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 Darling Collection – Part 62

Mission Court Theater, Fullerton, CA &
Yost Broadway Theater, Santa Ana, CA

Vaudeville
Donna Montran
Treasure Chest Thursday
Donna Darling Music Review
Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Collection. Scan #1437 consists of three clippings. One clipping is generic and doesn’t include the theater name. The other two are the Mission Court Theater and the Yost Broadway.

Mission Court Theater

Clipping - Mission Court Theater - Vaudeville - Donna Darling
Clipping – Mission Court Theater – Vaudeville – Donna Darling Collection

The Donna Darling Music Review played at the Mission Court Theater, Fullerton, Cal., on one Thursday night. Donna’s show was in Northern California in the early part of June and made it to San Bernardino, CA, by June 28th. It is possible that she played in Fullerton on Thursday, June 26th, however, it is more likely she played in Fullerton on Thursday, July 3rd. Donna played in Whittier on June 30th and in Santa Ana on July 5th, so playing her playing at a theatre between those to venues on July 3rd, makes sense. As such, I’ve added the following venue to Donna’s Career Listing.

July 3, 1924 – (Probable) – Fullerton, CA – Mission Court Theater – Donna Darling Music Revue – DDC-62

Key features:

  • The venue is the Mission Court Theater, Fullerton, CA. She headlined the five acts at the theater that night.

Yost Broadway Theater

Clipping - Yost Broadway - Donna Darling Revue
Clipping – Yost Broadway – Donna Darling Revue – 8 October 1926

The second clipping has “Oct 8-9 Santa Ana” written above the clipping in the scrapbook. That coincides with articles found at Newspapers.Com which indicated that Donna and Sammy played at the Yost Broadway Theater on October 7-9.

October 7-9, 1926 – Santa Ana – Yost Broadway Theater – Donna Darling Revue – Newspaper Archives. Newspapers.com – DDC-62.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Yost Broadway Theater, Santa Ana, CA. She headlined the five live acts at the theater.
  • With Donna were:
    • Zuhn and Dreis “Nuts”
    • Morrell and Elynor “Beauty and Grace”
    • Princess Winona “Indian Prima Donna”
    • Curtis and Lawrence “Customs”
  • Movie: The Campus Flirt starring Bebe Daniels.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 49

La Crosse, Great Falls, & Baby Russell

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at page “DSCN1452” from the Donna Darling Collection, which consists of two newspaper clippings and one photograph.

Donna Darling Revue at the Majestic Theater.

The first clipping is an ad for

VAUDEVILLE
A Dazzling Dance Fantasy.
“THE DONNA DARLING REVUE”
in 5—Scenes—5
With Donna Darling, Sammy Clark and three stars.
In a super song and dance revue with a dash of comedy.

Luckily, Donna wrote on the upper left corner, “La Cross | Dec 4-5.” From Newspaper Archive, I had previously learned that Donna had played at the Majestic Theater in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, on December 4 & 5, 1926.

The second clipping is a bit more problematic. It has a nice photo of Donna and says:

Donna began doing the “Donna Darling Review” with Sammy in April 1926, so the show must have taken place after then. The problem is that the two of them played:

  • The Grand Theater in Great Falls, Montana on Nov 26-27, 1926.
  • The Grand Theater in Macon, Georgia, on March 14-18, 1927.
  • The Grand Theater in Montgomery, Alabama, on April 1-3, 1927.
  • Plus, I have many open dates that she could have played at a “Grand Theater.”

For the clipping in question, other acts on the bill include:

  • Princess Winona.
  • Zehn and Dreis in “Dementus Americanos Habitat North America.”
  • Billy Curtis and Lou Lawrence in “Is That the Custom.”
  • Morell and Elynor (roller skating)
  • The Reginald Denny picture “Rolling Home.”
  • Luckily this bill was short-lived, only about two months. At every showing there was a different picture show. On November 26 & 27, the bill of these vaudeville acts played at the Grand Theater in Great Falls Montana along with the picture “Rolling Home.”  I am confident that this clipping comes from this date and place.
Donna & Russell ca. 1929.

Finally, there is a new photograph of Donna with Russell. Russell appears, to me, to be about two years old. Russell was born in 1927, so I’m fairly sure that the photo come from 1929 or so. This is a case where I wish I knew how to fix photos with Photoshop. I’d love to pluck out the white and have a nicer photo.

Can anyone help?

 

 

Donna in the News — 5 New Venues!

“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 grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.

This week, from Newspapers.com, I learned of five new venues for Donna.

From the Brooklyn Times Union (Brooklyn, NY) dated 25 January 1921, I learned that Donna Montran and her “California Bathing Beauties” were booked into the Keeney Theatre.  The dates and length of the booking is unclear but I now know she was there in late January 1921.

The York Daily Record (York, PA) dated 4 April 1922, indicates that Donna Darling played at the York Opera House.  The dates suggested are April 3rd, 4th, and 5th.  Those dates are in conflict with other items I’ve found indicating that on April 3rd, 4th, and 5th Donna played in Johnstown, PA.  Further investigation is needed on this topic.

From the Morning Call (Paterson, NJ)) dated 4 December 1922, I learned that Dona [sic] Darling and Boys played the Majestic Theatre on the 4th, 5th, and 6th, of December 1922.

Of particular interest, the Winona (MN) Daily News indicated that “Donna Darling and Earle” played at the Strand Theatre on May 12th and 13th 1923.  This booking fits into a large gap I’ve had in her work.

Back to the Brooklyn (NY) Times Union, this time dated 5 May 1928. In that issue, I learned that Donna Darling and Somory [sic] Clark played at the Majestic Theatre in Brooklyn.  Again, it is unclear what the exact dates were, but I know it was in May 1928.

Additions to Donna’s Career History

  1. Jan 25-?, 1921 – Brooklyn, New York – Keeney Theatre – Donna Montran and her “California Bathing Beauties.”
  2. April 3-5, 1922 – York, PA – York Opera House – Donna Darling & Boys – Conflict.
  3. December 3-5, 1922 – Paterson, NJ – Majestic Theatre – Donna and Boys.
  4. May 12-13, 1923 – Winona, Minnesota – Strand Theatre – “Donna Darling and Earle.”
  5. May 5, 1928 – Brooklyn, New York – Majestic Theatre – Donna Darling and Sammy Clark.

I will further research these performances and theatres in future postings. I currently have 110 performance events to still write about and research.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 47

Loew’s Theater, London, Ont & More

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Collection. The page includes two photos, one ad for the Bijou, one non-descript ad, and two articles about Donna and Sammy playing at Lowe’s.

Lowe’s Theatre – “Seven Sinners”

The only item identified with a date is the clipping for Loew’s Theatre – “Seven Sinners”.  It indicates June 24, 25, 26 and “Ont.) IMDB indicates that the movie was released on 7 November 1925 in the USA. That would suggest the film played at Loew’s in June 1926.

Donna and Sammy played at the Capitol Theater in Kitchener on June 21, 22, & 23, so it fits that after Kitchener they went the 110km (68 miles) to London to play at the Loew’s Theatre there.

The first article reads:

LOEW’S THEATRE
“SEVEN SINNERS”

Dona Darling, former Zeifield Follies girl, heads an all-star vaudeville cast at Loew’s Theatre the last half of this week, and together with the famous crook story, “Seven Sinners,” as the feature picture, London theatregoers are treated to a perfectly balanced theatre bill. Mary Prevost makes a crook really too pleasant to be natural, and Clive Brook, the hero, is an excellent parallel.

The story is interesting in its novelty; everybody in it is a crook, but everybody manages to enlist the sympathies of the audience before the picture ends. The settinsg [sic] show careful choosing and the plot development is well worked out. The story consists of the efforts of seven crooks to steal jewels from a deserted mansion, and then, when the house is quarantined with them inside it, the owner returns. Situations develop which are in turn funny and tense, until, at the end, crooks are probed to be sometimes nearly human, after all.

The vaudeville bill is exceptionally fine. It is seldom that London audiences have the pleasure of seeing such smooth aerial performancers as the Aerial Smiths on the same bill as the act given by Dave Fox and Jane Allyn. This is a comedy skit of unusual merit entitled, “To Let.” The last act on the bill, the Darling and Clark Revue, has five very capable performers. The dancing in the first part is especially good.

The second clipping appears to have been clipped without the information about the motion picture.  The clipping says:

AT THE THEATERS

LOEW’S

The trapeze work of the vaudeville program is carried out by the Aerial Smiths. It is said of them that they have been a long time at it, and it can be said for them that they haven’t wasted their time. They make other acts of their kind look like the last rose of summer, especially when the climax is reached and the woman shoots out on a trapeze that suddenly lengthens as she swings in mid-air.

Fox and Allen entertain with songs and patter based upon an unsatisfactory search for an apartment in a big town. They seem to please and draw to themselves a generous amount of the applause.

The Darling and Clark Revue is not the kind that deals exclusively in dancing. It has that, too, but it also has other features equally as entertaining, including songs, whistling, a clever recitation and a darkened-stage novelty. The whole is permeated with the personality of Miss Darling, there are five persons.

The third item is a simple ad for Donna and Sammy and “Their New Revue.”  There is no theatre mentioned but it reminds us that Donna was “The Scintillating Beauty” and Sammy was the “Juvenile Komik.”

Next, are two photos that appear to shoe the entire cast of the Darling and Clark Revue. It looks like one photo was taken by Donna and includes Sammy as the third person from the left. The second one looks like it was taken by Sammy and has Donna as the third person from the left. I am quite certain the other three people in these photos are the other members of the show. I will need to do a little more research to determine what their names were.

The Darling & Clark Revue Cast – 1926  (Including Donna)

The Darling & Clark Revue Cast – 1926 (Including Sammy)

Finally, there is an ad for “Decatur’s Favorite – The Bijou”  It mentions three vaudeville acts: Donna Darling and Sammy Clare [sic] Revue “A Modern Vaudeville Frolic” Donna & Sammy’s show is playing with Paul & Darling “Two Broadway Rounders” and Billy De Armo doing a comedy novelty show. It wouldn’t be clear why this clipping would be on the same page with the Loew’s Theatre clippings unless you knew that Donna and Sammy played at the Bijou Theatre in Decatur, IL only eight days later.

Conclusion

I was able to add a new venue to Donna’s Career.  She and Sammy played June 24 to 26, 1924, in their “Darling and Clark Revue” at Loew’s Theatre in London, Ontario, Canada.

I was also able to add images I suspect are the three other performers in the show.

Finally, I was able to add another advertising clipping to Donna and Sammy’s show at the Bijou Theatre in Decatur, IL.

Actions

Research the other three individuals who play in the Darling and Clark Revue.

Sources

Donna Darling Collection – Image DSCN1428.