Donna Darling Collection – Part 41

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at another clipping from the Donna Darling Collection. The original was just a fragment of a page, but there was just enough to learn all the particulars of the show.

Cropped, edited, and resized from the Donna Darling Collection.

Donna went by “Donna Montran” until the summer of 1921 and her Bathing Beauties show, “A Beach Promenade began in July 1920 and ended the summer of 1921. The Ad indicates that her show was commencing November 1st for three days.  Additionally, “The Leopard Woman” was released in October 1920, so it is certain that 1920 was the year. The location was Pottsville and the theater was the Hippodrome.

Her show was “The Big Show of the Season Including 10 of California’s Selected Peaches with Donna Montran and her Bathing Beauties in “A Beach Promenade.”  She was the headliner above Monarch Comedy Four, Una Clayton & Co. Martini, and a silent film.

This show location fits perfectly in her schedule. Fifty miles south of her show in Wilkes-Barre on October 25th through the 30th. Then three days in Pottsville (November 1st through 3rd) then on to Reading, 35 miles south, for another three days.

Conclusion

1920-11-01 – Hippodrome, Pottsville, Pennsylvania – “Donna Montran and her Bathing Beauties in ‘A Beach Promenade’” added to the list of venues for Donna’s career.

Donna in the News – “Chin Chin” is Well Liked… in Saskatoon

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspapers 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 grandmothers exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.

This week two articles from two newspapers in Saskatoon.

  • Saskatoon Daily Star (Saskatoon, Canada) dated January 13, 1920.
  • Star Phoenix (Saskatoon, Canada) dated January 13, 1920.

“Chin Chin” in Saskatoon – January 1920

I have long known that Donna and the cast of “Chin Chin” played in Calgary on January 8th through the 10th and in Regina on January 15th through the 17th.  I suspected that the show played in Saskatoon, SK, in between the two shows but had no evidence of it. Sure enough, newly digitized newspaper pages at Newspapers.Com showed two callouts for Donna among some 18 articles and advertisements for “Chin Chin” playing in Saskatoon on January 12, 13, and 14.

On January 13th, the Daily Star wrote, “Outstand among the other principals were Donna Montran as the goddess of the lamp, Neva Larry….”

Also, on January 13th, the Star Phoenix wrote, “Donna Montran has a nice voice and puts two very pretty songs across to advantage. Star Dunham.…”

New information added to the Madonna Montran career list:

Jan 12-14, 1920 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada – Empire Theatre (Newspapers.com)

 

Chin Chin – Weller Theatre – Zanesville, OH – April, 13 1920

“Chin Chin” played at the Weller Theatre in Zanesville, Ohio, on 13 April 1920

Donna Montran
Vaudeville
Chin-Chin

The company of “Chin Chin” played at the 6th Street Theater in Coshocton, Ohio for one night, April 12, 1920. Then the show headed on the train for their next stop, Zanesville, Ohio and the Weller Theater for another one-night show on April 13th.

The “Chin-Chin” show agent arrived in Zanesville about April 7th to begin his promotion of the show.  The Times Recorder of April 9th, reported:

“CHIN CHIN” BREAKING ALL ATTENDANCE RECORDS

Charles A. Goettler, the representative of “Chin Chin” the musical extravaganza, which will appear at the Weller theater, was the guest of Manager Charles Ransbottom Wednesday, and while in the city held an impromptu levee for his many friends at his hotel. He is well known among the theatrical colony having been out with some of the biggest shows on the road in years past. Mr. Goettler said that “Chin Chin” was breaking all attendance records in the prominent theaters of the country this season and was a greater success than when seen here before. Willis and Binder, former stars with “Hitchy Koo,” “Wizard of Oz,” ant the Winter Garden shows, have succeeded Doyle and Dixon in the leading roles.

Times Recorder 4/9/1920

Manager Charles Ransbottom, along with Joseph West Junior began managing the Weller Theatre just three months earlier (January 8).[i] They were then replaced on April 13th with the opening of “Chin Chin” by Caldwell H. Brown and Charles W. Crawley.[ii]

Another article, Saturday, April 10, 1920, in the Times Recorder, page 5, reported:

CHIN CHIN COMING TO THE WELLER TUESDAY

At the Weller theater next Tuesday, the everlasting “Chin Chin” is announced. There is but on company presenting this, the greatest American musical comedy.

Seven gorgeous settings make up one stupendous production of Charles Dillingham’s “Chin Chin.” The principal comedians are Walter Wills and Roy Binder. This riot of fun, feast of music, bevy of feminine beauty with pretty dresses, swift and grotesque dancing and lots of prankish amusement including Tom Brown’s clown band as the famous saxophone Sexted, promises a most enjoyable entertainment with Charles Dillingham’s own company presenting this wonderful spectacle.

In this musically rich show such numbers as violet,” “Good-by Girls, I’m Through,” and the comedy song, “Go Gar Sig Gong-Jue,” always receive spontaneous applause.

The next known showing of “Chin Chin” is on April 20 in Cumberland, Maryland.

Weller Theatre, Zanesville, Ohio

 The Weller Theatre was designed by Frederick Elliot and Harry C. Meyer of Columbus, Ohio. The theatre opened on 27 April 1903 by Samual Weller, with the production of the “comic opera” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” And as noted before, it was the first show opening when managed by Caldwell H. Brown and Charles W. Crawley.[iii]

Specifications for the Weller Theatre [vi]

Weller Theatre, Zanesville, OH

Seating Capacity – 1427 — L.F. 609; Bal., 362, Gal., 400; Boxes, 56.


Proscenium opening: 35×33 ft
Front to back wall: 39.5 ft
Between side walls: 70 ft
Apron 3.5 ft
Between fly girders: 47 ft
To rigging loft: 69 ft
To fly gallery: 28 ft

Nearby info

Hotels in Zanesville at the time included the Rogge and Clarendon, which were $2.50 & up per night, and the  Palace, and New England hotels which were 50ç & up per night.[iv]

What happened to theater

The theatre was closed[v] and the building demolished in 1963.[vi]

Today

The Weller Theatre stood at 13 N. Third Street. Today it is a vacant area with a small building between Fox Law Offices and the Calvary Chapel.

Further Research

Research the other Zanesville newspapers of the time: Courier, Signal, and News as they become available.

Find any showings for “Chin Chin” between April 14th and April 19th. 

Endnotes:


[i] New York Clipper – January 14, 1920, Page 4, Column 3m “Zanesville Manager Retires.”

[ii]  New York Clipper – April 21, 1920,  Page 31, “Weller Theatre Changes Again.”

[iii]  New York Clipper – April 21, 1920,  Page 31, “Weller Theatre Changes Again.”

[iv] The Julius Cahn – Gus Hill Theatrical Guide – 1913-1914, Page 533.

[v] Internet: Weller Theatre in Zanesville, OH – Cinema Treasures http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/41209 – Accessed 12/30/2018.

[vi] Lynch, Kathryn, and Michael S. Sims. 2005. Zanesville. Charleston, SC: Arcadia.


Donna Montran – 6th Street Theatre, Coshocton, OH – 4/12/1920

Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” played at the 6th Street Theatre in Coshocton, Ohio on 12 April 1920

 The “Chin Chin” production played at the Union Theatre in New Philadelphia, OH, on April 10th. They may have had off on Sunday, April 11th, or they may have played somewhere on that Sunday. But any event the cast traveled the 30 miles to Coshocton to play at the 6th Street Theatre on Monday the 12th for one night.  Advertising began on April 7th with typical written ads and display ads beginning on April 9th. The newspaper the day of the show describes the show and includes some of the characters in the show, including my grandmother, “The Goddess of the Light.”

Reviews

The following day a reviewer in The Coshocton Tribune praised the show. The second paragraph of the review read:

“… Starr Dunham appeared in the role of Aladdin while the part of the cruel Abonazar was well taken by Joseph Robinson. The wealthy American, Cornelius Bond was played by English Cody, while Ethel Lawrence appeared as his charming daughter Violet. The Goddess of the Lamp, an unusually pretty and charming girl, who never failed to delight her audience with her solo numbers, was Donna Montran…. 

Post Show Info

The cast next headed 30 miles further south to Zanesville, Ohio and the Weller Theatre for the show on Tuesday the 13th.

The 6th Street Theatre

The 6th Street Theatre was built in 1903 by a group of businessmen who called themselves the Coshocton Theater Company. The Julius Cahn Reports for 1913 indicate the Seating capacity was about 1,000. The theater was on the ground floor and had a proscenium opening of 32 x 22 feet.

6th Street Theatre, Coshocton, Ohio in 1959.

Eventually, the theater converted to a movie house and it closed in May 1959. The building was demolished in 1974.

Sources

The Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) · Sat, Apr 10, 1920, · Page 3, Advertising “Chin Chin” https://www.newspapers.com/image/323058644 – Downloaded on Sep 1, 2017, via Newspapers.Com.

The Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) · Tue, Apr 13, 1920, · Page 3, Column 4 “6th St. Theatre – Chin Chin Drew Large Audience” – https://www.newspapers.com/image/323057655 – Downloaded on Sep 1, 2017, via Newspapers.Com.

2018 – Year in Review

Don Taylor Genealogy – 2018 Year in Review

I hope you are enjoying my Blog.  I find it really helpful in my understanding of genealogy. It, like diaries and journals of yesteryear, help me to focus on what I know and not become distracted by things I think I know. It also helps me focus on one thing at a time. I would like to remind readers that I do accept guest submissions. If you would like to write something that will be of interest to readers of my six primary topics (Brown, Darling, Howell, and Roberts lines as well DNA discoveries or understanding and Donna Montran’s Vaudeville Career), I’ll be happy to consider your submission as a guest post.

2018 Statistics.

I wrote 122 posts during the year, down slightly from 2017.  My goal is to post, at a minimum, once every three days. So, I met my goal by posting an average of once every 2.99 days.

The number of page views went up nearly 70% in 2018 over 2017 and the average views per day rose from 21 views per day to 36.

I currently have 409 blog subscribers – up from 324 at the beginning of the year. Besides direct subscribers, there are other individuals that follow my blog via Facebook, Twitter, and Google. If you do not subscribe to dontaylorgenealogy.com, please do so.

Referrals to my site are as I would expect, Google by far the greatest referrer, with Facebook a distant 2nd.  Fourth was my old blogspot site, so I guess I still can’t delete it.

Top 10 Postings for 2018

  1. My number one post during 2018 was the same as my #1 post in 2016 and #1 post in 2017, “Why I’ll never do business with MyHeritage Again.” I guess people love reading rants.
  2. My number 2 article for 2018 was the 2017 “OMG – Another Half-Sibling,” which spoke about learning of a half-sibling here-to-fore unknown for my mother. Quite the surprise for my mother and her other half-sister, Barbara.
  3. Was my review of DNA Painter. That surprised me along with my Number 4 (next).
  4. A 2016 Review of the website “Lost Cousins”. I guess reviews are high on the types of posts that are read.
  5. Number 5, a “We’re Related,” posting was a 2017 look at three possible relatives, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, and Blake Lively.
  6. Number 6 was a 2014 Ancestor Biography about Lewis Bryan (1755-1839), who was Mary-Alice’s 4th great-grandfather on her Howell line.
  7. Number 7 was my greatest surprise. I had 134 reads of my 2013 post about using City Directories as a substitute for the 1890 Census. It dealt with the Directories available in Smyrna, GA (where I lived in 2013).  I think it was a good article. I should rewrite the article focusing on Scarborough, ME and possibly South Portland and Portland.
  8. Number 8 was “Follow the ‘X’” about how the “zig-zag” pattern of the X chromosome can provide insight into ancestors that the autosomal along cant. (2018)
  9. Number 9 was another 2017 review, this time for Family Tree Maker for Mac 3.1.
  10. Number 10 was another 2017 DNA Article, “It’s Another First Cousin.” There is no doubt in my mind that Debra is a first cousin on my Roberts line. Sadly, her potential half-siblings want nothing to do with proving (or disproving) the relationship. My father had two brothers, one is fairly unlikely, one is much more likely to be this cousin’s father. That said, his father, Bert Allen Roberts, Sr., could easily have fathered a here-to-fore unknown child which could be the father of Debra. Testing of the children of Bert junior’s children could prove or disprove the relationship.

Conclusion

So, of the top ten posts in 2018, four of them dealt with reviews, My Heritage, Lost Cousins, DNA Painter, and Family Tree Maker.  Three dealt with DNA, A half-sibling for my mom, Follow the “X” and Another First Cousin.  We’re Related, Howell Research, and General Genealogical Information all had one article each in the top 10. (Although “Follow the “X” could be identified as General Genealogical Info also.)

I understand that articles posted in 2017 were available for reading throughout 2018, so I’m not surprised that 2017 postings comprised 4 out of the top 10. I was very surprised that 2013 and 2014 articles were also in the top 10.

Next Year

I have found that I overextended myself during 2018.  As such, I have decided to reduce my activities in several areas and focus more on family and Scarborough activities. I have quit doing any kind of (paid) genealogical consulting activities during 2019.  I will also greatly reduce my genealogical society volunteerism and will drop memberships in at least six societies and organizations. I plan to work more diligently on my five research areas, Brown, Darling, Howell, Roberts, and Donna’s Vaudeville and less on my other 22 other genealogical projects. I will continue efforts with the Scarborough Historical Society.