Donna Darling Collection – Part 96

Two clippings and three photos

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 and three photos from two pages of the Donna Darling Collection.

Clipping 1

First is a clipping showing that Donna Darling Revue played at the Liberty Theater. The clipping did not include a date or a location.

Image of a newspaper clipping showing Donna Darling playing at the Liberty Theatre. show.

Clipping showing Liberty Theatre show.

Bright Show is Promised for Saturday

Liberty Offers Much Variety in Vaudeville Bill Coming This Week; Beauty of Note Booked

SOMETHING entertaining in vaudeville is promised by the Liberty theatre Saturday night. The management makes this report of the show:

“Recollections of famous beauty contests are revived with the presentation of the Donna Darling Revue, the headline act. Miss Darling was the winner of the Madison Square Garden beauty competition in New York city a few years ago and was afterwards featured in musical comedy. Others in this exceptional cast are Sammy Clark, the Juvenile Komik, Barring and Lazur and Hal Dixon who present a routine of songs and dances interspersed with comedy. Special stage settings and beautiful costumes enhance the beauty of the act, making it one of song, dance and fun.

“Billy Curtis,” a song writer….

I’ve encountered Babe Berring and Steve Lazur before.[i] However, I know virtually nothing about them outside of their being part of Donna’s 1926 revue.

It is always great to find the exact clipping in an online newspaper. It confirmed the location and date of Donna’s revue. In this case, Newspapers.Com includes the same clipping from page two of the Morning Olympian (Olympia, WA) dated Friday, 12 Nov 1926. That clipping proves the show was performed in Olympia, Washington, on November 13th.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Liberty Theater – “Direction Pacific Northwest Theaters, Inc.
  • The bill included five “Orpheum Jr. Circuit” shows.
  • The Donna Darling Revue included Sammy Clark, [Babe] Barring, [Steve] Lazur, and Hal Dixon.
  • Also on bill
    • Billy Curtis and Lou Lawrence in “Is This the Custom.”


Clipping 2

The second clipping shows the Donna Darling Revue played at the Rivoli Theater. No date nor location is included.

Newspaper clipping showing that Donna Darling played at the Rivoli theatre with Sammy Clark.Donna Darling Revue Crest of Rivoli Bill

Sammy Clark, the “anesthetic dancer” with the Donna Darling Revue, is the brightest spot on the Rivoli bill this week. Sammy is one of those untamed spirits who dance for the pure joy of expression. His costume, a cloud of pink unmentionables, is peculiarly fit for his wild spirit.

Donna Darling herself is a pretty miss with a nice voice for ballads. The rest of the company consists of an excellent pair of dancers and a whistling comedian. It is a clever act, and well staged.

Curtis and Lawrence….

This is likely a clipping from Donna’s show at Grants Pass or Portland, Oregon. Both cities had theaters named Rivoli[ii]. On Tuesday, November 1st, Donna was in Chico, California. Grant’s Pass is only about 30 miles from Medford, where she played on November 3rd. So the notion that she may have played Grants Pass on the 2nd makes sense. Likewise, the show played at the Rivoli theater in Portland from November 6th to the 8th. A review of the Portland papers at the time failed to find this article.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Rivoli Theater –
  • The bill included the movie “Laddie” and five “vaudeville shows:
    • Donna Darling Revue (with Sammy Clark).
    • Curtis and Lawrence in “Is That the Custom”
    • Morell and Elynor (roller skating)
    • Princess Winona
    • Zuhn and Dreis

Photo #1 – Donna & Two Men

Photo showing Donna Darling with two young men, certainly brothers, possibly twins.

Donna Darling with two young men.

This photo shows Donna with two young men—certainly brothers and possibly twins. I’ve seen photos of the two men previously with Russell as a child[iii], so the photo must be from 1929 or 1930.

Photo #2 – Donna & Wing Dress

Donna Darling in "wing dress."

Donna Darling in “wing dress”

This photo shows Donna in one of many costumes. I call it her “wing dress.” It is quite lovely.

Photo #3 – Sammy and Russell

Photo of Sammy "Clark" Amsterdam and his son, Russell Amsterdam (later Kees), circa 1934

Photo of Sammy and Russel.

This photo is of Sammy and Russell circa 1929. Although the picture is damaged and in bad shape, I like it because Sammy is showing great pleasure looking at his son.

Followup Actions

I set up alerts on Newspapers and Genealogy Bank and shortcuts to Newspaper Archives and Chronicling America to look for “Donna Darling” Rivoli regularly.


[i] See Donna Darling Collection – Part 91Donna Darling Collection – Part 91, Donna Darling Collection – Part 90, Donna Darling Collection – Part 89, Donna Darling Collection – Part 55, and Donna Darling Collection – Part 40.

[ii] Internet – Cinema Treasures – Search for “Rivoli” Theaters in Oregon: Accessed 10 May 2023.

[iii] See Donna Darling Collection – Part 75 and Donna Darling Collection – Part 54.



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