“The Noblest Roman of Them All”
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Hamblin takes over the moribund Park Theatre, hoping for a toehold on the aristocracy it attracted by offering opera and ballet, but it, too, soon burns. At the edge of bankruptcy, an increasingly ill, depressed Hamblin continues to perform in charitable benefits, including those for the fledgling American Dramatic Fund. His successor in heroic melodramas, J. R. “Jack” Scott, draws audiences back to the Bowery. Mortgage battles with the shareholders escalate. Friends organize a testimonial benefit for Hamblin, which only partially succeeds. While many of his lawsuits and financial woes are resolved, others crop up.