Donna in the News – Scenic Theatre – Whittier, CA – 30 June 1924

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I find a new venue for my grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.

From The Whittier News, (Whittier, California) newspaper dated 30 June 1924.

The Whittier News – 28 June 1924

Rare Beauty?

Advertisement for “Donna Darling & Company” headlining at the Scenic Theatre on 30 June 1924.

“Headlining is that rare beauty of the stage world, Miss Donna Darling, the young lady who recently took the beauty prize at the Hippodrome in New York. The lady is appearing in a charming little song and dance revue called ‘As You Like It’, and it is said that the singer wears a wonderfully exquisite gown, containing some 20,000+ pearls. In her support will be Jack Lewis, a comedian and pianist of note. Miss Darling’s clothes are particularly charming creations. She wears a colonial costume of gold cloth in which she sings some old favorites. The settings for this act are gorgeous and most expensive.”

Because of the newly available online article & advertising, I was able to add another venue for Donna’s “As You Like It” tour.

June 30, 1924 – Whittier, CA – Scenic Theatre – Donna Darling and Company presenting “As You Like It.”

Sources

  • The_Whittier_News_Sat__Jun_28__1924, Page 2, Column 4, “Things Theatrical” via Newspapers.Com.
  • The_Whittier_News_Mon__Jun_30__1924_, Page 15, Column 1, “Scenic Theatre” via Newspapers.Com.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 59

Donna Montran – Vaudeville
Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at three clippings from the Donna Darling Collection, all relating to the State Theatre, Beacon, New York.

Article

STATE THEATRE.

D. W. Griffith’s “The Love Flower,” which opened at the State Theatre last night for three days, lives up to the Griffith standard. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

A rattling good vaudeville bill wins the appreciation of all.
….
Dolly Montran, the singing comedienne, with a million dollar personality, gives the patrons a treat in song offerings She more than pleases.

“The Girlie Review,” introducing….

Advertising

With the article was an advertisement for Beacon’s State Theatre. The show “Dolly Montrose” is number 6 on the bill. Also, my grandmother highlighted the item. Beneath that is another ad showing the motion picture “The Love Flower” and Dolly Montran, a Singing Comedienne. The prima donna with a million-dollar personality. My grandmother also highlighted that clipping.

Magazine

The last clipping was a short one:

Donna Montran played Bacon [sic], New York, last week, and is appearing at Red Bank, N. J., and Stroudsburg, PA., this week, breaking on her new single, “As You Like It,” written by Hockey and Green.

The good news is I had seen the short clip before. It ran in The New York Clipper, dated 6 July 1921, on – page 15, column 3. From other documents, I knew that Donna was “breaking in” the new single in 1921.

Key features:

  • The venue is the State Theatre. It is “Beacon’s Pride – Theatre Beautiful.”
  • The show is the “Dolly Montran” A singing comedienne. The prima donna with a million-dollar personality.
  • Also on the bill:
    • David Wark [D.W.] Griffith’s picture, “The Love Flower.”
    • “The Girlie Review” – Vaudeville’s greatest dancing novelty
    • Hall and Fenton – A corking skit
    • Robertio – Novelty contortionist

Analysis

Interestingly, the theatre program called her “Dolly Montrose,” and the theatre’s advertising called her Dolly Montran.  I have not seen her going by the name of “Dolly” before. I suspect that “Montrose” was a typo, but I should look at that closer.

July 3rd was a Sunday and playbills of the period typically ran Monday through Wednesday and Thursday through Sunday, so those shows were probably the dates for Red Bank, NJ, and the Stroudsburg, PA, shows.

Conclusion

I was able to update my previous schedule with the following:

  • June 30 – July 2, 1921 – Beacon, New York, State Theatre, “As You Like It” with Donna Montran.
  • July 4-6, 1921 – Red Bank, New Jersey, _____ Theatre, Donna Montran (probable)
  • July 7-9, 1921 – Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, _____ Theatre, Donna Montran (probable)

Actions

Search for any other examples of “Dolly Montrose” or “Dolly Montran” during 1921.

Sources

Donna Darling Collection – SCAN0080 – Don Taylor’s Private Collection.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 56

Majestic (Harrisburg, PA) and York Opera House (York, PA)

Treasure Chest Thursday
Vaudeville
Donna Darling & Boys
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at three clippings from one page (0110) of the Donna Darling Collection.

Majestic Theatre

The first two clippings relate to Donna’s playing at the Majestic Theatre.

The first is a simple ad.

MAJESTIC
The Talk of the Town

Frederick V. Bowers
Popular Musical Comedy
Star and Song Writer,
In His
The first is a simple ad.
With a Bevy of Pretty Girls
— — —
COMING THURSDAY
Another Musical ComedFavorite
DONNA DARLING & BOYS

Sadly, nothing in this ad indicates which of the many Majestic Theatres this was nor does it indicate when. Luckily, an accompanying clipping on the same page provides a likely location and date for the show.

Majestic Theatre,
Harrisburg Pennsylvania
Week of April 3, 1922

MAXINE & BOGGY
The Comedy Dog

STEIFF PIANOS used in this Theatre

Spencer—CASE & MAYNE—Edith
In
“I WOULDN’T DO THAT”

Beautiful Musical Comedy Favorite
MISS DONNA DARLING & CO.
Assisted by Murry Walker and Jack Finney
In a Song and Dance Cocktail
“AS YOU LIKE IT”

MORGAN & MORGAN
“Making you Laugh”

MELODY LAND
In
Abbreviated “VARIETIES”
A Cycle Of
Songs and Dances
With
White and Mills
Juliet Beaumont
Kathleen Harrington
Ethel Cook
Assisted by

Olga Sirlis……………….Pianist
Martha Conwell …… Saxophonist
Charlotte Maloney…Violinist
Verna Dorn …………… Drummer
Scenery by Robert Law Studio
Staged by Douglas Royce

Newspaper articles, found at Genealogy Bank, confirmed that Donna played at the Majestic in Harrisburg on April 6th, 7th, and 8th. Also, in the Harrisburg Patriot on April 4th was the same ad in the clippings.

York Opera House

The third clipping is part of a York Opera House show.  No date is provided, but articles at Newspapers.Com confirmed that Donna played at the York Opera House in York, Pennsylvania, on April 3rd to 5th. The clipping shows many of the same acts seen in the Majestic clipping.

In place of Case & Mayne is:

Ralph                 Jim
KITNER AND REANEY
In “An Ocean Episode”

And in place of Morgan & Morgan was:

Lorraine         Verna
HOWARD & SADLER
Presenting their Harmonious
Comedy Songalogue
“Wedding Belles”

Program items A and B are missing in both the clippings, it appears that all other filler films started the two showings. For example, at the York Opera House, instead of “Case & Mayne” and “Morgan and Morgan” was the last chapter of “Breaking Through” and “Aesop’s Fables.”

Conclusion

The “Life of Madonna Montran” was updated with the following:

April 3-5, 1922 – York, PA – York Opera House – Donna Darling & Boys – News May 2019. DDC-56.

April 6-8, 1922 – Harrisburg, PA – Majestic Theatre – Donna Darling & Boys (Murry Walker & Jack Finney) in “As You Like It.” – Genealogy Bank – DDC-56.

Actions

  • Write about Donna playing in York, PA, and the York Opera House.
  • Write about Donna playing in Harrisburg, PA, and the Majestic Theatre.

Sources

  • Clipping: Majestic Theatre – Harrisburg, PA – Coming Thursday – SCAN0110
  • Clipping: Majestic Theatre, Harrisburg, PA – Week of Apr 3, 1922 – SCAN0110
  • Clipping: York Opera House – SCAN0110
  • Genealogy Bank – The Patriot (Harrisburg, PA) dated 4 April 1922, Page 14.
  • Genealogy Bank – The Patriot (Harrisburg, PA) dated 7 April 1922, Page 18.
  • Newspapers.Com – The York Daily Record (York, PA) dated 5 April 1922, Page 9.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 45

 

Treasure Chest Thursday
Vaudeville
By Don Taylor

Lyceum Theater, Canton, Ohio

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at another news clipping from the Donna Darling Collection.

Newspaper article from 1922 - Valerie Bergere Tops Program at Lyceum Theater
Valerie Bergere Tops Program at Lyceum Theater

…. Donna Darling the well known musical comedy star….

… Miss Donna Darling, the musical comedy star assisted by Murry Walker and Jack Finney will appear in a song and dance cocktail “As you Like It.” Miss Darling will wear in one number a costly gown on which there are more than 20,000 pearls. This is one of the most elaborate gowns ever worn on the American star. Each number of this lavish offering has its special sets and costume effects. A cloth of gold drop is used. The three sing some of the comedy numbers from the Floradora sextette and a number from the musical comedy “Sally,” do some dances to “Irene” music, and other musical comedy hits are introduced with special settings and costumes. The three are exceptionally good dancers as well as singers.

One of the features of the offering will be a burlesque of an Egyptian dance.

Miss Darling is well known to Cantonians as she played here as the prima donna of “Chin Chin” two seasons ago when this big musical comedy played at the Grand. [April 1, 1920 – Canton, OH – Grand Opera House]

Key features:

  • The venue is the Lyceum Theater.
  • The show is the “As You Like It” starring Donna Darling assisted by Murry Walker and Jack Finney.
  • Also on bill
    • Valerie Bergere was the top bill in a new Japanese comedy-drama, “O Joy San.”
    • Lew Hoffman displayed his skills with hats in “The Hattery.”
    • Miss Lillian Conroy & her brother John used a 5500-gallon water tank for an aquatic show.
    • Jean McCoy & Ralph Walton present “A Few Minutes with Ouija.”
    • Joe Rome & Lou Gaut show “When Extremes Meet” as dancers, singers & storytellers.

Analysis

I always love it when Donna writes the source information on the clipping page. In this case, she wrote “Mar 12 – Sun Repositor – Canton, Ohio.” This matched perfectly with a show I already knew about. On March 12-16 she played at the Lyceum Theater in Canton Ohio.

The article included some interesting tidbits. In particular, I had not previously known that her dress had “over 20,000 pearls.”  Wow, that must have been quite the dress.

Conclusion

Added a note about DDC to the previous entry:

March 12-16, 1922 – Canton, Ohio – Lyceum – Donna Darling – Genealogy Bank – DDC – Part 45.

 

Donna in the News – 21 April 1922

Famous Musical Comedy Star Now Playing at the Feeley

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspapers articles and regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I discover a new photo of my grandmother during her exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.

This week: The Standard Sentinel (Hazleton, PA) newspaper dated 21 April 1922

“Beautiful Miss Donna Darling, who appeared here two seasons ago in “Chin Chin,” is presenting an elaborate Song and Dance spectacle at the Feeley in the Current Bill.”[i]

I knew Donna played at the Feeley Theatre April 20, 1922, from her scrapbook collection. However, this newly discovered series of 11 articles provide clear start and end dates for her show, as well as what else was playing when she played.


Endnotes

[i] Standard-Sentinel (Hazleton, Pennsylvania) · Fri, Apr 21, 1922 · Page 5 – Accessed from Newspapers.Com on Dec 8, 2018 (https://www.newspapers.com/image/500362601.)