Donna Darling Collection – Part 59

Donna Montran – Vaudeville
Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at three clippings from the Donna Darling Collection, all relating to the State Theatre, Beacon, New York.

Article

STATE THEATRE.

D. W. Griffith’s “The Love Flower,” which opened at the State Theatre last night for three days, lives up to the Griffith standard. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

A rattling good vaudeville bill wins the appreciation of all.
….
Dolly Montran, the singing comedienne, with a million dollar personality, gives the patrons a treat in song offerings She more than pleases.

“The Girlie Review,” introducing….

Advertising

With the article was an advertisement for Beacon’s State Theatre. The show “Dolly Montrose” is number 6 on the bill. Also, my grandmother highlighted the item. Beneath that is another ad showing the motion picture “The Love Flower” and Dolly Montran, a Singing Comedienne. The prima donna with a million-dollar personality. My grandmother also highlighted that clipping.

Magazine

The last clipping was a short one:

Donna Montran played Bacon [sic], New York, last week, and is appearing at Red Bank, N. J., and Stroudsburg, PA., this week, breaking on her new single, “As You Like It,” written by Hockey and Green.

The good news is I had seen the short clip before. It ran in The New York Clipper, dated 6 July 1921, on – page 15, column 3. From other documents, I knew that Donna was “breaking in” the new single in 1921.

Key features:

  • The venue is the State Theatre. It is “Beacon’s Pride – Theatre Beautiful.”
  • The show is the “Dolly Montran” A singing comedienne. The prima donna with a million-dollar personality.
  • Also on the bill:
    • David Wark [D.W.] Griffith’s picture, “The Love Flower.”
    • “The Girlie Review” – Vaudeville’s greatest dancing novelty
    • Hall and Fenton – A corking skit
    • Robertio – Novelty contortionist

Analysis

Interestingly, the theatre program called her “Dolly Montrose,” and the theatre’s advertising called her Dolly Montran.  I have not seen her going by the name of “Dolly” before. I suspect that “Montrose” was a typo, but I should look at that closer.

July 3rd was a Sunday and playbills of the period typically ran Monday through Wednesday and Thursday through Sunday, so those shows were probably the dates for Red Bank, NJ, and the Stroudsburg, PA, shows.

Conclusion

I was able to update my previous schedule with the following:

  • June 30 – July 2, 1921 – Beacon, New York, State Theatre, “As You Like It” with Donna Montran.
  • July 4-6, 1921 – Red Bank, New Jersey, _____ Theatre, Donna Montran (probable)
  • July 7-9, 1921 – Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, _____ Theatre, Donna Montran (probable)

Actions

Search for any other examples of “Dolly Montrose” or “Dolly Montran” during 1921.

Sources

Donna Darling Collection – SCAN0080 – Don Taylor’s Private Collection.

Donna at Family Theatre, Mahanoy City, PA – 30 Apr 1920

Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” play at the Family Theatre in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania on 30 April 1920.

Vaudeville
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.It is not clear where Donna and “Chin Chin” played in the days before they played in Mahanoy City. We know they played at the Hippodrome in Pottsville, PA on April 26 & 27. It is unlikely the cast would have off two days in a row, particularly a Wednesday and Thursday.

Preshow Advertising

Advertising for the show began on April 24th with a page 1 announcement that the show was coming, on page 3 there was a official notification to “The General Public,” and on page 5 was a typical “Chin Chin” advertisement.

CHIN CHIN” COMING TO MAHANOY CITY FRIDAY, APRIL 30

Rich in color, pretty girls, artistic settings and the playfulness that goes with good musical comedy is “Chin Chin,” which comes to the Family Theatre, Mahanoy City, Pa., on Fricay, April 30th, night only.

A testimony of its worth is supplied by its past record of a solid two-year run at the Globe Theatre in New York City, and the summing up of the box office receipts in both the Metropolis and on tourr [sic] are convincing proofs of public estimation.

Ivan Caryll, composer of the music, is also responsible for the music of “The Pink Lady” and “The Little Café.” Anne Caldwell and R. H. Burnside wrote the libretto; Walter Wills and Roy Binder will be seen in the leading roles.

In this gigantic production of “Chin Chin” Charles Dillingham, the producer, offers more for the admission price than any other dozen musical shows ever seen. Seats on sale Tuesday.

On April 26th, the following article ran in the Republican and Herald.

“CHIN CHIN” AT MAHANOY NEXT FRIDAY

Charles Dillingham’s sumptuous and only production of “Chin Chin,” as seen for two years in New York, comes to the Family Theatre, Mahanoy City, Friday, April 30th.

This delightful and famous entertainment will be presented in its original entirety with Walter Wills nd Roy Binder in the lead. In this musically rich show such numbers as “Violets,” “The Grey Moon,” “Love Moon,” “Goodbye Girls, I’m Through” and the comedy song, “Go Gar Sig Gong-Jue” always receive hearty applause.

The book is by Anne Calddwell and H. H. Burnside, the lyrics by Anne Cldwell and James O’Dea and the music by Ivan Caryll, so well remembered for his ingratiating melodies in “The Pink Lady” and “The Little Café.”

Seven gorgeous settings make up this stupendous production—dresses, swift and grotesque dancing and lots of prankish amusement, including Tom Brown’s Clown Band as the famous Saxophone Sextette. Seats on sale Tuesday.

The newspaper on the 27th carried the exact same article.

On the 28th, a new article was presented. Much of it the same as the 26th and 27th. And on the 29, the exact same articles as what ran on the 28th ran again.

Finally, on April 30th, the “Republican and Herald” ran an abbreviated article which contained the same information as previous articles.


Family Theatre

Photo courtesy the Mahanoy Area Historical Society.

The theater was originally built in 1895 by John Hersker (Schone Horsker) and named the Hersker Opera House.  It also went by the name of Hersker’s Family Theatre and had a seating capacity of 1,250. In 1909 the theater was renamed the Family Theater. Later it was renamed the “State Theater.”[i]

Specifications for the Family Theatre

Proscenium opening: 34 ft
Footlights to back wall: 83 ft
Between side walls: 48 ft
Apron 5 ft
Between fly girders: 42 ft
To rigging loft: 63 ft

Nearby info

Nearby hotels included the Mansion House, Pennsylvania Hotel, and the City Hotel.

Today

After the building stopped being used as a theatre, it was a furniture store for several years. Today it is a gas station and mini-mart.


Disclaimer

The ads and some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” If you purchase after clicking on them, I will receive a small commission which will help me pay for this site. Please see my <a href=”http://dontaylorgenealogy.com/disclaimer/”>Disclaimer Page</a> for more information.

Endnotes

[i] “Mahanoy Area Historical Society”. 2020. Mahanoyhistory.Org. Accessed January 15, 2020. http://www.mahanoyhistory.org/charter.html.

Donna in the News – Special Act on Thanksgiving

25 November 1925

Vaudeville – Jewel Review

 “Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly discovered newspaper 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 grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.

This week’s article is from page 4 of the Kenosha News (Kenosha, WI), dated 25 November 1925.

VAUDEVILLE ON THANKSGIVING.
——-
Special Act to Accompany Feature Picture, “The Pony Express.”

A special vaudeville act will be given on Thanksgiving Day at the Orpheum theater in conjunction with the feature picture, “The Pony Express.” The act will be Donna Darling and girls in “Her Little Jewel Revue.” There will be singing, dancing and special scenery.

The picture which starts Thursday for the rest of the week has one scene on the mammoth location set near Cheyenne, Wyoming, that was directed by Vice-President Charles G. Dawes. The vice-president extended the range of his versatility when he assumed the role of motion picture director. Aided by an occasional word from James Cruse, the producer, and Betty Compson, who has the featured feminine role in this epic production, the general appeared to enjoy the experience, shouting “Camera” like a veteran.

Thanks to this new posting at Newspapers.com, I learned that on Nov 26, 1925, in Kenosha, Wisconsin at the Orpheum Theater, Donna Darling and girls presented the “Little Jewel Revue.” I was able to add another venue for Donna’s “Little Jewel Revue” tour.

“Chin-Chin” at Hippodrome, Pottsville, PA on April 26 & 27, 1920.

Donna and “Chin Chin” play at the Hippodrome in Pottsville, Pennsylvania on 24 & 25 April 1920.

Donna Montran
Vaudeville
Chin Chin

My grandmother, Donna Montran, joined the cast of the vaudeville show “Chin Chin” on October 30, 1919, and toured with the production until the production ended playing on May 31, 1920.  

Before the cast of “Chin-Chin” arrived at Pottsville, they had had a tough series of one-night shows and were probably pleased to have off on Sunday, April 25th before playing at the Hippodrome in Pottsville, PA. Also pleasing to the cast had to have been they would play at Pottsville for two days in a row.

“The Hippodrome” that must be the place where Hippo’s roam. That sounds good but isn’t right. The word “Hippodrome” comes from a Greek word, hippos, which means horse, and dremon, meaning path or way.[i] I doubt very much that horses ever raced at the Hippodrome in Pottsville, however, Mademoiselle Falloffski surly rode her horse in circles on stage during the production of “Chin-Chin” at the Hippodrome.

Continue reading ““Chin-Chin” at Hippodrome, Pottsville, PA on April 26 & 27, 1920.”

Donna Darling Collection – Part 57

The Orpheum and the Majestic

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Collection that includes two clippings.

“Leon The Great” Pleases Orpheum

The mystery act of “Leon the Great,” advertised as the headline stunt on the bill current at the Orpheum, went over with a bang, but is forced to share honors with Primrose Semon and the Donna Darling revue.

The former is the snappiest and hardest working redhead to appear here in several months. Shad had a stock of clever songs and with her partner got across some original quips.

Donna’s singing, two comely toe dancers, and a comedian who was actually funny at times constitute the Donna Darling revue.

Stone and Leever get some good stuff across, but should get together with the comedian in Donna’s revue and flip coins for a couple of comic songs that both acts use.

“Leon the Great” is mysterious enough….

Analysis

This clipping comes without any date or location information.

  • Donna played the Orpheum in Clinton, IA on December 9th thru the 11th, 1926.
  • Donna Played the Orpheum in Des Moines on 2nd thru the 5th of January 1927.
  • Donna had a return engagement to the Orpheum in Clinton, IA on January 16th thru 19th, 1927.

According to the advertisement[1], Donna played at the Orpheum in Des Moines with The Great Leon, Miss Primrose Seamon, Stone & Leever, and Hartley and Patterson on January 2nd 1927. I have been unable to find any ads or articles for Donna in Clinton (either date) so far. However, it is unlikely that the same 5 acts played in both Des Moines and Clinton. As such, I’m confident this article relates to Donna’s show in Des Moines.

Majestic Theatre Program

MAJESTIC
THEATRE

IOWA’S FINEST
AND SAFEST
PLAY-HOUSE

Program
Season 1926-1927
Program (Continued)

DONNA DARLING REVUE

—With—
Sammy Clark
Assisted by Hal Dixon & Co.
A Super Song Revue—A Dazzling dance fantasy—A Novel
Comedy Oddity in Five Scenes

Analysis

Handwritten on the clipping are the words “Dubuque Iowa.” From previous work I know that Donna performed the Donna Darling Review at the Majestic Theater in Dubuque, Iowa from December 12th through December 15th. I wrote about some other clippings from that show in the Donna Darling Collection #55. I added DDC-57 to the listing for that show.

Conclusion

December 12-15, 1926 – Dubuque, IA – Majestic Theatre – Donna Darling Revue – Newspaper Archive – DDC-55, DDC-57.

ENDNOTES

[1] “1 Jan 1927, 8 – Des Moines Tribune At Newspapers.Com”. 2019. Newspapers.Com. Accessed October 24 2019. https://www.newspapers.com/image/324007959/?terms=%22Donna%2BDarling%2BRevue%22.