Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor
For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at two clippings from one page of the Donna Darling Collection. There is both an ad and a text write-up. The good news is that a handwritten note above the clippings is “Topeka Kans.”
The ad shows three show times, 3:00—7:30—9:15, at the Novelty Theater.
The show is the “Dona [sic] Darling Revue with Sammy Clark in a riot of beauty and comedy singing and dancing.”
The clip also mentions four other acts in the program, Pathe News, and a Screen Comedy.
The text advertising write-up reads:
AT THE NOVELTY
The First Half.
An entirely different bill of vaudeville will be on at the Novelty the first three days of the week. Col Mack believes in “mixing them” and avoiding “that sameness.” This season he will not only mix the attractions on every bill but he will make every possible effort to make each bill “different.”
The feature of the first half will be the Donna Darling Revue, with Miss Darling “The Musical Comedy Beauty,” and Sammy Clark the “Juvenile Komic,” making merry both on their own and because of their absolute dissimilarity. The revue is filled with song and dance number of just the sort that are demanded by vaudeville patrons. Donna and Sammy are supported in the act by the team of Barring and Lazure with Hal Dixon featured at the piano.
The program as usual will be started by the newest movie news….
- The venue is the Novelty Theater in Topeka, Kansas.
- None of the other shows on the bill are named.
Donna and Sammy began their show together about May 1926 in New York. The show headed west to Michigan and Ontario. In July, it was in Illinois and Ohio. In August, it headed west to Illinois and Oklahoma. After a short return to Illinois, they headed west again for Colorado, Texas, and Arizona in September. After several months in the west, they returned to the Midwest (Iowa) in January 1927. I haven’t found any dates or venues for Donna and Sammy in Kansas; however, they had to have played in Kansas in August or September 1926.
Cinema Treasures indicates that the Novelty Theatre opened in Topeka, Kansas, in 1908. After Donna played there, it became the Dickinson Theatre, then closed in 1988 and was demolished in 1993.
New Venue: August or September 1926 – The Novelty Theater, Topeka, Kansas – Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.
- I have set up alerts for “Donna Darling” and “Sammy Clark” in Kansas during 1926 at Newspapers.com and Genealogy Bank.
- I added a task to check NewspaperArchives and Elephind (Library of Congress) every year for new postings.