ana and San Jose. This clipping provides information about a new venue for the show.

The second page consisted of two clippings. The first clipping was for the Burns Theatre in Colorado Springs, Co. I wrote about that clipping earlier in Part 21 of this series.

The second clipping “Vaudeville to Boast Plenty of Diversity” has a note handwritten across the top which says “Porterville, Calif.” The article also mentions the Monache Theatre, so it clearly belongs with the ad from 1464. The article reads, in part:

Recollections of famous beauty contests are revived with the presentation of the Donna Darling Revue, the headline act. Miss Darling was the winner of the Madison Square Garden beauty competition in New York city a few years ago, and was afterwards featured with “Chin Chin” and also with George White and Flo Ziegfeld. With Sammy Clark, “The Juvenile Komik” Rarring and Lazur, and Hal Dixon she will present a routine of songs and dances, garnished with comedy. Special stage setting and appropriate costumes enhance the beauty of the act making it worthy of more than passing potice.[sic]

Key features:

  • Donna’s dog’s name was “Gypsy.”
  • The Donna Darling Review played at the Monache Theatre in Porterville, California, on 19 Oct 1926.
    • The Bill included
      • Zuhn and Dreis
      • Curtis & Lawrence
      • Morrell & Elynor
      • Princess Winona
      • On screen “The Fighting Edge”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.