“The Sanity of All the Parties Are at Par Value”
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Competition increases, primarily from Billy Mitchell’s Olympic Theatre, and the Bowery Theatre appears to be adrift. Hamblin, turning forty, counters by producing increasingly lavish (and lucrative) spectacles, including filling the entire stage with water for “tank dramas” with battling warships, like those he had seen as a child. Hamblin runs afoul of the wishes of the Bowery Theatre shareholders, then undertakes ambitious plans to build a prestigious theatre on Broadway. Eliza Shaw’s popularity continues to grow, especially in breeches roles, costumed as a young man to exhibit her legs. She gives birth to Thomas Hamblin, Jr. Various creditors file lawsuits against Hamblin as his financial difficulties accumulate. Charles Dickens attends the Bowery and admires Shaw.