Donna in the News – Jefferson Theater, Auburn, NY, Jan 8-10, 1923

Donna Darling – Vaudeville
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspapers articles and advertisements regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and 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. I received a newsletter from New York State (NYS) Historic Newspapers that they had several new papers digitized and others updated. So, I thought I’d check it out.

First, I found that she was mentioned in several ads in the Dziennik Dla Wszystkich = Polish Everybody’s Daily. The ads reminded me that Donna played at the Layfayette Square Theater in Buffalo, NY, between September 15th and 20th, 1923, which I had known about before.

Second, I learned from the Advertiser Journal (Auburn, NY) dated 6 January 1923, that she played at the Jefferson Theater.  

The headliner will be presented by Donna Darling and Company, with Jack Finney and Mary [sic] Walker happily cast, presenting a song and dance revue of the better sort. They call the revue “A Song and Dance Romance” and one descriptive phrase is that it is a “dazzling dance phantasy.” Donna Darling and her partners have dressed the act sumptuously and introduce a number of novelty dances that have been winning success for the offering over the Keith Circuit. It is the kind of an act that vaudeville goers particularly enjoy, and will make a headline number of the most attractive sort.

Subsequent articles show she played at the Jefferson Theater in Auburn, New York, from January 8th through the 10th.

Because of those newly discovered articles, I was able to add another venue for Donna Darling & Company:

January 8-10, 1923 – Auburn, New York – Jefferson Theater – Donna Darling and Company in “A Song and Dance Romance”


My thanks to the folks at NYS Historic Newspapers for their providing online images of so many New York papers.

 

 

 

Donna Darling Collection – Part 76

The Stroud Theatre

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

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

First, we know the show took place during Thanksgiving week at the Stroud.

  • 1919    We know Donna was part of the “Chin Chin” company and played in Salt Lake City during Thanksgiving, so it can’t be 1919.
  • 1920    Donna played as Donna Montran and Her Bathing Beauties, so we know it can’t be 1920.
  • 1921    Donna was playing with Murray Walker and Walter Davis as Donna Montran. By January 1922, her shows all featured “Donna Darling,” never Donna Montran. So it makes sense that “Dona Montrim” could be 1921.
  • 1922 – However, in November 1922, Donna was showing as Donna Darling and Company. It is possible Donna could have done some kind of throwback to using Montrim (Montran) in 1922.
  • 1923 – Thanksgiving Donna was appearing in the Donna Darling Revue during November 1923.
  • 1924 – In 1924, Donna’s show was again a Bathing Beauty show.
  • 1925 – In 1925, Donna was doing the “Little Jewel Revue.”
  • 1926 – Donna was showing with Sammy in 1926.
  • 1927 – Donna appears to have dropped out of show business during the summer of 1927. I have no record of her appearing in 1927 or 1928.

A search for the Stroud Theatre at Cinetreasures found only one Stroud Theatre open during the 1920s. That was in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Likewise, the 1921 The Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide And Moving Picture Directory. Indicates there was only one Stroud Theatre, and it was in Stroudsburg.

I know very little about Donna’s shows in the fall of 1921. Indeed, she played in New York in October and played in Philadelphia in December, so her playing in Stroudsburg, PA in November 1921 makes sense. On the other hand, Donna played in Elmira, New York, in  November 1922 and Paterson, NJ, in December, so 1922 is possible.

The critical fact that illuminates the date is an accompanying article that mentions the feature “Inside the Cup” adapted from the story of Winston Churchill was also playing. Wikipedia indicates that the film adaptation of Churchill’s book was titled “Inside of the Cup” and was released in January of 1921. As such, I’m confident that the show had to have played at the Stroud Theater in Stroudsburg, PA in 1921.  Thanksgiving in 1921 was November 24th.

Additionally, a Newspapers.Com search for “Dona Montrim” yielded a match to her playing at Reade’s Savoy Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on October 13th and October 14th. That confirms her playing in the area using that unusual spelling. Thanks to Newspapers.Com, I was able to add another venue to her schedule.

Key features

  • The venue is the Stroud Theatre in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
  • At least two days between November 24th and November 25th, 1921.
  • The show is “Dona Montrim & Co. – Singing and Dancing.”
  • Also, on the bill
    • The Barry Jazzers
    • Three Walceys – Acrobatic Novelty
    • Whynot & Brady – Musical Act
    • Phil Davis – Southern Songster
    • Features: “Inside the Cup”

Analysis

Another note is her name in the article is “Dora Montrim.” A search for “Dora Montrim” at Newspapers.Com, Genealogy Bank, and Chronicling America did not yield any results. This show should be added to Donna’s Schedule:

Conclusion

  • November 24-25, 1921 – Stroud Theatre – Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania – Dona Montrim & Co. – DDC-76.
  • October 13-14, 1921 – Reade’s Savoy Theatre – Asbury Park, New Jersey – Dona Montrim & Co.

Donna in the News – 21 June 1923

Donna Darling & Her Boys at the Globe Theatre, Kansas City, MO on June 21, 1924.

I recently discovered articles that ran in the Kansas City Times from June 16th through June 21st.  Donna “topped” the program at the Globe theater in Kansas City

The Kansas City Times, Kansas City, Missouri, June 21, 1923 – Page 5 – Via newspapers.Com.

On stage with Donna and Her Boys (Murray Earle & Tod Watson)  were:

  • Keith and Parker
  • Mons Herbert
  • Robb and Whitman in “Sweethearts,”
  • Great Abdiz

Plus the Jane Novak,  photoplay “The Snowshoe Trail”

Donna in the News – 4 June 1924

Donna Darling & Co. at the Hippodrome, Sacramento, CA, 4 through 7 June 1924.

I recently found four ads that ran in the Sacramento Bee from June 4th through June 7th.  Donna was the headliner “Donna Darling & Co. | Madison Square Beauty” at the Hippodrome Vaudeville.

Ad showing Donna Playing at the Hippodrome, Sacramento, on 4 June 1924.
Hippodrome ad in The Sacramento Bee Wed, Jun 4, 1924, via Newspapers.Com

On stage with Donna were:

  • Parks & Clayton–“Laugh Producers”
  • Mascot–“The Human Mind Pony”
  • Valente Bros.–“Accordionists”
  • Harte & Helene–“Another One”

Plus the Katherine McDonald photoplay “White Shoulders”

 

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.