Donna Darling Collection – Part 76

The Stroud Theatre

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at another clipping from the Donna Darling Collection

First, we know the show took place during Thanksgiving week at the Stroud.

  • 1919    We know Donna was part of the “Chin Chin” company and played in Salt Lake City during Thanksgiving, so it can’t be 1919.
  • 1920    Donna played as Donna Montran and Her Bathing Beauties, so we know it can’t be 1920.
  • 1921    Donna was playing with Murray Walker and Walter Davis as Donna Montran. By January 1922, her shows all featured “Donna Darling,” never Donna Montran. So it makes sense that “Dona Montrim” could be 1921.
  • 1922 – However, in November 1922, Donna was showing as Donna Darling and Company. It is possible Donna could have done some kind of throwback to using Montrim (Montran) in 1922.
  • 1923 – Thanksgiving Donna was appearing in the Donna Darling Revue during November 1923.
  • 1924 – In 1924, Donna’s show was again a Bathing Beauty show.
  • 1925 – In 1925, Donna was doing the “Little Jewel Revue.”
  • 1926 – Donna was showing with Sammy in 1926.
  • 1927 – Donna appears to have dropped out of show business during the summer of 1927. I have no record of her appearing in 1927 or 1928.

A search for the Stroud Theatre at Cinetreasures found only one Stroud Theatre open during the 1920s. That was in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Likewise, the 1921 The Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide And Moving Picture Directory. Indicates there was only one Stroud Theatre, and it was in Stroudsburg.

I know very little about Donna’s shows in the fall of 1921. Indeed, she played in New York in October and played in Philadelphia in December, so her playing in Stroudsburg, PA in November 1921 makes sense. On the other hand, Donna played in Elmira, New York, in  November 1922 and Paterson, NJ, in December, so 1922 is possible.

The critical fact that illuminates the date is an accompanying article that mentions the feature “Inside the Cup” adapted from the story of Winston Churchill was also playing. Wikipedia indicates that the film adaptation of Churchill’s book was titled “Inside of the Cup” and was released in January of 1921. As such, I’m confident that the show had to have played at the Stroud Theater in Stroudsburg, PA in 1921.  Thanksgiving in 1921 was November 24th.

Additionally, a Newspapers.Com search for “Dona Montrim” yielded a match to her playing at Reade’s Savoy Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on October 13th and October 14th. That confirms her playing in the area using that unusual spelling. Thanks to Newspapers.Com, I was able to add another venue to her schedule.

Key features

  • The venue is the Stroud Theatre in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
  • At least two days between November 24th and November 25th, 1921.
  • The show is “Dona Montrim & Co. – Singing and Dancing.”
  • Also, on the bill
    • The Barry Jazzers
    • Three Walceys – Acrobatic Novelty
    • Whynot & Brady – Musical Act
    • Phil Davis – Southern Songster
    • Features: “Inside the Cup”

Analysis

Another note is her name in the article is “Dora Montrim.” A search for “Dora Montrim” at Newspapers.Com, Genealogy Bank, and Chronicling America did not yield any results. This show should be added to Donna’s Schedule:

Conclusion

  • November 24-25, 1921 – Stroud Theatre – Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania – Dona Montrim & Co. – DDC-76.
  • October 13-14, 1921 – Reade’s Savoy Theatre – Asbury Park, New Jersey – Dona Montrim & Co.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 75

Russell Erwin Amsterdam

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

I was conflicted about if this should be a typical Treasure Chest Thursday where I’m looking at items from the Donna Darling Collection, or if it should be a Photo Friday. I decided on looking at seven photos of my uncle Russ from the perspective of items from the Donna Darling Collection.

1928

Russell was born in August 1927. In the first photo I have of him, he is in a baby carriage. His dress suggests it was summer, so I figure this photo is from the summer of 1928.

With the Twins – ca. 1929

Russell in some sort of sailor suit with two young men, who appear to be twins to me. Russell seems to have a little less stable, so I suspect it is from when he was around two.

At the Beach – ca. 1930

Next are two photos of Russell at the Beach. I vacillate between thinking he is 2 or 3 in the pictures. He seems sturdy on his feet in the photo with him and two boys, so I think three is more likely. Another shot of him with his dad, Sammy, was clearly taken on the same day and Russell looks larger than a two-year-old.

Russell and his father, Sammy

Russell & two (unknown) boys.

Indian Headdress – ca. 1930

Next is an adorable photo of Russell in an Indian costume, including a headdress. Donna and Sammy went on their National Tour with “Princess Winona,” a Native American.

On the Ship – 1930

Finally, there are two photos of Russell on a ship. I believe this was from 1930 when Sammy, Donna, and Russell traveled to Panama for work. The first one is of the three of them, while the second one is of Russell looking away.

Russell aboard ship with his father & mother, ca. 1930.

Uncle Russ aboard ship, age 3, ca 1930.

I really miss Uncle Russ, he is the only biological uncle of mine I ever met and I really liked him.  In later years, he and my mother became best friends and cruised together. They took an Alaska coastal cruise and a Mississippi riverboat cruise together. I know my mom found them greatly enjoyable. (I never met any of my biological father’s siblings.)

Donna Darling Collection – Part 74

Donna Darling Revue
Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Collection that includes both a clipping and a photo.

Palm Theater – Pueblo, Colorado

Image DSCN1433 from the Donna Darling Collection – Note the 6th act was apparently cut off. 

Key features:

  • The venue is the Palm Theater – Pueblo’s Leading Theater – Always a Big Show. The show is “Today and Monday – 2 Big Days. And is part of the Western Association of Keithp-Albee Orpheum Circuit.
  • The show is a “Double Headliner Bill with the First Feature Ace — “Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark”
  • The Second Feature Act is “Orpheus Quintet in “Big Moments from Big Operas”
  • Also on bill:
    • Zuhn & Dreis – Dementus Americanos – A Feature Comedy Act Made For Laughing Purposes.
    • Curtis & Lawrence – Up to the Minute and a Minute Ahead in “Is That the Custom.”
    • Morrell & Elynor – Beauty-Grace-Speed 0 Introducing the Charleston on Rollers.

Analysis

The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark began in May 1926. On September 17th and 18th, the show played at the Burns Theater in Colorado Springs and played on September 25th in El Paso, Texas. It is most likely that the show played in Pueblo on a date between the 18th and the 25th. The only Monday between those dates was Monday, September 20th, so it appears that the show played in Pueblo, CO, on September 19th and 20th.

I looked for newspapers on Newspapers.Com, Genealogy Bank, NewspaperArchive.com, and other sites via The Ancestor Hunt to prove that date; however, I was unable to find any papers for Pueblo in 1926 available online. However, I did discover that the Donna Darling Revue played at the Grand Theater in Douglas, Arizona on September 27th.

Photo of Sammy

Unknown woman & Sammy Clark – ca. 1926.

On the same page in the Donna Darling Collection as the Palm Theater clipping is a photo of an unknown woman and Sammy Clark. It must be from sometime between 1926 and 1928, with 1926 as the most likely. It is nice to have another photo of Sammy. I’ll keep an eye out for any other photos showing this unidentified woman.

Conclusion

September 19 & 20, 1926 – The Palm Theater, Pueblo, Colorado – “The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.”

September 27, 1926 – The Grand Theater, Douglas, Arizona – “The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.”

A day I learn of two more dates and venues for Donna’s Vaudeville Career is a good day.

Sources

Douglas Daily Dispatch, 1926-09-17 – Page 6 via Genealogy Bank.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 73

Donna Darling and her Jewel Revue – State Theater, Utica, New York.

Treasure Chest Thursday
by Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a full-page of the Donna Darling Collection, which included five items..

First is a clipping showing, “The Scintillating Beauty, Donna Darling and Her Jewel Revue, Presenting Singing, Dancing, Comedy, Elaborate Costumes, Special Settings and Lighting Effects” at State Theater. Luckily, Donna handwrote on the clipping, “Utica Mar 18-19-20” which gives us the location and date for the show. Donna’s “Little Jewel Review” is known to have run from November 1925 to March 1926. So, it appears she was in Utica, New York, from March 18 through the 20th, 1926.

Key features:

    • The venue is the State Theater
    • The show is the “Donna Darling and Her Jewel Revue.”
    • Also, on the bill:
      • Williams & Perry – Colored Entertainers Singing, Dancing
      • Lone & King – In Songs and Comedy
      • Cosmopolitan Trio – In a Song Offering
      • Chick and Dog – A Clever Canine Novelty
    • The Movie showing was Evelyn Brent in “Queen of Diamonds”

Two Advertising Clips

The first advertising clipping focuses upon “Queen of Diamonds,” but includes”

From advance reports of the vaudeville bill to be offered in today’s program, it appears the patrons will not be disappointed. Heading the list is Donna Darling and “Her Jewel Revue” in songs dances and comedy. Lowe & King….

The second clipping indicates,

The Darling Revue is listed as the headliner and deserves that title through virtue of its all-around excellence. A decided feature of the act are the dance numbers. These include toe, clog, gypsy, and Charleston novelties. Some well-received songs are also offered.

Two Photos

Finally, on the page are two lively little photos. One is clearly Donna in a stylish, bedazzled skirt and a long headscarf with a beaded cap.

The second photo is of an unknown man in a shirt and tie. The photo was taken outdoors so doesn’t appear to be related in time or place to Donna’s photo. The young man’s pants appear to be kaki and his tie is square cut on the bottom. Also, it looks (to me) that he has a garrison cap tucked into his waist, suggesting it is a soldier. Hopefully, I will be able to identify him later.

Conclusion

I added the following to Donna’s Itinerary:

    • March 18-20, 1926 – “Donna Darling and her Jewel Revue” – State Theater, Utica, New York – DDC-73.

 

 

Donna Darling Collection – Part 72

Fisher’s Appleton, Appleton, WI & The Lyric, East Saint Louis, IL

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at three clippings from the Donna Darling Collection.

Fisher’s Appleton

This first clipping has no date and no location. However, the key to determining location is that the program was printed by “Petersen-Bauer Printing Co. (Phone 1592).” A quick Google search of the internet found that the Petersen-Bauer Printing Company was in Appleton, Wisconsin.  From previous research, I knew that Donna played in Appleton at Fisher’s Appleton from December 1st to December 3rd, 1924. So, I’m quite certain that this clipping is from that show.

The Lyric

Next are two clippings on the same page in the scrapbook. They both relate to The Lyric Theatre.

Neither clipping indicates what city or what date.

The venue is the Lyric Theatre. It is advertised as “The Cool Lyric.”

  • The show is the “Donna Darling and Girls” – Presenting her Little Revue.

Also, on the bill:

    • Montie – Moments of Syncopation
    • Taylor and Owens – Comedy Singing and Talking
    • Dippy Diers and Bennett – The Inimitable Pantomimist
    • Paul Godt at the Mighty Organ
    • Parsons’ Syncopators – The Best Orchestra in Southern Illinois
    • The movie is Shore Leave starring Richard Barthelmess

Next is an article clipping

BARTHELMESS HERE IN COMEDY AT LYRIC

On the Stage.

The feature attraction on the bill at the Lyric which, opened yesterday is Dona Darling and Her Girls, who present a fast-colorful revue. Miss Darling’s “Don t Care Whose Papa” is put over very good. The “Evolution of the Bathing’ Suit”, showing the kind that were worn in I860 and 1900 is very cleverly done. They also show the Dutch, French and Gypsy bathing girls, which leads up to the ultra-flapper bathing girl of 1925. The girls in the act are exceptionally good dances, and Miss Darling has a very pleasing voice. Their Hawaiian bathing girl and their harmony singing of “The Ukulele Lady” went over big yesterday. They close with an original Hawaiian Charleston dance. All in all, this is one of the best revues seen here this season….

Analysis

The advertisement clipping mentions “Paul Godt at the Mighty Organ” and mentions “Parsons’ Syncopators.” Both of which relate to the Lyric Theatre in East Saint Louis. Shore Leave, starring Richard Barthelmess was released in September 1925.[i]  Donna is known to have played in Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois and Nebraska during September 1925. As such, it is easy to suspect she played in East St. Louis at that time. It doesn’t appear that there are any East Saint Louis newspapers available online. It doesn’t appear that there are any East Saint Louis papers currently available online.

Conclusion

So, for the first clipping I’ll add a date to the clipping and incorporate the clipping when I write about Donna’s playing in Appleton, Wisconsin.

For the second (and third) clippings, I’ll add the following entry to her itinerary as:

TBD – Probably Sept or Oct 1925 – East Saint Louis, Illinois – Lyric Theatre – Donna Darling and Girls presenting Her Little Revue. DDC-72.

Actions

  • Continue to monitor for the availability of newspapers from East Saint Louis in September 1925.

Sources

[i] IMDB Shore Leave (1925) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0016346/accessed 12 Aug 2020.