Donna in the News – Binghamton Theater, Binghamton, New York

“Apple Blossoms” – 16, 17, & 18 November 1922

 Vaudeville, Donna Darling & Boys
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspapers articles and advertisements 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. 

Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin – Nov 16, 1922 – via

This week I found an article from the Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, NY) newspaper dated 17 November 1922 via

The other acts on the bill the last half of the week include Donna Darling and company, with Murray Walker, assisted by Jack Finney and Nellye Du Barry, in “Apple Blossoms,” a super song reuse and dazzling dance fantasy….

Because of those newly available online articles, I was able to add another date and venue to Donna’s vaudeville career.

  • November 16, 17, 18, 1922 – Binghamton, New York – Binghamton Theater – “Apple Blossoms”

Donna 100 Years ago – Binghamton Theater, Binghamton, New York

100 Years Ago
Donna Darling & Boys
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.[“Donna 100 Years Ago” is my reporting of items relating to my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and Donna Darling). Hers was the exciting world of 1920s vaudeville. She crisscrossed the country with her many shows.]

I first learned about Donna being at the Binghamton Theater from a clipping from the Donna Darling Collection that showed in the theater’s magazine. It told that the program for January 26, 27, and 28 included:

    1. Pathe News
    2. Dale & Young
    3. Peel & Corovan
    4. Farrell Taylor & Co.
    5. Donna Darling & Boys
    6. Loney Haskell
    7. Billy Bouncers Circus
    8. A Cosmopolitan Production “Just Around the Corner”

Another clipping indicated the year was 1922 and included,

“Donna Darling and Boys, as might be gathered from the title, is a musical number or rather a collection of musical numbers, all of them good.”

Finally, there was a small ad clipping that showed the same acts as the theater program. I don’t know which paper the clippings were taken from, but the same ad appeared twice in the 27 Jan 1922 issue of the Binghamton Press.

One hundred years ago, Donna played in her vaudeville act, “Donna Darling & Boys,” at the Binghamton Theater, Binghamton, New York.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 18

Also, The Ancestor Hunt and Old Fulton Postcards

Treasure Chest Thursday

By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at three clippings from the Donna Darling Collection. One as an ad for her playing at the Binghamton Theater, next is an article which mentions Donna playing at the Binghamton Theater, and finally is a playbill showing Donna Darling and Boys playing January 26, 27, and 28 at the Binghamton Theater. I have cropped and resized the photos for the web.

Ad showing Donna Darling & Boys
Ad – Binghamton Theater – Donna Darling and Boys.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Binghamton Theater.
  • The show is Donna Darling and Boys in “Oh! Boy, Don’t Miss This One!
  • The date was January 26, 27, 28, 1922.
  • This was a new venue and date for a Donna Darling show for me.


This was a clear event, but I wondered, what other information might there be for this show at this location. I went to my favorite newspaper site, The Ancestor Hunt to see what I could find. I searched for Binghamton and found several entries. The New York Online Historical Newspapers Summary looked like a great starting place. I did a <Command-F> to do a find and searched for Binghamton. There were seven entries. Three under “Old Fulton New York Postcards.”  One of those was the Binghamton Press from 1904 to 1969. None of the other entries covered 1922.

At the bottom of the Ancestor Hunt Summary page are links to four paid sites, Ancestry, Genealogy Bank, Newspapers, and Newspaper Archive. None of which provided additional newspapers in Binghamton during the time period I was interested in.

I went to the Old Fulton New York Post Cards site and did a search for the exact phrase, “Donna Darling and Boys” – Success. There were 10 results and two were from Binghamton papers. I added them to my collection.

I then looked at the other articles identified on Old Fulton Postcards. They provided information that Donna Darling and Boys played at

  • February 1922 at The Majestic Theater in Elmira, NY.
  • December 1922 at The Majestic Theater in Paterson, NJ.
  • September 1923 at Layfayette Theater in Buffalo, NY.
  • February, 1924 at The Majestic Theater in Hornell, NY

This was really great for a couple reasons. First, the Donna Darling Collection has many clippings for the Majestic that aren’t identified as to date or location. By matching those Majestic clippings to these articles looking for the exact play bill, I may be able to identify those clippings exactly.

Second, all four of these dates and venues were new to my list and will provide additional research opportunities.

Thanks again to The Ancestor Hunt and to Old Fulton New York Post Cards for being there. Both are great resources.


I’ve added all five venues and dates to my listing of shows and will research and write about them in the future.