UPDATE – “Chin-Chin” – Regina Theatre – Regina, SK – January 15-17, 1920

Donna Montran
Chin-Chin
Vaudeville

Subsequent to my original look at Donna and the Chin Chin cast playing at the Regina Theater, in Regina, SK, Canada, (See original post.) I found a great new article about that show which included a mention of Donna. The review provides one of the best descriptions of the show I’ve seen.

‘CHIN-CHIN’ HAS COMEDY TO BURN AT THE REGINA

Extravaganza of Nonsense, Specialties and Wardrobe
in New York Fantasy Show

Newspaper Clipping - Chin Chin Has Comedy to Burn at the Regina.
The [Regina] Leader Post, January 16, 1920 – Page 16, Column 2 (Via Newspapers.Com)
Have no fear of anything highbrow occurring in “Chin Chin.” It doesn’t. “Chin Chin” is full of burlesquerie, grotesquerie and diablerie. A suggestion of the childhood classic, “Aladdin’s Lamp,” reappearing through all the scenes provides the skeleton for an extravagance of nonsense, specialties and wardrobe. The magic lamp provides the element of plausibility for all the absurdities that happen.

Uproarious Fun

Walter Wills and Roy Binder are the comedians who provide all the uproarious scenes in their manifold characters as Chin Hop Li, Chin Hop Low, Padereweski, Mlle. Falloffski, the ventriloquist, a pair of gendarmes, a duplicate Widow Twanky, a pair of coolies, and a circus ring-master, falling of into the character of a pair of impertinent poll-parrots at any part in the proceedings, giving no notice of motion whatever.

The two hard-working fun-makers have a dozen principals and two dozen chorus-girls to help them keep the audience entertained. This is not counting the trick horse for the circus scene, nor the four animated teddy bears, nor the wonderfully clever saxophone clown sextet.

Astonishing Dance

Walter Mills and Miss Irene Mackay have an astonishingly twinkling and acrobatic dance which quite takes the breath from the audience, though the dancers bob up serenely after madly romping through their business. As a final encore the man comes on with a dummy figure which the house mistakes for the little lady Fan Tay and after a brief breathless dance tosses the supposed human figure over an eight-foot wall into the wings.

Another big scene put on by Wills is his glorified Paderewski. There aren’t any attitudes he fails to strike while playing nor any musical paganisms he doesn’t commit on his little old piano. His mimicry there was rivalled by Binder’s impersonation of the very personable Widow Twanky. Dummies happen where they were not watch for, and then in the ventriloquist act what one thought was a very badly-jointed dummy turns out to be a human. “What’s the use?” was one’s conclusion after trying for a couple of hours to guess what was happening either then or next.

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Starr Dunham is a real story-book sort of Aladdin, pleasing as a picture in his fairy-tale toggery, modest of miem, well equipped as dancer and singer. Miss Ethel Lawrence as Violet, daughter of the United Son of Affluence, has a wealth of charm as to person and costume; and Donna Montram[sic], the goddess of the lamp, delighted with her solos, “Violet” and  “Grey Dove;” while Carrie Dale played the winsome Widow Twankey to queen’s taste. “Good-bye, Girls, I’m Through,” “Chinese Honeymoon,” “Chipper China Chaps,” “Love Moon,” “Bally Mooney,” and the clown’s band’s music will all be remembered with no falling of the spirit.

The settings are all quite lavish, but the red-gold and orange-brown tea-shop for the New Year’s celebration, with the chorus in harmonizing tones, was charming in the extreme.—I. M.

Donna in the News – 21 June 1923

Donna Darling & Her Boys at the Globe Theatre, Kansas City, MO on June 21, 1924.

I recently discovered articles that ran in the Kansas City Times from June 16th through June 21st.  Donna “topped” the program at the Globe theater in Kansas City

The Kansas City Times, Kansas City, Missouri, June 21, 1923 – Page 5 – Via newspapers.Com.

On stage with Donna and Her Boys (Murray Earle & Tod Watson)  were:

  • Keith and Parker
  • Mons Herbert
  • Robb and Whitman in “Sweethearts,”
  • Great Abdiz

Plus the Jane Novak,  photoplay “The Snowshoe Trail”

Donna Darling Collection – Part 65

Treasure Chest Thursday
Vaudeville

By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at five clippings from three pages of the Donna Darling Collection that all relate to Donna’s playing at the Pantheon Theatre in Vincennes, Indiana.

Luckily, one of the clippings has a newspaper title and date with it. With that information, I was able to find the exact newspaper online at the Knox County Public Library’s Advantage Preservation site.

The article was clipped from the Vincennes, (Ind.) Morning Commercial dated April 28, 1925.

BATHING GIRLS MAKE BIG SHOW

“Just hang your clothes upon a limb, but don’t go near the water.” This winding-up or finish of a poem perhaps fitted through the minds of more than one person who witnessed Donna Darling and her Bathing Girl Revue at the Pantheon theatre last night. The bathing beach scenes were excellent—all except the bathing beach.

From the Donna Darling Collection

There were girls, with their latest creation of bathing suits gorgeous, but conspicuous in their scantiness. There were lifeguards—two of them—but the beauty of the bathing girls, it must be confessed, distracted from the attention given the guards.

The show opened with a display of bathing suits of the days of 1860, in the days when modesty was more prevalent than in 1925. Then came the bathing girls of 1890, a little more daring in the style of their bathing suits; the girls of 1900, still more daring and finally, a modern girl, strutting proudly in the latest fashion creation in bathing suits.

In lieu of water in which to swim the girls displayed some rare talent at dancing. The Honolulu bathing girl, with her abbreviated suit consisting principally of seaweeds, and her exceptional ability at dancing, drew hearty applause. The Dutch bathing girl also proved a good dancer and was generously applauded. Each number pleased the audience, a fact evidenced by the hearty applause.

The feature picture, “Cheaper to Marry,” with Lewis Stone, Conrad Nagel, Marguerite De LaMotte and other stars, was an added feature to one of the best bills that has been presented at the Pantheon for some time. The show will be given tonight and tomorrow….

From the Donna Darling Collection.

Along with the article, there is a clipping that came from the April 29th newspaper. It showed Donna and her Bathing Girl Revue. Through the articles and advertisements in the paper that I found I learned of a new venue for Donna

Key features:

  • The venue is the Pantheon Theatre.
  • The show is the “Donna Darling and her Bathing Girl Revue.”
  • Also on the bill
    • The movie “Cheaper to Marry.”
  • Played Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday, April 27-29, 1925.

The other clippings, although interesting, do not add any new information regarding the show or the venue.

New Venue added:

April 27-29, 1925 – Pantheon Theatre – Vincennes, IN – Donna Darling and her Bathing Girl Revue.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 64

Treasure Chest Thursday
Donna Montran
Vaudeville

The National Theater, Chico, California, Oct or November 1926.

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection. Both relate to the National Theater. The same movie and the same last act mentioned are the same. Other than this entry, I haven’t seen the “Ko-Ko Kwartette” singing “Sweet Adeline” before. That makes this show unique.

Luckily, one of the clips indicates that it comes from “The Chico Record,” so we know that the show played there. The “Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark” occurred in 1926. The show entered Southern California in early October 1926 and traveled north. On October 30th, the show played at the Modesto Theater and on November 3rd, the show had moved up the coast and played in Medford, Oregon. As such, it is clear this show occurred sometime between October 30th and November 3rd.

CHICO RECORD, CHICO, CALIFORNIA

National—The headline on to- vaudeville program at the National Theater is The Donna Darling Revue headed by Miss Darling, who won the title of “Musical Comedy Beauty,” in Madison Square Garden’s show and there’s Sammy Clark, known as the Juvenile Komik. Princess Winona, and Indian prima donna, sings modern and Indian songs. Billy Curtis and Lou Lawrence have a laughing skit called “Is that the Custom?” in which a lady traveler appears to claim her trunk from a hard boiled official. Zuhn & Dreis are a couple of “nut” comedians who, believing they are an amusement exhibit, adopt a placard billing called “Dementus Americanos,” habitat North America. Morel & Elynor introduce beauty, grace, and speed doing the “Charleston on Rollers.” The film feature is “The Road to Glory,” starring May McAvoy and Ford Stirling. The Ko-Ko-Kwartette sings “Sweet Adeline” for a real feast of humor.

Conclusion

(circa) November 1, 1926 – Chico, California – National Theater – Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark – DDC-64.

Donna in the News – 4 June 1924

Donna Darling & Co. at the Hippodrome, Sacramento, CA, 4 through 7 June 1924.

I recently found four ads that ran in the Sacramento Bee from June 4th through June 7th.  Donna was the headliner “Donna Darling & Co. | Madison Square Beauty” at the Hippodrome Vaudeville.

Ad showing Donna Playing at the Hippodrome, Sacramento, on 4 June 1924.
Hippodrome ad in The Sacramento Bee Wed, Jun 4, 1924, via Newspapers.Com

On stage with Donna were:

  • Parks & Clayton–“Laugh Producers”
  • Mascot–“The Human Mind Pony”
  • Valente Bros.–“Accordionists”
  • Harte & Helene–“Another One”

Plus the Katherine McDonald photoplay “White Shoulders”