“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and 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 clipping is from The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kansas), dated 2 December 1923. It and several other clippings can be added to Donna’s history.
THE NEW THEATER BILLS
VAUDEVILLE. Matinee and night. Two shows Saturday night. Blossom Seeley headlining bill opening Monday matinee for three days.
Blossom Seeley calls her medium of expression “Miss Syncopation.” Evidently she…
Billy McDermott, who bills himself as “The only Survivor of Coxey’s Army,” is a tramp…
Donna Darling is a musical comedy ingenue. With a capable supporting company, Miss Darling offers a dazzling dance fantasy called “A Song and Dance Romance.”
This clipping and the associated advertisements show Donna played at the Orpheum Theater in Wichita, Kansas, on December 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 1923.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at ten clippings from seven different pages. Nine of them relate to the Orpheum Theaters in various locations. But first, there was a “Donna Darling Review” trade advertisement. It clearly was a clipping from a magazine. It didn’t provide anything about a theater. It gives the title of their show and who the director was.
DONNA DARLING Revue. With SAMMY CLARK A Novel Revue in Five Scenes
FROM HEAVEN – TO HADES Singing—Komedy—Dancing
Direction: Lew Holleb Lew Goldberg Office, Chicago
I think I can use this ad as a graphic for the entire show period.
Next, there were two clippings of “California Motion Picture Bathing Beauties” featuring Donna Darling. The theater is the “Orpheum-Racine’s Play House Deluxe” and the date is Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving was the November 27th in 1924. I had already determined that Donna played at the Racine Orpheum theatre on Nov 27, 28, & 29, so I am able to add the date to these two clippings.
There are three clippings that show another Orpheum theater. They are identified as under “Direction of Alexander Frank.” Alexander Frank provided direction to several theaters in Iowa during the 1920s. One of those theaters was in Des Moines. I had already established that Donna played the Des Moines Orpheum on January 2nd to the 5th, 1927; so, I’m sure this show is the show the clippings are related to.
Tulsa & Oklahoma City
The last three items include an Orpheum Theater Program. There is no date nor location with it. However, another clipping shows the Orpheum theater with the same acts also on the bill and had hand-written on it “Tulsa Okla.” Also, is a short ad showing the Donna Darling Revue “this W’k, Orpheum, Tulsa & Oklahoma City, Okla.”
Donna played the Orpheum Theater in Oklahoma City on December 9, 1923 and the Orpheum in Tulsa on December 13-14, 1923. At first I thought this venue must have been one of these two. Further research on line found acts different from the ones in the clippings played on those dates. Finally, a search for “Sie Tehar Troup” found they played in Oklahoma City with the “Darling Revue” starting Thursday, 12 August 1926. It is possible the same group played in Tulsa sometime in August 1926, however, I have not been able to find any papers for that time period and location, yet.
November 27-29, 1924 – Racine, Wisconsin – Orpheum – Bathing Beauties with Donna Darling. Newspapers.com– DDC-68
For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection that relate to the Rivoli Theatre in Portland, Oregon.
From previous research, thanks to Genealogy Bank, I had learned that The Donna Darling Review with Sammy Clark played at the Rivoli Theatre in Portland from November 6th through the 8th. The Playbill is always great to see.
Next was a clipping “Donna Darling Revue Crest of Rivoli Bill,” which appears to be an advertising article. It reads, in part:
“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.”
November 6-8, 1926 – The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark played at the Rivoli Theatre in Portland, Oregon.
Mission Court Theater, Fullerton, CA &
Yost Broadway Theater, Santa Ana, CA
Treasure Chest Thursday
Donna Darling Music Review
Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark
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
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
The venue is the Mission Court Theater, Fullerton, CA. She headlined the five acts at the theater that night.
Yost Broadway Theater
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.
The venue is the Yost Broadway Theater, Santa Ana, CA. She headlined the five live acts at the theater.