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:
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.
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]
For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at page “DSCN1452” from the Donna Darling Collection, which consists of two newspaper clippings and one photograph.
The first clipping is an ad for
VAUDEVILLE A Dazzling Dance Fantasy. “THE DONNA DARLING REVUE” in 5—Scenes—5 With Donna Darling, Sammy Clark and three stars. In a super song and dance revue with a dash of comedy.
Luckily, Donna wrote on the upper left corner, “La Cross | Dec 4-5.” From Newspaper Archive, I had previously learned that Donna had played at the Majestic Theater in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, on December 4 & 5, 1926.
The second clipping is a bit more problematic. It has a nice photo of Donna and says:
Donna began doing the “Donna Darling Review” with Sammy in April 1926, so the show must have taken place after then. The problem is that the two of them played:
The Grand Theater in Great Falls, Montana on Nov 26-27, 1926.
The Grand Theater in Macon, Georgia, on March 14-18, 1927.
The Grand Theater in Montgomery, Alabama, on April 1-3, 1927.
Plus, I have many open dates that she could have played at a “Grand Theater.”
For the clipping in question, other acts on the bill include:
Zehn and Dreis in “Dementus Americanos Habitat North America.”
Billy Curtis and Lou Lawrence in “Is That the Custom.”
Morell and Elynor (roller skating)
The Reginald Denny picture “Rolling Home.”
Luckily this bill was short-lived, only about two months. At every showing there was a different picture show. On November 26 & 27, the bill of these vaudeville acts played at the Grand Theater in Great Falls Montana along with the picture “Rolling Home.” I am confident that this clipping comes from this date and place.
Finally, there is a new photograph of Donna with Russell. Russell appears, to me, to be about two years old. Russell was born in 1927, so I’m fairly sure that the photo come from 1929 or so. This is a case where I wish I knew how to fix photos with Photoshop. I’d love to pluck out the white and have a nicer photo.
For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection where she played at the Lindo Theater. The first is a newspaper clipping which advertises The Donna Darling Revue playing for 4 days at the Lido. at the same time as “The Savage” a comedy novelty movie. According to IMDB, the film was released on 18 July 1926. Sadly, the film is apparently lost, with no known copies left. From the ad, it looks like a really funky movie. “One wild man—many wild animals—a naughty dinosaur—and a society deb looking for a thrill. Oh, spare us—we can’t mention it without laughing.” It is hard to think of the film’s story without laughing. Ben Lyon went on to star in the 1930 version of “Hell’s Angels.” May McAvoy went on to be in “The Jazz Singer” with Al Jolson.
I had previously seen articles in Newspaper Archives and Newspapers.com indicating that the Donna Darling Review played at the Lindo Theatre in Freeport, IL on August 3, 1926. The clipping clarified the dates as being August 2nd through the 5th. Donna’s show was “One of those big acts that seldom gets to small towns” and “Missing this [show] is like losing one of life’s treats.”
I have cropped, edited, and sized the photos for the web.
I recently came across a copy of the Vaudeville News and New York Star that mentioned Donna and Sammy. The December 18th, 1926, issue, Page 10, has a short article which says:
Donna Darling and Sammy Clark are in Chicago doing their Christmas shopping and attending to some business relative to the Donna Darling Review. They have had a splendid season up to date for 1926 and 1927 looks very promising to them. Why not? They are a clever people with good material and pleasing individuality.
On December 12th Donna & Sammy played in Dubuque, Iowa and on the 19th, they opened at the Colonial Theatre in Detroit. So they were probably in Chicago between the 13th and 18th.
For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a clipping from the Donna Darling Collection
I love Google Search. A quick search for “ *stnut “Opera House” *nbury “ quickly found the Chestnut Street Opera House in Sunbury, PA. The clipping from Donna’s collection provides the other information.
The venue is the Chestnut St. Opera House in Sunbury, PA
The date was February 6, 7, & 8, 1922.
The show is “Miss Donna Darling”
Also on bill
Lane & Whelan
Coogan & Casey
Jones & Crumley
The theater was part of the B. F. Keith’s Vaudeville.
Added another new venue for Donna – February (6, 7, & 8) 1924 – “Donna Darling Presenting Her Newest Vaudeville Revue,” at the Chestnut Street Opera House in Sunbury, PA.