Donna Darling Collection – Part 89

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.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.”


Clipping from Donna Darling Collection

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:

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….

Key features:

    • 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 and Genealogy Bank.
  • I added a task to check NewspaperArchives and Elephind (Library of Congress) every year for new postings.

Donna in the News – Mission Theatre, Santa Barbara, 1926

In the News
Donna Darling Revue
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (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.

This week’s article is from the Santa Barbara Daily News (Santa Barbara, CA), dated October 15th, 1926[i].

The ad doesn’t mention Donna, but Page 13 does have a brief mention of the shows at the Mission; it says:

The Mission will offer a very entertaining and jazzy program today and Saturday, headed by “The Donna Darling Review.”

Other acts mentioned include:

  • Herbert Cagger (Balancing Act)
  • Kostner and Vivian (Old-time rube act)
  • Curtis and Lawrence (Skit)
  • “Those Who Dare” (Screen Feature) (IMDB)

The fifth vaudeville act isn’t mentioned either.

Donna played in Santa Ana on October 7-9 and Porterville on October 19th, so her playing at Santa Ana on the 15th and 16th makes sense.

Thanks to this newly available online article, I was able to add another venue for Donna and the “Donna Darling Review.”

October 15-16, 1926 – Santa Barbara. CA – Mission Theatre – Donna Darling Review


[i] Newspapers by Ancestry – Santa Barbara Daily News (Santa Barbara, California) · Fri, Oct 15, 1926 · Page 13 “MISSION” – Accessed on Oct 7, 2021

Donna in the News – The New Theater Bills

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising 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. 

This week’s clipping is from The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kansas), dated 2 December 1923. It and several other clippings can be added to Donna’s history.  



VAUDEVILLE. Matinee and night. Two shows Saturday night. Blossom Seeley headlining bill opening Monday matinee for three days.

Blossom Seeley calls her medium of expression “Miss Syncopation.” Evidently she…

Billy McDermott, who bills himself as “The only Survivor of Coxey’s Army,” is a tramp…

Donna Darling is a musical comedy ingenue. With a capable supporting company, Miss Darling offers a dazzling dance fantasy called “A Song and Dance Romance.”

Orpheum Advertisement The Wichita Eagle,
2 December 1923

This clipping and the associated advertisements show Donna played at the Orpheum Theater in Wichita, Kansas, on December 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 1923.

Thanks to’s newly available online articles, I was able to add another venue for Donna’s vaudeville career.



Donna Darling Collection – Part 74

Donna Darling Revue
Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Collection that includes both a clipping and a photo.

Palm Theater – Pueblo, Colorado

Image DSCN1433 from the Donna Darling Collection – Note the 6th act was apparently cut off. 

Key features:

  • The venue is the Palm Theater – Pueblo’s Leading Theater – Always a Big Show. The show is “Today and Monday – 2 Big Days. And is part of the Western Association of Keithp-Albee Orpheum Circuit.
  • The show is a “Double Headliner Bill with the First Feature Ace — “Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark”
  • The Second Feature Act is “Orpheus Quintet in “Big Moments from Big Operas”
  • Also on bill:
    • Zuhn & Dreis – Dementus Americanos – A Feature Comedy Act Made For Laughing Purposes.
    • Curtis & Lawrence – Up to the Minute and a Minute Ahead in “Is That the Custom.”
    • Morrell & Elynor – Beauty-Grace-Speed 0 Introducing the Charleston on Rollers.


The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark began in May 1926. On September 17th and 18th, the show played at the Burns Theater in Colorado Springs and played on September 25th in El Paso, Texas. It is most likely that the show played in Pueblo on a date between the 18th and the 25th. The only Monday between those dates was Monday, September 20th, so it appears that the show played in Pueblo, CO, on September 19th and 20th.

I looked for newspapers on Newspapers.Com, Genealogy Bank,, and other sites via The Ancestor Hunt to prove that date; however, I was unable to find any papers for Pueblo in 1926 available online. However, I did discover that the Donna Darling Revue played at the Grand Theater in Douglas, Arizona on September 27th.

Photo of Sammy

Unknown woman & Sammy Clark – ca. 1926.

On the same page in the Donna Darling Collection as the Palm Theater clipping is a photo of an unknown woman and Sammy Clark. It must be from sometime between 1926 and 1928, with 1926 as the most likely. It is nice to have another photo of Sammy. I’ll keep an eye out for any other photos showing this unidentified woman.


September 19 & 20, 1926 – The Palm Theater, Pueblo, Colorado – “The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.”

September 27, 1926 – The Grand Theater, Douglas, Arizona – “The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.”

A day I learn of two more dates and venues for Donna’s Vaudeville Career is a good day.


Douglas Daily Dispatch, 1926-09-17 – Page 6 via Genealogy Bank.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 68

Four Orpheum Theaters

Treasure Chest Thursday,
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at ten clippings from seven different pages. Nine of them relate to the Orpheum Theaters in various locations. But first, there was a “Donna Darling Review” trade advertisement. It clearly was a clipping from a magazine. It didn’t provide anything about a theater. It gives the title of their show and who the director was.

A Novel Revue in Five Scenes



Direction: Lew Holleb
Lew Goldberg Office, Chicago

I think I can use this ad as a graphic for the entire show period.


Next, there were two clippings of “California Motion Picture Bathing Beauties” featuring Donna Darling. The theater is the “Orpheum-Racine’s Play House Deluxe” and the date is Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving was the November 27th in 1924. I had already determined that Donna played at the Racine Orpheum theatre on Nov 27, 28, & 29, so I am able to add the date to these two clippings.

Des Moines

There are three clippings that show another Orpheum theater. They are identified as under “Direction of Alexander Frank.” Alexander Frank provided direction to several theaters in Iowa during the 1920s. One of those theaters was in Des Moines. I had already established that Donna played the Des Moines Orpheum on January 2nd to the 5th, 1927; so, I’m sure this show is the show the clippings are related to.

Tulsa & Oklahoma City

The last three items include an Orpheum Theater Program. There is no date nor location with it. However, another clipping shows the Orpheum theater with the same acts also on the bill and had hand-written on it “Tulsa Okla.” Also, is a short ad showing the Donna Darling Revue “this W’k, Orpheum, Tulsa & Oklahoma City, Okla.”

Donna played the Orpheum Theater in Oklahoma City on December 9, 1923 and the Orpheum in Tulsa on December 13-14, 1923. At first I thought this venue must have been one of these two. Further research on line found acts different from the ones in the clippings played on those dates. Finally, a search for “Sie Tehar Troup” found they played in Oklahoma City with the “Darling Revue” starting Thursday, 12 August 1926. It is possible the same group played in Tulsa sometime in August 1926, however, I have not been able to find any papers for that time period and location, yet.


November 27-29, 1924 – Racine, Wisconsin – Orpheum – Bathing Beauties with Donna Darling. – DDC-68

January 2-5, 1927 – Des Moines, IA – Orpheum – Donna Darling Revue – – Archives.Com – DCC-68 

Two New Venues Discovered:

August 12, 1926 – Oklahoma City, OK – Orpheum Theater.

August ??, 1926 – Tulsa, OK – Orpheum – Darling Revue – DDC-68