Donna Darling Collection – Part 55

Majestic Theatre

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Collection. There were three images on this page. One an ad and two short articles all relating to playing at the Majestic Theatre, Dubuque, Iowa.

The advertising has a handwritten note which says, very faintly, “Dec 12 to 15 – Dubuque, Iowa.” This is consistent with a Newspaper Archive article I found previously, in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald dated 12 Dec 1926, Page 18[i].  The clipping  shows that the Majestic Theatre was part of the “Western Vaudeville Managers Association.” The ad also indicates that the show was “starting today for 4 days.”

The first article reads:

MAJESTIC

A well poised revue with originality in every detail down to the fantastic stage settings, is the headline stage attraction on the Majestic’s new bill which opened Sunday. The Donna Darling Revue, with a five-person cast including the irrepressible Sammy Clark, is one of the best review acts to visit Dubuque this season. It is a wholesome, if ludicrous combination of song, dance and laughter.

The second article reads:

DARLING AND CLARK AT MAJESTIC TODAY

Popular Comedian And Singer And Their Assistances To Present Song And Dance Revu.

Donna Darling and Sammy Clark, well known and popular wherever vaudeville is liked, head the bill opening at the Majestic today and continuing through the rest of the week. They are assisted by Barring and Lazur and Hal Dixon, and they will present a comedy, song and dance revu. Miss Darling formerly headed her own revu and for years was a singer in music comedy. She will provide the songs, some of the dancing and Clark will furnish the fun. He is widely known as a comedian and his work is said to rank with the best of them. Their assistants are singers and dancers. The act is well staged and comes highly recommended.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Majestic Theatre. The theater was part of the “Western Vaudeville Managers Association.”
  • The show is the “DONNA DARLING REVUE With Sammy Clark assisted by Hal Dixon and Company.
  • Also on the bill:
    • Jack Sparling and Herm Rose in “The Coming Champion”
    • The Geralds in Musical Gypsies” and Their Mandolino.
    • Spangles,” a 1926 Universal release starring Marion Nixon and Pat O’Malley.[ii]

Conclusion

December 12-15, 1926 – Dubuque, IA – Majestic Theatre – Donna Darling Revue – Newspaper Archive – DDC-55 Continue reading “Donna Darling Collection – Part 55”

Donna Darling Collection – Part 54

Donna at Rialto, Swiss Gardens, & American Theatres, plus three photos.

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at image DSCN1468  from the Donna Darling Collection. This image includes 5 objects; two newspaper clippings and three photographs.

The Two Clippings

The first clipping shows “Donna Darling & Co with Sammy Clark in a Singing and Dancing Revue in Five Scenes” as an added feature to the Rialto Theatre in Racine, Wisconsin, show on Sunday. With them are four other vaudeville shows.

  • Boyd Senter “Jazzologist Supreme”
  • Denyle Don & Everett “Up for Air”
  • Bennett & Lee “Vaudeville Etiquette”
  • Dallas Trio “A Comedy Novelty”

This clipping is the identical advertisement I had seen previously in the Journal Times, Racine, Wisconsin, 31 July 1926, Page 11. (Thanks to Newspapers.Com.)

The second clipping is a very short one that says:

DONNA DARLING and SAMMY CLARK are enjoying a long run at the Swiss Gardens, Cincinnati, O., with their vaudeville revue. They will remain there until July 31 and then open in Chicago at the American on Aug. 20.

My previous research indicated that Donna and Sammy played at the Swiss Gardens July 23rd thru July 31st. However, I did not know they played at the American Theatre in Chicago August 20th. Thanks to this clipping I was able to add the location of the Swiss Gardens Theatre as being Cincinnati, Ohio and was able to add a new venue, The American Theatre in Chicago on August 20.

The three photos.

The first is a photo of Russell standing between two men, who are certainly brothers and are probably twin brothers.  Russell was born in August 1927, so this photo appears to be from 1928 or 1929. I vaguely recall seeing them before, but I wasn’t able to find them in a quick search. I’ll keep a sharp eye out for twins in my other activities.

The second photo is of an unknown couple in swimming suits standing at a beach. Again, I do not know who they are, so I’ll keep an eye out for them in my future work.

Cropped.

Finally, is a badly damaged photo of a woman sitting next to the stairs leading to the porch of a house. She is wearing something of a sailor blouse and the house next door appears to have a “beach” porch. Again, I’ll add her to my unknown photos.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com

Actions

I updated Donna’s Career History with the following (new information in bold):

  • July 23 – 31 – Swiss Gardens, Cincinnati, OH See Illinois Digital Newspaper DDC-54
  • August 20, 1926 – Chicago, Illinois – American Theatre – DDC-54

I also put the three photos into my “unknown subjects” folder.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 53

Shamokin – Donna appears after “Baby Marie Osborne”

Treasure Chest Thursday

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Collection. The page includes two articles, one newspaper banner, and five tiny clips.

The two articles both appear to be from the Shamokin Daily News, Friday, February 10, 1922, but they might be a day apart.

BABY OSBORNE HEADS STRONG PROGRAM AT THE STRAND

BABY OSBORNE HEADS STRONG PROGRAM AT THE STRAND

This article talks about “Baby Marie Osborne,” at length, before it begins to talk about Donna or any of the other shows. The section about Donna reads,

“Miss Donna Darling, former musical comedy star, who is appearing on the Keith bill at the Strand the last three days of the week, has one of the most appealing and enjoyable musical and dancing acts seen here this season. Miss Darling is all that her name implies in appearance and ability and is supported by two talented young men, both of whom are gifted dancers and vocalists. The stage settings are among the most elaborate seen here this winter while Miss Darling’s vocal selections appeal to people of all ages.”

The “last three days of the week,” in this case, means February 9th, 10th, and 11th.

A second article,

FAMOUS CHILD ACTRESS HEADS THE STRAND PROGRAM

FAMOUS CHILD ACTRESS HEADS THE STRAND PROGRAM

also talks about Baby Marie Osborne before mentioning Donna. The Donna part reads,

“Another widely known star of the stage appearing on the same program is Miss Donna Darling, former musical comedy star and who is now on the Keith circuit in a high class vaudeville revue I which she is most popular as well as pleasing.”

With Donna at the Strand are

  • Baby Marie Osborne
  • Frank Markey (the “Banjo Boy”)
  • Coogan and Casey (Song act)
  • Crumley and Jones (Comedians)

Along with the two larger articles on the page are five small clippings, some of which are cut off (I use the symbol of “}|” to indicate the place where the image was cut off.)

ELMIRA (First Half) – Jean & White – Hunniford – Donna Darling Co.—Manuel Romaine Co.—At the Party.

ITHACA (Second Half)—Homer Romaine—Peel & Corvan—Donna Darling Co.—Gobson & Price—At the Party.

OLE}|
(First Half)—Crowden’s }|
&Casey—Alf Grant—Don}|

WHEELING
(First Half)—Hunniford—Harr}|
mings—Donna Darling Boys—Co}|
—Murray Kissen Co.

NEW CASTLE (Second Half)—Polli Cassi Co.—Hunniford—Ahern & Peterson{|
Donna Darling Co.

Analysis

I have long known that Donna played in Elmira the January 28th thru 31st, 1922.

I knew she played in Ithaca on Feb 2nd. The “Second Half” would indicate that she was in Ithaca on February 2nd thru the 4th. That added two new days to my schedule for Donna.

I have known that Donna played in Olean Feb 13-15, which would be the first half of that week.

I have never had a record of Donna playing in Wheeling. The clipping’s placement seems to be between Olean, NY, and New Castle, PA. The first half of the week following Olean would be February 20, 21, & 22. The rest of that week would be 23, 24, and 25, February for her to have been in New Castle, PA.

So, thanks to this page of the Donna Darling Collection, I learned of two new venues for Donna’s schedule.

  • Feb 9-11, 1922 – Shamokin, PA – The Strand – Donna Darling
  • Feb 20-22, 1922 – Wheeling WV – Unknown Theatre – Donna Darling Boys

Sources

Donna Darling Collection – Image SCAN0087.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 52

Hotel Metropole – Panama City, Panama – 20 Feb 1930

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a menu from the Donna Darling Collection.

According to my memories of talks with Donna, immediately after the 1929 stock market crash, many people stopped going to the theatres for vaudeville shows. Basically, they started canceling the shows they had booked, and the performers were left high and dry. Donna and Sammy decided to go to Panama City, Panama, where the depression hadn’t come to.

While in Panama City, Donna had a birthday. To celebrate, Donna had a birthday dinner at the Hotel Metropole, Santa Ana Plaza, in Panama City, Panama. The menu for that dinner survived. Guests had options of Baked Hallibot [sic], Tenderloin Steak, and Broiled Spring Chicken.

What I found most interesting was that she was celebrating her “25th birthday.” Donna commonly lied about her age. However, the 37-year-old must have been a real beauty (or deluding herself) to have pulled of saying she was only 25.

I suspect that Grandpa Dick was at the dinner and that something happened that Sammy didn’t like. In any event, it was only five weeks after this dinner that Sammy and Donna returned to the States. When they returned, they were estranged. They were in separate cabins, and each was heading “home.” Sammy to his mother’s house in New York City and Donna to her mother’s house in Detroit.

To my knowledge, Donna’s return from Panama signaled the end of Donna’s show business career.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 51

Treasure Chest Thursday
Vaudeville

By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at three clippings from the Donna Darling Collection.

The first article is a short paragraph about “Dancing Girls at Orpheum”

DANCING GIRLS AT ORPHEUM

Donna Darling and her dancing girls headline the Orpheum bill for the first half of the week. “Songs and Steps” is the title of Donna’s act.

The Golden Bird, a trained canary….

Interesting. I had never heard of that act, and there are so many Orpheum theatres, it is impossible to know where, or even when, this show was playing.

Next, is an ad for the Orpheum Theatre with The Golden Bird headlining the ad with Donna Darling and Girls being the finale act. Donna’s show is billed as “The Musical Comedy Beauty Assisted by a Bevy of Bewitching Enchantresses in Songs and Steps.” I’ve seen “Donna Darling and Girls” before. She began that show sometime between August and September 1924. The movie Another Scandal was released in June 1924, so the show had to have been after that.

Finally, a third article for the show provides all of the remaining desired information. It was the Orpheum Theatre, Oklahoma City, Okla., for the week of September 6th (Sunday through Wednesday). The program played Sunday thru Wednesday – September 6th thru September 9th 1925.

Key features:

  • The venue was the Orpheum Theatre in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is “The World’s Best Vaudeville”
  • The show was the “Donna Darling and Girls, The Musical Comedy Beauty in Songs in “Songs and Steps”
  • Also on the Bill
    • Fox News “Modern Whaling” an Educational.
    • “Another Scandal” featuring Lois Wilson and an all star cast.
    • Althea Lucas and Co. in “An Artistic Triumph.”
    • Chad and Monte Huber, Late of So Long Letty” co. in “Dance Divertisements.”
    • THE GOLDEN BIRD, The Canary of Almost Human Intelligence, presented by LORRAINE EVON, The Charming Violinist.
    • Pat Barrett and Nora Cunneen in “Looking for Fun.”

Conclusion

My schedule of Donna’s shows had a huge gap before this clipping. She played July 26th in Decatur Illinois and September 20th in Sedalia, Missouri. Now, it appears that she did a Great Plains tour that summer.

September 6th thru September 9th 1925 – Orpheum Theatre, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Donna Darling and Girls.

Sources

Donna Darling Collection – Image DSCN1415.