“Throw Not the Pearl of Shakespeare’s Wit Before the Swine of the Bowery Pit”
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Elizabeth Hamblin returns from England and discovers her husband’s infidelity. Intensely jealous of Vincent and Clifton, now touring as stars, she files for divorce. Hamblin falls ill with cholera, and Elizabeth nurses him back to health. As actor and as manager, Hamblin strikes a balance between melodrama and the tragedies of Shakespeare, especially those with sufficient swordplay for his Bowery boys and those starring Booth, whose unpredictable behavior infuriates Hamblin. His latest protégée is the beautiful, talented Matilda Flynn, whose husband Tom becomes a Hamblin confidant. Hamblin’s newest Bowery sensation is T. D. Rice, whose “Jump Jim Crow” routine proves wildly popular. Actor disloyalty and turnover continue.