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Phillips was in, or associated with
It can be difficult to determine just which plays are being performed, as the stock companies might have several touring versions of a popular play, old favorites would be revived, and new plays would be tried out prior to the New York season. I've learned more as I've tried to track down copies of the plays she performed in and mentions EJ Phillips' plays by title with her roles including links to electronic scripts Plays by playwrights Plays by year EJ Philips first performed EJ Phillips Principal plays and roles
A Nov. 1978 letter from Barbie Dolman Spencer to Mary Shortt, Toronto theatre historian "I do have her [EJ Phillips's] own list of parts she played in her 45 years on the stage, and Lady Teazle is among them. She played 31 roles in 19 of Shakespeare's plays, plus 57 more roles in 42 plays by other authors. Lady Teazle is a character in the School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_School_for_Scandal Cousin Charlie Seymour's website lists her as playing in 36 roles in 19 of Shakespeare's plays plus 63 roles in 45 plays of other authors
Shakespearean roles included Lady MacBeth in Ottawa in 1861, Emilia in Othello with Junius Brutus Booth Jr. in Cincinnati in 1865, Goneril in King Lear in Indianapolis in 1868, Queen Gertrude in Hamlet with Lawrence Barrett 1873. Romeo and Juliet roles were Juliet in Cincinnati in 1864 and the Nurse in Olga Nethersole's productions in 1894. AM Palmer's material for his History of the Union Square Theatre yielded a letter from EJ Phillips listing a number of roles she played, including Comedy of Errors, Coriolanus, Henry VIII, King John, Merry Wives of Windsor, Richard III and Twelfth Night, though no information about when these were. An 1861 Ottawa playbill documents playing Lady MacBeth in MacBeth, and she played Goneril in King Lear in Indianapolis in 1968. Pat M. Ryan's 1959 PhD dissertation on AM Palmer, which I consulted at Yale during a class reunion reported that AM Palmer produced no Shakespeare during his years at the Union Square, Madison Square and Palmer's Theatre seasons.
I count at least 114 plays, though I've found few with multiple roles in the same play except in the Rivals, MacBeth, Juliet and the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet and three roles in Richard III. About 15 plays were by American writers, about 70 were originally by English or Irish playwrights, about 23 originally by French authors, two German, one Australian, and one play by Hendrik Ibsen, Pillars of Society, rehearsed but apparently never performed..
A Dec. 1978 letter from Mary Shortt, Toronto theatre historian to Barbara Dolman Spencer mentions a list of all the roles EJ Phillips played "Your list of her roles was a classic review of popular mid-nineteenth century plays, most of them, apart from the works of Shakespeare, Sheridan and Goldsmith, completely forgotten today. LONDON Assurance in which EJP played Grace Harkaway in 1852, was very successfully revived by the Royal Shakespeare Company a few years ago. Many others on this list deserve revival, too. ... The leading role in THE STRANGER [by August von Kotzebue is that of Mrs. Haller; the stars to whose Hamlets EJP played Queen Gertrude were CW Couldock (a well known eccentric tragedian who toured constantly until Shakespeare and tragedy generally were displaced by spectacle and melodrama) and A.J. (for Andrew Jackson) Neafie." I hope a copy of this list will surface eventually.
I've tried to see as many plays as possible, and was delighted to see Engaged produced by the Sudbury Savoyards in Massachusetts some years ago. Gilbert and Sullivan -- Pinafore, Patience and the Gondoliers and Oscar Wilde -- Lady Windermere's Fan and others have endured despite being taken out of production after Wilde's conviction and imprisonment in 1895. The only play by Dion Boucicault I've been able to see has been The Shaughraun in Boston -- which with lots of drinking, fiddle playing, singing and dancing gave me the insight that this was the 19th century equivalent of sit coms. I saw Denman Thompson's Old Homestead in Swanzey NH in July 2016. The Rivals and School for Scandal are classics and frequently performed. Still I'd like to See Boucicault's London Assurance or the Octoroon.
EJ Phillips and John
Nickinson plays EJP Chronology
Colleen Bawn by Dion Boucicault http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Colleen_Bawn 1861
Napoleon's Old Guard, Dion Boucicault 1861 [and possibly other years]
Octoroon, Dion Boucicault http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Octoroon 1861
Uncle Tom’s Cabin Mark Lemon and Tom Taylor's Uncle Tom's Cabin and Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1857 1860
NY Clipper Uncle Tom's Cabin It's early days and the people who played it 3 Feb 1877 http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/onstage/revus/osar15aat.html
EJ Phillips played Lydia Languish in The Rivals in Feb 1852 in Canada and Mrs. Malaprop at the Chestnut St. Theater Philadelphia in Nov. 1877. A 1934 Swarthmore Players Club program of The Rivals thanks Mrs. John Dolman Senior [Hattie] for lending EJ Phillips' Mrs. Malaprop's costume from that production.
She performed in Boucicault's London Assurance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Assurance in 1852, probably in Hamilton Ontario and in Sheridan's The Rivals in 1852 and 1877 in Philadelphia. We have playbills from a number of plays in Toronto, Hamilton, Lockport and Erie New York from 1855, including playing Helen MacGregor in Rob Roy about 1848 and 1860, Anne Chute in Boucicault's Colleen Bawn in Erie NY and Pauline in the Lady of Lyon in Lockport both in 1861.
Leah the Forsaken by Augustin Daly from the French play Deborah by Salomon Hermann von Mosenthal was produced in Cincinnati in 1863 with EJ Phillips playing Dame Gertrude.
by Thomas William Robertson 1867 is
mentioned as a play EJP appeared in at the
Chestnut Street Theatre
in Philadelphia in 1876. She played the Marquise de St. Maur in 1895.
Society and Caste TW Robertson 1905 http://books.google.com/books?id=SPi1C6R4RQwC&dq=Society+and+Caste+TW+Robertson&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Our Boys EJ Phillips played Clarissa Champney in Henry James Byron's "Our Boys" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Boys at the Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, which ran the whole Centennial summer June 26- November 18, 1876. Our Boys was an 1875 play by Henry James Byron (1835-1884)
AM Palmer Plays EJ
Phillips was best known for
Engaged by WS Gilbert 1886 (first produced 1879). EJP played Mrs. McFarlane. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engaged_(play)
False Friend by Edgar Fawcett 1880. EJP played Lady Ogden.
French Flats 1884 EJP played the Marchioness
Jim the Penman 1886-1892 by Charles Young EJP played Lady Dunscombe.
Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde 1893-1894 played the Duchess of Berwick. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Windermere's_Fan
Lights of London by George Robert Sims, 1881-1882. EJP played Mrs. Jarvis. play program http://www.performingartsarchive.com/Broadway/Lights-O-London_1882/Lights-O-London_1882.htm 1922 film
Our Society 1885-1888 by Clinton Stuart, adapted from Pailleron's Le Monde ou l'on ennui. EJP played Mrs. Spencer.
Saints & Sinners by Henry Arthur Jones 1885- 1892 EJP played Lydia, the minister's housekeeper.
Two Orphans Hart Jackson's translation of Les Deux Orphelines by Eugene Corman and Adolphe Phillipe D'Ennery 1880 (first produced 1875). EJ Phillips played the Countess.
Other Union Square roles included the Countess Danicheff in Dumas' the Danicheffs in 1878 and 1881, the Countess de Maillepre in Adolphe D'Ennery's The Creole in 1881, Mrs. Powers in Victorien Sardou's Daniel Rochat in 1881, Eleanor Mornay in Adolph Belot's Felicia or Woman's Love in 1881, Marianne Florence in Emilie Erckmann's The Rantzaus in 1882, Suzanne in D'Ennery's Duprez & Sons, Mrs. Batterby in Ernest Dancourt Grenet's Three wives to one husband in 1884, Mme Marguerite in Anicet Bourgeois' Prisoner for Life in 1885, and Mme De Vaux in William Elliott Barnes' The Artist's Daughter in 1886. Madison Square Theatre plays include Henry Arthur Jones' Welcome Little Stranger in 1887 and Edward Rose's Her Father in 1890. ,
plays EJ Phillips was in
Banker's Daughter 1878 Broken Seal 1892 Captain Swift 1888-1889 Esther Sandraz 1891 Foregone Conclusion 1886-1887 Heart of Hearts 1888 Judah 1891 Middleman 1890 Partners 1888 Ibsen's Pillars of Society 1890 Wealth 1890-1891
plays Camille 1894-1895
Gay Parisians 1895-1897 Joseph
1892-1893 Romeo & Juliet 1894
Artist's Daughter by Elliott Barnes Union Square 1886, playing Mme De Vaux. 1884 Oct 7 NY Times Review "Mrs EJ Phillips had an insignificant part, which she acted with her accustomed zeal."
Banker's Daughter 1878
by Bronson Howard
Feb 1879 program EJ Phillips played Mrs. Fanny Holcombe http://www.performingartsarchive.com/Broadway/Bankers-Daughter_1879/Bankers-Daughter_1879.htm Sara Jewett, Walden Ramsey, Maude Harrison, Sarah Cowell, William LeMoyne, JH Stoddart and JB Polk were also in the cast.
Companion American Theater
Some Great Old Plays II The Banker's daughter, James L Ford, Munsey's Magazine Vol 34, 1905 pages 199-202 http://books.google.com/books?id=QCYAAAAAYAAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Union and Madison Square Theatre Companies
Broken Seal by William Bertrand Busnach, adapted by Sydney Grundy. Odell notes the remarkable cast "but religious folk were shocked by the exploitation of the broken seal of the confessional and others, possibly less religious, were repelled by the gloomy story, and the irresponsible activity of the young hero". New York Times review Feb 4 1892 EJ Phillips played Madeleine. https://www.nytimes.com/1892/02/04/archives/amusements-the-broken-seal.html
New York, Jan 24th 1892 In the new play [Broken Seal] I have a small character part - not much in it - but the dress is that of a French peasant housekeeper to the Village Priest - whom she scolds for not coming home punctually to his meals. They intend bringing it out a week from to-morrow.
Captain Swift The 1888- 1889 Madison Square season was largely given over to C. Haddon Chambers' (Australian dramatist 1860-1921) Captain Swift, an English piece slightly altered and staged by Dion Boucicault. JH Stoddart reported that this production proved "one of the strongest attractions both in New York and on the road." [Durham] Captain Swift (Maurice Barrymore), an Australian bushranger, came to London as Mr. Wilding and was introduced to blind and doddering Mr. Seabrook (Frederic Robinson). Swift finds that Mrs. Seabrook (Agnes Booth) is his mother. EJ Phillips played Lady Staunton, Mrs. Seabrook's sister and Walden Ramsay the Australian detective. http://books.google.com/books?id=v-c2AAAAIAAJ&dq=captain+swift+chambers&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Mr. Maurice Barrymore, the best leading man on the American stage, and a brilliant fellow in every way, played the part of Mr. Wilding, alias Captain Swift, with a dash, nonchalant and devil-take-you air that was simply superb... .Mrs. Phillips was limited opportunities as Lady Staunton. The Theatre Dec 8, 1888 https://books.google.com/books?id=OBZLAQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=captain%20swift&f=false
New York, Nov. 21, 1888 I hope Captain Swift may be [a success. It was.] For I have an easy pleasant part & do not want to buy any more wardrobe this season.
Captain Swift 1914 film https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0003752/
Conscience by AE Lancaster and Julian Magnus was performed at the Unions Square theatre in 1881. EJ Phillips replaced Marie Wilkins, playing Tabitha Trump.
Creole by Adolphe D'Ennery with EJ Phillips playing the Countess de Maillepre in 1881. Review in The Critic 1881 "The Creole has failed at the Union Square. The blame cannot be laid on its adaptor for it failed in Paris. But apart from its theme which is repellent and its construction which is flimsy, Mr. Palmer must be blind if he does not see that his audiences are of a higher class".
Engaged by WS Gilbert 1886 (first produced 1879). EJP played Mrs. McFarlane.
1891 by Adolphe
Belot, adapted by Sydney Grundy
New York, Jan 6, 1891 I went to Phila on Friday Afternoon and got back yesterday in time for rehearsal at "Palmer's" Theatre. I am rehearsing in Esther Sandraz for a Matinee on Thursday for the "Little Mothers of the Poor".
Odell calls it a "sickly piece" and
wondered if Palmer was "trying it with an eye to regular production." EJ
Phillips played Mme Fourcanade.
New York Times review Jan 9 1891 "Mr. Edward Bell, Mrs. EJ Phillips and Miss Jennie Eustace performed unsympathetic tasks with ability and discretion.
New York Herald Jan 9, 1891 "Esther Sandraz" had not been seen before in New i'ork, and no deep regret need be felt if it is never seen here again.... The heroine, Esther, is a woman of good family who has ;loved not wisely but too well"
May 1887 [Denise]
Alexandre Dumas, adapted by
The May 25, 1887 New York Times review noted that "Mr.
Ramsey, Mr. JH Fitzpatrick, Miss Lilla Vane, Mr. Frank Rodney and Mrs.
EJ Phillips were in the cast, and the last named actress treated her one short
scene with admirable artistic skill. But it was a depressing afternoon. The
play by Clinton Stuart... turned out to be another version of "Denise"
with English names for the French personages, an English country house for the
scene and the character of the Baroness, transformed into Lady Clara Farquhar
made much more prominent than she is in Dumas's curious study of social life in
New York, Dec. 2, 1887 Saw Mr. Clinton Stuart last night and he said he had been reading a new play to AM P[almer] who was much pleased with it. Mr. Stuart said in consideration of a very bad part I played for him in Fair Fame last season that he had written a very fine part for me in the new play.
"Mrs Phillips was quiet and pathetic in her ten line part as the suffering mother" New York Mirror review Dec 1886/88? http://www.fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html
False Friend by Edgar Fawcett
EJ Phillips played Lady Ogden in the Union Square Theatre Jan 1880 and in San Francisco in Auguust 1882.
Foregone Conclusion 1886-1887
William Dean Howells' (originally called Priest and Painter) in
Alessandro Salvini played Don Hippolito, the Venetian priest who falls
in love with a lively American girl, Florida Vervain (Marie
Burroughs). EJ Phillips played Mrs. Vervain. "The conviction of
that time that a successful novelist could not write a good play was amply
justified by this effort."
Foregone Conclusion, Project Gutenberg http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=7839
According to the NY Times review (Nov 19,1886) this was the first of a series of new plays with special afternoon performances ("Author's Matinees") intended to produce works by American writers. Mr. Howells was called forward after the third act (of five.) Priest and Painter was an early alternate title for William Dean Howells Foregone Conclusion.
1884 "a wild helter-skelter of
pursuit from flat to flat and hiding of various characters in room after room or
closet after closet" and a jealous tenor and impressionable baroness. EJ
Phillips played the Marchioness, Sara Jewett the Baroness.
NY Times review Oct 19 1879 “Said to be a perfectly clean piece and a very funny one. It has a moral also which is not less absurd than the play. This moral is, that a landlord may be as miserable in his own house as any of his tenants. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9B0CE2D9103EE73BBC4152DFB6678382669FDE
French flats New York City https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/tag/french-flats-new-york/ https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/tag/french-flats/ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/realestate/02scapes.html
Union Square Theatre Company French Flats
Heart of Hearts, another melodrama by Henry Arthur Jones opened at the Madison Square in January 1888. as part of a "lackluster season [which] reputedly cleared above $60,000". [Durham]
"Not a strong work "the kind of play that impresses people who do not think much at the theatre as being improbable." Marie Burroughs played a heroine of humble origins, about to marry a young man of high social position. JH Stoddart played the butler, with Fanny Davenport as his aristocratic wife. EJ Phillips was "an admirable representative of the stern dowager of Avonthorpe". The plot involved the theft of a family jewel referred to as the "Heart of Hearts". NY Times Jan 17, 1888 https://www.nytimes.com/1888/01/17/archives/heart-of-hearts.html
A program for the week of March 26, 1888 lists
EJ Phillips as Lady Clarissa Fitzralph, Harold's mother (Louis
Massen played Harold Fitzralph of Avonthorpe). Frederic
John Findlay, WH Pope, George S. Steven, Blanche Curtisse and
Partners was announced for Easter Monday, April
2. JH Stoddart writes about Heart of
Hearts and the
The San Francisco Argonaut's review of Heart of Hearts (Sept 17, 1888) singles out JH Stoddart and Mrs. Phillips who "carry the play on their shoulders...In the scenes with Wilhelmina both husband and wife were inimitable. The expression of the lady's countenance was alone exquisitely laughable. Her sickening suddenly awakened fears, her tremulous apprehension of discovery, her desperation with her irritating husband, and her coy pleasure in Mr. Latimer's wooing were rendered to the life, and testified to the powers of an actress who can so lighten, intensify and irradiate a part in which the humor is of the more ponderous variety. The review begins "Heart of Hearts is the least interesting of the plays produced by the Palmer company. The troupe is above the piece. It is farce, comedy and melodrama combined.... Even such artists as Mrs. Phillips, Mr. Stoddart and Mr. Holland cannot rescue the last act from insipidity"
Ingomar the Barbarian by Maria Lovell
Maria Ann Lovell (1803-1877) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Ann_Lovell
Jim the Penman 1886-1892 by Charles Young EJP played Lady Dunscombe. more about Jim the Penman
Henry Arthur Jones
1891 New York, Dec. 5, 1890 Heard last night that Judah will take the place of The Middleman on the 29th of this month, Monday after Xmas. Suppose we shall begin rehearsals next week.
William Winter wrote about ES Willard in The Middleman and Judah.
Lady of Lyons This Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) romantic drama was first performed in the US at the (first) Park Theatre in 1838. "The work remained one of the most popular of all plays for the rest of the century. The list of important performers in this play would include virtually every serious actor and actress of the period including Agnes Booth and WJ LeMoyne".
Produced in Toronto by John Nickinson "two rejected suitors revenge themselves on the beautiful but proud Pauline by tricking her into marriage with a gardener's son, Claude Melnotte, who has assumed a title to win her. Remorseful, the noble-hearted Claude refuses to hold her to this marriage, and goes off to fight under Napoleon, returning a few years later, laden with honors and wealth, in time to save the humbled and loving Pauline from a villain to whom her father was indebted. A playbill records that EJ Phillips played Pauline to John Nickinsons' Col. Damas in March 1861
Jack Dolman quotes from this play "Nay Nay Pauline" Nov 19, 1895
Lights o London
Union Square Theatre Company Dec 5th 1881 George Robert Sim's "powerful melodrama" The Lights o' London with "the falsely accused hero, the villainous cousin, the obdurate father, the long suffering wife, the comic relief, the elaborate scenery, the frequent change of scenes, virtue triumphant and villainy foiled. EJ Phillips played Mrs. Jarvis to John Parselle's "Dicken's like character of Jarvis "of Jarvis' Temple of the Legitimate" and Maud Harrison their son Shakespeare Jarvis. The play was a great success and the last time Charles Thorne and Sara Jewett appeared together, as Thorne left the company at the end of the season and died a few months later.
"Some must have missed Marie Wilkins as Mrs. Jarvis, a part she should have played admirably, whereas the competent, conscientious Mrs. Phillips lacked something of the required touches of broad comedy".
The Lights o' London celebrated its hundredth performance in March 1882. When the regular season closed in April, The Lights o' London moved to Brooklyn for two weeks, with Walden Ramsey replacing Charles Thorne.
EJ Phillips first trip to California seems to have been in August 1882 when she appeared in Sacramento and San Francisco in The Banker's Daughter, False Friend, Lights o' London and Daniel Rochat. Her second trip to California was in August and September 1883, with a stops in Denver, and Sacramento and six weeks in San Francisco with Led Astray and The Lights o' London.
Mrs. Jarvis is represented in the traveling quilt by a bit of ribbon too, from the hat of Mrs. Jarvis in "The Lights o' London" [Union Square Theatre Co. 1881]. The Shakespeare Jarvis of that production was played by Maud Harrison.
a melodramatic play,
first produced in London on 10 September 1881 at the Princess's
produced by and starring Wilson
The play was a hit, running for 226 nights, and was frequently revived
also opened in New York at the Union
Square Theatre in
History of a Melodrama April 30, 1911
London Assurance by Dion Boucicault was performed in EJ Phillips in 1852 in Canada. YouTube 2010 London performance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bze7m1ENLqo&feature=related
Margery's Lovers 1887 The comedy by James Brander Matthews was given at an author's Matinee on Jan 11th, 1887 and though declared a success by the Herald was never put into the regular bills. Matthews taught drama at Columbia from 1891-1924 and was pivotal in establishing theatre as an academic subject. Memoirs: These Many Years (1917) and Rip Van Winkle Goes to the Play 1926.
The NY Times review (Jan 12 1887) describes the play as the second in a series of Author's Matinees with JH Stoddart as the English gambler and swindler (and Margery's father) and Marie Burroughs, Linc Langdon, Marie Greenwald, EJ Phillips, A Salvini, EM Holland, CP Flockton, Louis Massen and Walden Ramsey also in the cast. "Mr. Matthews' play is stronger than might have been expected from its failure on the London stage". EJ Phillips played Mrs. Webster, the kindhearted traveling American who befriended Margery. The reviewer noted that the first half was dull, but praised the last half of the second and the third acts.
Martyr 1886-1887 This play was first presented by Palmer's Company (as Love's Martyr) in Chicago. It was then very much like the English version (by Sullivan Edwards and Sydney Grundy) done at about the same time in London. Later alterations  were apparently to strengthen the picturesque element. The play had been in readiness more than a year because of the long run of Jim the Penman. Mrs. Phillips played the determined mother of a wife who proclaimed (for complicated and apparently dubious reasons) that her brother was her lover. NY Times review Nov 11 1887 http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F10A1EF8355C15738DDDA80994D9415B8784F0D3
Boston May 19, 1886 Yesterday Mr. AMP[almer] read the new play The Martyr to us. The play is a strange one and I have a good part. It is going to cost a lot of money to dress it. I believe we are to produce it in Chicago. I do not think we shall rehearse it before next week.
Boston May 30, 1886 [AR] Cazauran has joined us. He was here to rehearse the play [The Martyr which he had adapted from the French] on Friday. Queer as the old boy is, I felt rather glad to see him & he seemed delighted to be with us. We leave tonight at 7 by the Boston & Albany road.
Chicago, June 13, 1886 My dress for the new play will cost $46. I shall have two weeks board to pay next Wed, they not having presented last weeks bill yet. The two weeks salary is knocked out but when I get my things all ready for The Martyr I shall then be able to help you and pay the notes to Johnson.
New York, Jan. 9, 1887 We are booked for Boston on the 2nd of May for four weeks -- after that nothing definite is arranged. We may be four weeks idle. Then to San F'co by St Paul and Northern Pacific RR. Jim the Penman will possibly run for the rest of the season, but there is to be a new play done by Mr. [Peter] Robertson of San F'co and also The Martyr . I shall have 3 dresses to get for the latter, how much for the former I do not yet know. I think I told you that I asked Mr. P[almer] to raise my salary -- but while he was very pleasant over it -- said he could not do it.
Boston Sept. 7, 1887 I suppose we shall be required to find new dresses for the opening of a new season and that I do not like - especially as two or three other plays calling for lots of dresses are to be produced. One of these will be the Martyr for which I shall require three new dresses. I have one that I had made for the part in Chicago and have not worn. The others I have been wearing in Jim[ the Penman ] and they are nearly worn out. So will have to get some new ones. And where! and oh, where will the new ones come from!
New York, Oct. 21, 1887 Have to start soon to prepare three new dresses for the Martyr. the Prologue of which is rehearsed today. Not being in it, I was exempt but it will most likely be called for a full rehearsal next Tuesday.
New York, Nov, 13, 1887 Your Mother has been neglecting you for the past week. She has been working hard and her time has been spent in the theatre until she is about "played out". To make things worse the play [Cazauran's Martyr] has not "caught on. It cost me $200 exclusive of one dress I got for the part in Chicago a year ago which cost me $50. So it has cost me $250 and the play will be taken off in two weeks.
Augustus R Cazauran's adaptation of Martyr (from D'Ennery and EJL Tarbe-des Sablons' Martyre) opened in New York in November 1887 "for which the indifferent business of a year before in Chicago was repeated in New York. [Durham]
Middleman 1890 Henry Arthur Jones Appeared at the Palmer Theatre from Nov. 10th- Dec 27th. [Odell] Humor, love, and social comment are inextricably interwoven into its plot, which has, as its focal point a dreamy exploited porcelain worker turning the tables on his ruthless master. The subplot unites the worker's daughter and the master's son." [Magill] NY Times Oct 21, 1890 ES Willard's debut, Nov 9.
William Winter's Shadow of the Stage Ebook by Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18860/18860.txt mentions ES Willard's appearances in The Middleman and Judah.
New York, Oct. 27th, 1890 To-day recd my part in Middleman - so bad! that I first thought I would not do it - come what might - but on 2nd thoughts - there is a long winter before us - it will be easy work and I had better not bite off my nose to spite my face - so I shall try to bear it with all the good nature I can.
It is a much worse part than I had in either Jim [the Penman] or Captain Swift and those were bad enough. I do not want to either take salary another season without doing something for it - and it is not Mr. P[almer]'s fault if authors write such miserable parts.
New York, Nov. 5, 1890 Middleman is pretty perfect and I think will be a success.
New York, Feb. 5, 1891 I have been kept so busy since I stopped playing in the Middleman that I have neglected you
Our Boys "Before closing my Season with [Barrett] I made an engagement for Septr 1875 for the Chestnut Street Theatre Phila. where I appeared as “Clarissa” in “Our Boys” which was revived in the Spring of ’76 and ran through the entire “Centennial” Summer and beginning of the regular Season Septr 1876."
a comedy in
three acts written by Henry
first performed in London on 16
January 1875 at the Vaudeville Theatre. Until it was surpassed by the run of Charley's Aunt in the 1890s, it was the world's longest-running play, up to that time, with 1,362 performances until April 1879. .... The production also toured extensively. The play contains the famous line, "Life’s too short for chess." Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Boys accessed 2019 Dec 28
Our Society 1885-1888 Adapted by Clinton Stuart from Le monde ou l'on s'ennuie by M Edouard Pailleron. EJP played Mrs. Spencer.
Partners by Robert Williams Buchanan, adapted from Alphonse Daudet, had been a financial success in New York. Introduced on April 2, 1888, prior bookings forced its withdrawal at its peak of popularity. It was on the road for most of 1888-1889 because Captain Swift, playing in New York, had a relatively small cast. [Odell] Reviews http://www.robertbuchanan.co.uk/html/partners.html
New York, Mar. 11, 1888 But yesterday at Matinee, new parts were given out in a play by Robert Buchanan, the Poet and Novelist, called Partners. It is now playing in London with great success.
I have a good "part" - somewhat on the same order as Mrs. Spencer in Our Society. We are to rehearse it tomorrow at 11. I hope the play is as good as my part. Anyway the language will be strong and good & that is a treat after such trashy stuff as Heart of Hearts &c. I suppose we shall produce it on Easter Monday. So I shall have to work hard from now until then.
Boston Spring 1888 Business has been bad this week. Boston did not take to the Partners, but she has not forgotten the members of the old Union Square Co. Mr. Stoddart and I have rec'd big receptions every performance. We have very little to do, but what we do is well received.
A review of Partners from the May 1, 1888 Boston Daily Adv read "Last night their audience was very large and noisily enthusiastic...Mrs. Phillips, who was the most warmly received, plays a genuinely shrewd and intuitive old lady of rank, and acts with her usual pleasant ease and intimacy of style".
San Francisco, Aug. 10, 1888 We open with Partners on Monday night.
The Madison Square Company were given a royal welcome back to the city after an absence of two years....Everyone came in an amiable frame of mind, because they wanted to be pleased and had implicit faith in the company, and if there was any disappointment or letting down of expectations it was either the fault of the play or the players themselves, certainly not to be traced to the audience...There were a number of new faces in the cast, but they were not coldly received. The stimulus of Mr. A.M. Palmer's presence was missed and many friends will regret to learn that it was because of the ill health on the part of Mrs. Palmer that both did not visit the Coast again. ... Mrs. Phillips who had the inexplicable good fairy to do, was charming, as Mrs. Phillips always is. ... Partners is worth seeing because of the company. It only goes a week."
An undated newspaper clipping gives a brief plot summary of Partners "In the third act Borgfeldt [Alessandro Salvini] comes back from a journey to find the house of Borgfeldt & Derwentwater on the edge of bankruptcy, and to hear at the same moment, from his confidential clerk, the accusations that are made against his wife. He shrinks from believing what the old clerk tells him, but on entering his wife's drawing room, he thinks he sees indisputable proof of his worse suspicions.
Here the dramatic significance of the play ceases, for the fifth act is devoted to sentiment, and the most naive spectator will hardly fail to see that the mislaid letter -- which nobody will open until the last moment -- holds locked under its self, explanation, forgiveness, peace, and happiness ever after... Mrs. Phillips -- always an artist-- played an elderly guardian-angel [Lady Silverdale] with charming benignity...and -- to the praise of the company be it said -- nobody was incompetent
New York, Nov. 21, 1888I do not think Partners is a success, the newspapers to the contrary notwithstanding. New York Times April 3 1888 "New York Times April 3 1888 "It was a night of triumph at the Madison-Square Theatre. Robert Buchanan’s play, a palpable imitation of “Fromont jeune et Risler aine,” though it cannot be strictly called a dramatization of Daudet’s romance, was well received from the beginning. .. Mrs. Phillips, a good old lady with plenty of common sense"
New York, Nov. 25, 1888 Yesterday the "posters" were put up announcing the last nights of Partners and underlining Capt. Swift on Dec 3rd. So instead of doing it tomorrow night, we have a week to rehearse and prepare costumes
Partners in in Boston New York San Francisco
Pharisee by Malcolm Watson Dec
1890 and Mar 1891. Described by Odell as "unfortunate" and "poor as a play had
... an interesting cast". EJ Phillips played Miss Maxwell, also in the cast
were Maurice Barrymore, May Brookyn, Edward Bell, Harry Woodruff and
New York Times Review March 17 1891
March 22 1891 Some afterthoughts https://www.nytimes.com/1891/03/22/archives/new-plays-of-the-week-some-afterthoughts-about-mr-pitous-melodrama.html
Mrs. Lancaster Wallace and Malcolm Watson "A remarkably strong and impressive
performance of a well contrived new play
was given by
Mr. Palmer's company at the Madison Square Theatre last evening. Compared with
the mawkish and insipid "Sunlight and Shadow," which has just passed into
oblivion, "The Pharisee" seems to be a noble work of art.
it has meaning, purpose and
The hero of the play is not a Pharisee ...but an impossible prig. .. a funereal play, badly acted. Its story is peevish and irritating....Maurice Barrymore was faulty in his delivery and acceptable at times. .. Mrs. EJ Phillips, a conscientious and popular actress did very well as Miss Maxwell." Epoch March 20 1891 https://books.google.com/books?id=i3o4AQAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=pharisee&f=false
New York, Mar. 22, 1891 Pharisee is not a pleasing success according to the newspapers, but we have had very good houses for the past week. We may not play it more than another week as a play is in rehearsal that was to have been played before the Pharisee.
Pillars of Society "Bowing to
pressure from New York's strait-laced reviewers, Palmer summarily called off his
scheduled staging of Ibsen's The Pillars of Society in January 1890."
Ibsen, Pillars of Society, Project Gutenberg http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=2296 Originally produced 1877. Reviewed New York Ttimes Mar 19, 1891?
T Allston Brown';s History of the New York Stage notes that Pillars of Society was produced at the Harlem Opera House the week of March 9 1891 "The stock company was not successful and its season terminated March 14." One cast member is listed as Mrs. Charls T. Peters -- could this be Eliza Nickinson Peters?
Ibsen was first performed in the United States by
Modjeska and Maurice Barrymore at Macauley's Theatre, as Thora [later A Doll's
house] , Louisville in 1883.
Henry Arthur Jones wrote an adapation of A Doll's House titled Breaking a Butterfly 1884 Jones, Henry Arthur, 1851-1929, and Henry Herman. [S.l.: s.n., 1884. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006060405/Cite
EJ Phillips rehearsed Pillars of Society, but , Ryan's dissertation on Palmer makes clear that the play was never produced by him in New York. We don't know what role she rehearsed -- possibly Lona Hessel, the elder half-sister of the wife of the shipbuilder protagonist.
New York, Jan 6, 1890 I was afraid of getting a "call" as I had heard on Friday that Pillars of Society is to be put in rehearsal this week and I am to be in it. So I could not risk staying away.
New York, Feb. 14, 1890 No rehearsals yet. I asked Mr. Presbrey on Wed'day when [Ibsen's] Pillars of Society would be rehearsed. He said he didn't know.
Boston April 29, 1890 It is expected that we shall play Pillars of Society here. Some of the "parts" were given out today. I am in it, but have not yet received the "part". Do not expect it to be a very good one, and hope it is not very long.
Boston May 2, 1890 I cannot tell you anything about business. All is uncertain. We may be here only three weeks and we may stay six. The "parts" have been given out to some of the company in Pillars of Society. I have not yet received mine. Mr. [Frederic] Robinson has a very long part, the one played by Herr [Ernest Ritter Von] Possart last Fall at the "Amberg" theatre, N.Y. The play is a heavy talkative one and not likely to "catch" the American audiences! Whether it will be tried here or not, remains to be seen but we are told such is the intention.
Boston, May 7, 1890 We are now rehearsing [Ibsen's] Pillars of Society. I am only in the 1st Act, and shall not have anything to buy for the part. If the play is done here, I do not think it will be before the 5th week commencing 26th of May. I heard this Morning that we shall only be here five weeks -- that leaves only two weeks from the closing here to the starting for California.
Boston, May 9, 1890 We have been rehearsing Pillars of Society and yesterday afternoon a telegram came from A.M. [Palmer] to Mr. Presbrey to rehearse Her Father today -- which was done. Should that be done the last two nights, it will let me off, but changes may come that I shall be in the bill during the whole last week. And in that case I may not be able to be with you before Sunday or Monday, 1st or 2nd of June.
Pink Dominos by Alfred Hennequin and Delacour (pen name of
Alfred-Charlemagne Lartigue) was produced at the
Union Square Theatre in 1877
Der OpernBall http://www.answers.com/topic/der-opernball-operetta
RIchard Brinsley Sheridan
On February 24, 1852 EJ Phillips was given a benefit under the patronage of the Toronto Fire Brigade, at which THE RIVALS was performed, with the beneficiary in the role of Lydia Languish. For this event the house was crowded, and "Miss Phillips truly had a bumper" with many of the most respectable families in the city present in the dress circle. Mary Shortt
Rosedale or The Rifle Ball by Edward Bruce Hanley, adapted by John Lester Wallack First produced Sept 30 1863 at Wallacks "a great success and had one hundred and twenty five performances during the season History of the American Stage Jan 1881 Mar 1894 ?
McVickers Theatre 1864 Monday, October 10th, saw the first appearance of the, later, famous Lawrence Barrett, billed on this occasion as L. P. Barrett. He was seen in the first presentation in Chicago of "Rosedale" or "The Rifle Ball". According to the general belief this drama was written by Lester Wallack, but in an address made before the Dramatists 1 Club in 1882 by the then "Dean of Playwrights", Charles Gayler, the play was the work of Fitzjames O'Brien who was killed in the "War of the States". "Wallack," said Gayler, "bought it from O'Brien for one hundred dollars and claimed author-ship after the latter' s death." Chicago Stage: Its records and achievements, Robert L. Sherman, 1947 http://libsysdigi.library.uiuc.edu/OCA/Books2008-09/chicagostageitsr01sher/chicagostageitsr01sher_djvu.txt
School for Scandal,
Richard Brinsley Sheridan was a play EJ Phillips performed in, though I'm still
looking for when. Possibly in Toronto.
Feb 1887 Hattie goes to a matinee occasionally and that is about all the amusement she gets. Yesterday she went to see Denman Thompson in the "Old Homestead" and Wed with Mrs. Dr. Nagle to see School for Scandal at Wallacks.
Was Rose Coghlan acting in this?
Saints & Sinners by Henry Arthur Jones 1885- 1892 EJP played Lydia, the minister's housekeeper.
Separation EJ Phillips played Mamie Maxwell in Bartley's Campbell's Separation in 1884 at the Union Square Theatre.
Scandal by Peter Robertson
New York, March 28th, 1887 I commence rehearsing tomorrow in 'Social' Scandal' a very bad part and a very bad play.
New York, March 30th, 1887 Had a long rehearsal this AM of a very bad play -- 'Social Scandal" I am in the 1st and last act only. Thanks for small favors.
Union Square 1883-1884
Robert Buchanan Reviews
New York Daily Tribune 27 Nov 1883 "Earnest applause rewarded the strong sketch of the righteously resentful old Dame Christianson, by Mrs. E. J. Phillips."
Wealth This Henry Arthur Jones play revolves around the refusal of its heroine to obey her father and marry the wealthy man he has chosen for her. Turned out on the streets for her disobedience, she marries for love, and finally is reconciled with her father on his deathbed.
Jones deals with the conflict between love and wealth, emotion and filial duty. He was tackling a subject which was increasingly to occupy the attention of his fellow dramatists Arthur Wing Pinero, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw: the emerging modern woman and her aspirations. As theatre however, Wealth was not a success -- it was believed to lack wit." [Magill]
Odell calls it "a pretty poor play...dealt with a hard man of wealth, who told us, in Act I, how a thirsty hot lad, he had decided not to buy an orange; the idea being, that self-denial leads to wealth".
New York, Feb. 26, 1890 Today I was called to rehearsal of a new play, the title of which is Wealth. I am in the 1st and 3rd acts. My part is a very bad one, and requires two dresses. This is why I do not send you the $15 this week unless you really require it.
New York, Mar. 20, 1890 No change of bill yet, but I am preparing for Wealth and the other plays for the Summer trip.
New York, Mar 24, 1890 I have no rehearsals. Wealth is perfect and they are letting it alone. The dresses I am giving to be fixed are for Jim the Penman, my former ones being worn out.
New York Mar. 25, 1890 Rehearse Wealth again tomorrow, and are to play it a week from Saturday night. So Mr. Presbrey told me to-day. I have a good many things to buy for it. So cannot do much for you at present.
New York, Mar. 30, 1890 The Herald does not yet announce the last nights of Aunt Jack -- so I think we shall play Wealth next Saturday night, Mr. Presbrey to the contrary not withstanding. But it will not surprise me if we play it on Saturday of next week and run it the two last weeks of the season -- ending April 26th.
Do not know whether I go to Boston or not. But it is given out that we leave for Oregon on the 16th of June, opening in Seattle 23rd.
New York, Feb. 18, 1891 I am now rehearsing at Palmer's Theatre in a play called Wealth. Do not know when it will be produced but I imagine within the next 4 or 5 weeks.
New York, Mar. 8, 1891 So here I have been since Friday night. It appears that the lady who had been rehearsing in Wealth could not come up to the requirements of the "part" and they could not find it out until almost the last rehearsal. And as I had studied and was ready for the part last Spring, and had rehearsed the first Act with the present cast, I was called upon to play until someone else gets ready for the "part" this week as I play Madison Square [Theatre] next week. I do not mind any part of the matter, but being brought back from Phila so suddenly, that was a great annoyance, and I have not recovered from it yet.
New York, Mar. 11, 1891 This week at Palmers in Wealth, a very bad part indeed. Yesterday had to go to dressmakers after rehearsal, and today have to go to wigmakers & shoe stores.
Welcome Little Stranger was a comedy
by Henry Arthur Jones, which had been refused a license by the Lord
Chamberlain's office in London, because of the suggestion that a childbirth was
taking place offstage. Plays by Henry Arthur Jones, Cambridge University Press
1982 EJ Phillips played Diana Twentyman in the Chicago production at
McVickers Theatre in 1887
https://books.google.com/books?id=B9WCCuqZ5dMC&dq=henry+arthur+jones+welcome+little+stranger&source=gbs_navlinks_s New York Mirror Annual 1888
Post Palmer plays
A Bachelor's Romance by Martha Morton Sept 1897. http://books.google.com/books?id=Tvs_AAAAYAAJ&dq=A+Bachelor's+Romance+by+Martha+Morton&source=gbs_navlinks_s
This is the play that EJ Phillips replaced Mrs. Pitt in when Mr. Pitt (of Jim the Penman) died. It was EJ Phillips' last stage appearance. This is the only mention of the play in these letters, and it was quite new. Was EJ Phillips a quick study?.
Camille 1894 The dramatization of Alexander Dumas (fils) novel first appeared in 1852 in France, brought to the US in 1853, and was later a triumph of Sarah Bernhardts' tours and remained popular into the 1930's. [Oxford] An Olga Nethersole production. EJ Phillips had played in Camille earlier, at the Union Square Theatre (1881). https://books.google.com/books?id=IR-vhUSW_-kC
Pittsburgh, Nov. 28, 1894 Opened last night to a fair house in Camille. I think the audience was pleased with [Olga] Nethersole & hope business will increase.
Toronto Xmas Eve 1894 We open with Camille to-night and play it at Matinee to-morrow and Thursday night -
Toronto Dec. 26, 1894 Tomorrow night Camille
Montreal, Jan 2, 1895 Sat Mat.[inee] Camille
Chicago Feb. 1, 1895 I am glad you and your friends enjoyed Camille but am sorry you will not be able to see Romeo & Juliet - for we do not return to New York to play at [Stanford White's] Garden Theatre or any other theatre with Miss Olga [Nethersole] at present.
Boston, Apr. 7, 1895 Last night we closed our Season with Camille and after the curtain fell Miss [Olga] Nethersole gave us a champagne & sandwich farewell. She, her brother & maid sail on Wednesday for England. I am very sorry we close so early, for she could have prolonged the Season for a few weeks with advantage to herself, and certainly to me.
Frou-Frou 1894 First produced in 1870 Based on a French play by Ludovic Halevy and Henri Meilhac, adapted by Augustin Daly, and presented by him in 1870. The plot involves "an irresponsible young wife who invites her staid sister to live with her and her family so that she herself can flit about the town. She loses everyone's affection and returns home to repent and to die... The play was revived regularly until the early years of the twentieth century and was one of [Sarah] Bernhardt's most popular vehicles on her American tour." [Oxford] An Olga Nethersole production, which EJ Phillips seems to have been in originally, but later wasn't.
Internet Broadway Data Base http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?id=5174 William Davidge was in the Daly cast. http://books.google.com/books?id=mJg0AAAAMAAJ&dq=frou+frou+halevy&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Pittsburgh Nov 27, 1894 I think the audience was pleased with [Olga] Nethersole & hope business will increase. We begin rehearsing Frou-Frou this Morning, but when it is to be played I do not know. I was in high hopes we had done with rehearsals for a time, but this very ambitious young Nethersole is determined to keep us at work.
Baltimore, Dec 14, 1894 No, I have not been working so very hard for the past two weeks. I get out of playing Frou-Frou and have not had so many rehearsals.
Rochester Dec 19,1894Tonight Miss Olga [Nethersole] appears as Frou-Frou & I take a rest. She plays Frou-Frou on Friday night in Buffalo.
French farce, by Georges Feydeau and Maurice Desvailliere Kansas City review A Chestnut St. Theatre, Philadelphia program lists WJ Ferguson as Joseph Pinglet, a master builder, Mrs. EJ Phillips as Angelique, his wife and Sadie Martinot as Marcella, an architect's wife. Joseph Humphreys is listed as the stage director.
NY Times Review Sept 24
1895 Gay Parisians at Hoyts "Mrs EJ Phillips, as the wicked friend's over-mature
wife, accomplished work that for a moment approached real comedy"
New York, Nov. 11, 1895
Chicago, Aug. 12, 1896 100th performance in Chicago
Joseph is the first production [of Ramsey Morris's stock company]. Philadelphia June 22, 1892
Philadelphia, June 27, 1892 The first play is to be Joseph which I am sure Mr. Palmer was going to produce sometime ago. All these things tend to make me believe AM [Palmer] is at the back of it, but for various reasons does not wish to make it known and you need not mention my ideas about it outside your own house, but I think you will find we shall follow Bronson Howard's play [Aristocracy] at Palmer's Theatre at the end of its run there with Joseph. The Co is to be first class in every respect, play in first class theaters &c,&c.
Joseph at Stone's Opera House, Binghamton New York,
Nov. 21, 1892
NY Times review Mar 21, 1893, Union Square Theatre "The farce in its original form has been and remains a phenomenal success in Paris. First presented there in the December of 1890, it is still running, and at the same theatre. Here, its vogue will be somewhat shorter, unkind things will be said about it ... and when hungry oblivion makes way with the vivacious bit of nonsense "Died of adaptation" will serve as sufficient obituary.
From an undated clipping: Joseph proves a strong card at the Grand -- a bit of Realism at Jacobs and Sparrow's. The House contained a large and fashionable audience last evening on the occasion of the first presentation here of the high amusing comedy Joseph by Ramsey Morris' talented New York Company. Joseph is an adaption from the French of Leon Gandillot by Malcolm Watson of London, and the translation has been cleverly done. Joseph is in fact one of the brightest comedies of the day, and although there is here and there a French suggestion it is at no time offensive, the humor on the whole being sparkling, hearty and wholesome.
As originally produced in Paris, Joseph was somewhat highly spiced, but it has been carefully toned down by the translator without in any way destroying its piquancy. Mrs. E.J. Phillips was simply faultless as his somewhat domineering wife. A more perfect bit of acting than Mrs. Phillips' personation of this character is seldom seen anywhere.
A program from Stone's Opera House of Binghamton New York, Nov. 21, 1892 lists EJ Phillips' role as Mrs. Horace Bellingham, principal of Bellingham's Select Seminary. Characters included Elsie De Wolfe as Constance Flutterby and Amelia Chadwell, President of the Puddlington Branch of the Ladies Anti-Matrimonial League.
Detroit, Nov. 15, 1893 I heard of the failure of the Joseph Co but not from [Albert]. Miss [Maud] Harrison sent me a notice of it from NY World. I was very sorry but not surprised. I knew it could not last another season.
Toronto Dec. 7, 1892 Rehearsals of the Judge began this morning. I am only in the last act - and did not have to go to-day. It is another farcical comedy.
Cincinnati, Jan. 20, 1893 We are going to play The Judge tomorrow night. We are busy rehearsing it. It is only for the 1 performance at present to secure the right of the play.
Judge review 1893
Lady Windermere's Fan, by Oscar Wilde 1893-1894 EJ Phillips played the Duchess of Berwick. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/790/790-h/790-h.htm
Romeo & Juliet 1894 with Olga Nethersole EJ Phillips played the Nurse.
Phillips wasn't in, but her colleagues were
Alabama by Augustus Thomas (1857-1934) DAB, with an unrepentant Confederate colonel who initially fails to recognize his engineer son who went off to fight for the Union, was produced by AM Palmer at the Madison Square Theatre, opening April 1, 1891. Maurice Barrymore played the son and Walden Ramsey a villainous brother- in- law.
Previous commitments forced Palmer to take it on the road while still drawing large houses. An initial poor reception outside New York, and other financial pressures led Palmer to give up the Madison Square Theatre, though the play eventually caught on and stayed popular for a decade (but had no part for EJ Phillips).
Aristocracy by Bronson Howard opened at Palmer's Nov 14 1892. Odell remarks that "everything was exactly right; except that the public did not care for the play". The plot pitted a family from San Francisco against "a family of settled social supremacy in New York -- the son of the New York group being balked by his aristocratic parents in his desire to marry the nice California girl".
Lewis Strang writes in Players and Plays "In Aristocracy the dramatist indulged in the gentle sport of letting the eagle scream, and his main argument was that all the good men and women were either dead, poor, or of obscure parentage. Consideration of this theory apparently aroused Mr. Howard's temper to most undignified asperity, and he proclaimed with acridity that all "American aristocrats," those with Mayflower ancestors and such like, were persons with whom decent folks would better have as little to do as possible, and that all real English aristocrats were persons whom one ought not to touch with a ten-foot pole. In fact, his only truly respectable individual (native or foreign) in the United States was a self-made millionaire. All others were downright and hopeless cads. Mr. Howard's telling of his tale inclined toward the lurid, though it was cleverly worked out even when it was improbable."
Aunt Jack The 1889-1890 season was launched with Ralph R. Lumley's farce Aunt Jack: A Man of the World, written expressly for Maurice Barrymore. Nov 2, 1889
Barrister 1887 New York "Barrister will be the next play. Do not know yet whether I shall be in that or not. Hope not, for I have no money for dresses." She wasn't in this English Madison Square Theatre play by George Fenn and Darnley James.
Broken Hearts WS Gilbert's "poignant drama" joined the Madison Square repertory in the 1885-1886 season. "Prince Florian, being estranged from his affianced, secures a talisman which makes him invisible...and tracks the lost maiden and her sisters to a fairy island". [NY Times Feb 13, 1885] Odell calls it "another glorious memory of my youth -- Gilbert's pathetic verse drama.... Agnes Booth renewed her earlier success as Mrs. Brownlee, assisted by the handsome Herbert Kelcey as Warburton" Maud Harrison was an exquisite Hilda and Annie Russell's pathetic Lady Vavir was one of the memorable achievements of her earlier career. LeMoyne was excellent as the dwarf, Mousta and Louis Massen a handsome Prince Florian, though one could have wished for him a greater degree of poetical fervour.
Broken Hearts, Gilbert & Sullivan
by Paul Meredith
Potter, Feb 15, 1890.
Tacoma 1890 "The City Directory is billed for this place tomorrow night and will not be bought out or we could finish the week here". First produced 1889. Paul Potter was most famous for his 1895 play Trilby. His March 8 1921 NY Times obituary says he was resident dramatist at Palmer's Theatre between 1894 and 1898. https://www.nytimes.com/1921/03/08/archives/paul-mpotter-playwrightdead-dramatist-of-trilby-stricken-in-his.html
Colonel Carter of Cartersville by Augustus Thomas, opened at Palmer's Theatre on March 22, 1892 and was withdrawn on April 30. [Odell]
Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas was produced at the Union Square Theatre in 1883 and made James O'Neill a star.
or married by force a comedy in three acts, Alexandra
EJ Phillips appeared in the third act of The Danicheffs in Dec 1878 as part of in the testimonial for John Gilbert at Wallacks, on the fiftieth anniversary of his theatrical debut. EJ Phillips played the Countess and Walden Ramsey Vladimir. Playwright Dion Boucicault, Ada Dyas and Lester Wallack (and many others) were also involved.
In February 1881 The
1876-77) was revived with Thorne,
and Stoddart in their original roles. "But no one could expect Mrs. Phillips, good routiniere, to replace the magnificent Fanny Morant as the Countess Danicheff, a part in which Miss Morant had been superb in the expression of haughty pride and iron insistence on the feudal rights of domination in the lives of her son and dependents". Others in the cast were Walden Ramsey, Maud Harrison and Louisa Eldridge. The Danicheffs lasted only until the end of February.
New York Times, 1878 Dec 28 https://www.nytimes.com/1878/12/28/archives/the-latest-french-plays-a-new-piece-by-the-author-of-the-danicheffs.html
Dinner at Eight Not the 1932 Kaufman and Ferber play, but a curtain raiser and "a trifle by JA Ritchie", with EM Holland, Maud Harrison and FH Tyler. Odell
New York, Mar. 22, 1891 Dinner at 8 is the title of the "Curtain raiser" you speak about. There are only four characters in it and it plays only 18 minutes. The plot is very good & amusing but not sufficiently carried out to be attractive. Still it gets its share of applause from the audience and I think a little disappointment at its brevity & sudden ending. The author has done exceedingly good work as far as it goes, and I hope will be encouraged to do more. Dinner at 8 is his first effort in play writing. He need not be discouraged.
by Victorien Sardou (adapted by Clement William
Scott and Benj Charles Stevenson)
Troy 1892 Mr. [Frederic] Robinson fortunately was engaged by Miss [Rose] Coghlan and, although at first his engagement was only for six weeks, yet he is going to travel with her for the Season, he having made a big hit in his part in Diplomacy. [probably Count Orloff].
From Sardou's play Dora, originally played at Wallacks in 1878 with Lester Wallack, Frederic Robinson, Rose Coghlan and Madame Ponisi. It was revived at Wallacks in 1885 with Herbert Kelcey in the role played by Frederic Robinson, and in 1892 at the Star Theatre, New York with Rose Coghlan, Charles Coghlan, Frederic Robinson and Sadie Martinot. Sardou and the Sardou Plays, 1913 http://books.google.com/books?id=IY5YuSHeBpgC&dq=diplomacy+sardou+1885&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Doll's House Henry Arthur Jones adapted Ibsen's A Doll's House for the English public under the title Breaking a Butterfly in 1884. The actor Richard Mansfield first brought Ibsen to the attention of the American public.
Elaine by George Parsons Lathrop
and Harry Edwards (adapted from Tennyson's Idylls of the King) opened in
December 1887 and was a great financial success.
New York Dec 2 1887 "I suppose you have seen by the papers that Elaine takes the place of the Martyr on Tuesday night. We have not yet been told what will follow Elaine."
Dec 7 "Elaine a success but whether it will run or not is one of the things no fellow can find out, but it will surely run through the holidays. "
Dec 10 "Elaine still doing a fair business but whether it will continue to do so for any great length of time is doubtful. Nothing yet cast to follow. "
William Gillette and Frances Hodgson
Burnett was an Annie
Fashion Chicago, July 23, 1887 "a satirical comedy on social climbing in New York" (and a success in America, but not in Toronto [Shortt] Madison Square Theatre 1887
The play is remarkable because many critics consider it to be the first "modern"
drama, a play that focused more on the psychological complexities of its
characters and on the role of social determinism the characters' lives than on
dramatic or melodramatic retellings.
New York, Dec. 3, 1891 A new play, Margaret Fleming is to be produced but it is an outside speculation. James A. Herne is the author and his wife plays the leading part, and if successful will star in it. Only 3 of the company play in it -- Messrs [EM] Holland, [Charles L.] Harris & [Edward M] Bell. It is for next Wednesday Matinee only.
The first important American play to demonstrate Ibsen's influence. Since no New York producer or theatre owner would book the play, the performance was a special matinee at Palmer's Theatre on Dec 9, 1891 . Though revived several times, it was never popular with either the critics or the public. [Odell?]
James A Herne and Realistic Drama 1911 http://www.oldandsold.com/articles32n/drama-6.shtml
Master and Man by Henry Alfred Pettitt and George Robert Sims Feb 1890. Odell describes it as "cheap melodrama and it was not a success, opening on Feb 5th and closing on Feb 14th. Richard Mansfield acted in. 1890
Old Love Letters A curtain raiser, by Bronson Howard, a vehicle for Agnes Booth since 1878. Originally paired with W.S. Gilbert's Broken Hearts as part of the Madison Square repertory . more on Old Love Letters and Bronson Howard by Lewis Strang
One Touch of Nature 1884 Described by Odell as [Benjamin] "Webster's old one act drama" [in the 1884-1885 Union Square season] and it periodically reappears after that as a curtain raiser.
A Pair of Spectacles by Sydney Grundy, adapted from Eugene Labiche and Alfred- Charlemagne Delacour's Les petite oiseaux opened at the Madison Square in October 1890. Palmer had met the company in Chicago and they rehearsed in Philadelphia just before the New York opening.
Sealed Instructions was Julia Campbell Verplanck's "melodrama of amatory and political intrigue" which had run at the Madison Square Theatre in New York from April 13 to June 6, 1885. (Durham). Annie Russell, JH Stoddart and William LeMoyne were in the cast.
The April 14, 1885 New York Times review describes it as "terse, forcible and often epigrammatic" and gives some idea of the complicated plot. https://www.nytimes.com/1885/04/14/archives/amusements-sealed-instructions.html
From the wreckage of the Union Square company Palmer enlisted the lovely Maud Harrison...and JH Stoddart...[for a revival of Sealed Instructions]...Members of the original cast remaining were Frederic Robinson, WJ LeMoyne, Walden Ramsay, Harry Hogan, Annie Russell and Lena Langdon. What a joy to be a boyish lover of the drama...Yet I remember that, to my surprise, the usually beautifully gowned Mrs. [Agnes] Booth and Miss Harrison wore dresses of a former era; perhaps they were unwilling to buy new clothes for what could be but a brief run for a play not new." [Odell]
A Madison Square program from that season has sketches of Mrs. Haughton (Mathilde Madison), Lord Dorchester (Frederic Robinson, Katharine (Jessie Milward ), Mons Gervais Dupuis, Banker and broker (WJ LeMoyne), Ada (Annie Russell), Faithful Benton (Thomas Whiffen) and scenes from the play.
"Only a needle"
The match that burns forever
You are no sone of mine One true heart is left me still My son has returned
Social Fiction by Malcolm Watson, came at the end of the 1890-91 season and was not a success. [Odell?]
Sunlight and Shadow
Richard Carton [Richard Claude Critchett] Jan 1891. Maud Harrison played
a nice young girl about to marry
Maurice Barrymore, when they learn that his former wife is not, as he
thought, dead but "very much alive and ready to cause heart woe...Edward
Bell played a loving cripple, who sacrificed all to bring happiness to
the sorrowing girl."
Times March 17 1891 review
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F50B14F7345F10738DDDAE0994DB405B8185F0D3 compared The Pharisee with the "mawkish and insipid Sunlight and Shadow which has just passed into oblivion ... preposterous unreality and conventional sentiment"
by A.W. Gatti,
Olga Nethersole's American debut in the Palmer Theatre's brief (four
plays in ten weeks) 1894 season. [Odell] EJ
Phillips wasn't in The Transgressor, but it accompanied Nethersole plays she was
Rochester 1894 The little lady [Olga Nethersole} is working altogether too hard. The rehearsal of Frou-Frou yester-day was from 12 until 6 PM & then had the Transgressor to play, and was to have more rehearsal after the performance, but I hear she fainted after the curtain fell on the last act, and had to be taken home
The New York Times review [Oct. 15, 1894 5:5] is headlined A Large Audience Patiently Sits Through "The Transgressor" at Palmer's Theatre -- A Great Deal of Very Loud Applause Bestowed upon a Generally Competent, but by No Means Brilliant, Performance of a Very Bad Play. The reviews notes that preparation had begun in March in London. "She came in like a small cyclone" and compares the plot to "Miss Bronte's story of Jane Eyre and Rochester, deprived the man of all manly attributes, tried to transform Jane into a type of the modern "Emancipated" woman and failed. In the critic's opinion Olga Nethersole's' personality will doubtless be very attractive after one has grown used to it.
Vera the Nihilist by Oscar Wilde, produced by the Union Square Theater Company ran for one week in August 1883 http://www.planetmonk.com/wilde/pdfs/vera.pdf
Phillips mentions or goes to
Beside the Bonnie Briar Bush Ian MacLaren 1894 http://books.google.com/books?id=VWkRAAAAYAAJ&dq=%22beside+the+bonnie+brier+bush%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s
1898 Philadelphia Week before last I went to National Theatre at a matinee to call on Mr. Stoddart who was playing there in Sporting Duchess. We had a pleasant chat and he spoke to me about a part in a new play he expected to play in and he would speak to the management about me. I have not heard from him since, but the papers say the play is to be done in Chicago on Easter Monday. It is called Beside the Bonnie Briar Bush by Ian McLaren. I have read it, a pretty story, but it would require a considerable amount of coaxing to make a strong play. I do not expect to hear anything more about it."
Chicago 1896 We are doing well so far and the Manager of the theatre told me he was sure it would (the play) have a long run as he considered it much better than "Charley's Aunt" [by Brandon Thomas Oct 1893] which two years ago ran 16 weeks, and we are booked for only 12 weeks."
Henry "Harry" Woodruff [1870-1916] in Pharisee by Malcolm Watson Dec 1890 and Mar 1891 In Denver in 1890 "Made his debut in HMS Pinafore and left the stage after playing Charley in Charley's Aunt to attend Harvard. Oxford Companion
Dominie's Daughter Boston 1887 Went to
Museum to see Dominie's Daughter yesterday afternoon. Madame
Ponisi plays in it. She was the original at Wallacks. The play is
not bad, but the acting was. Still it is well to see these things once in
awhile. It gives one confidence in oneself.
The Dominie's Daughter was David [Demarest] Lloyd's American play, a charming picture of colonial life in 1781. [Boston Globe ad Sept 7, 1887] Reviewed NY Times Mar 25 1887 "when it was fashionable on the island of Manhattan to be a Tory and dangerous to be a patriot...The plot...is far from strong to be sure, and the development of it is far from ingenious."
"A romantic Revolutionary War comedy" -- an era rarely then or now chosen for plays, which arrived too late to save Wallack's but with "picturesque" costumes and sets praised for their depiction of "an old parsonage standing amid rolling meadows where the vilest part of the Bowery is now; a quaint churchyard that contains the simple memorials of early Dutch settlers, with a farmhouse here and there nearby, and the sunlit East River in the distance".
Gaiety Girl by Henry Hewetson
Greenbank and Owen Hall [James Davis], music by Sidney Jones. Sept 1894.
Detroit 1895 "Marcus Mayer was here on Monday night and as he had just arrived from California where he had been with the Gaiety Girl."
left behind me Franklin Fyles, adapted by
David Belasco, Feb 1893.
Montreal 1895 "I rec'd a telegram from Maud [Harrison] who is in Pittsburgh, where she opened on Monday night in The Girl I Left Behind Me Co, Chas Frohman, manager. And she made a success, although she has had a very short notice for the part.
Franklin Fyles was dramatic editor of the New York Sun.
Gilbert & Sullivan's Gondoliers HMS Pinafore Mikado Patience
Barbarian "translated from the German, the
beautiful heroine wins her father's freedom and the heart of the barbarian
chief, who for her sake agrees to be comes civilized, was performed at the Royal
Lyceum, Toronto. A succession of female stars reveled in the role of Parthenia.
EJP saw it in Boston May 28, 1886. "Thursday
night we went to see
the play Ingomar. Was not electrified by the Star or her Company."
Photo Mary Anderson as Parthenia 1883 Sarony http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mary_Anderson_as_Parthenia_by_Napoleon_Sarony_1883.jpg
New York, Mar. 11, 1888 Yes, Nyson Crinkle and all the critics gave La Tosca a drubbing and the play is crowding the theatre. Tell people a play is bad and they are bound to see for themselves. [Fanny] Davenport will make more money with it, than with any other play she has ever appeared in, but possibly for only one season.
Tosca and Oscar Wilde http://www.mr-oscar-wilde.de/interactive/paper/vissi_d_arte.htm
by Ludwig Fulda, Henry Churchill de Mille adapted. http://books.google.com/books?id=jAMTAAAAYAAJ&dq=Lost+Paradise+by+Ludwig+Fulda,&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Henry C. de Mille enjoyed one final success when Charles Frohman produced his version of Ludwig Fulda's Das verlorene Paradies as The Lost Paradise ( 11-16- 91), 23rd St.). Reset in America, it recounted how Andrew Knowlton ( Frank Mordaunt), a rich Boston industrialist, hands over his factory's day-today operations to his trusted, warmhearted manager, Reuben Warner (William Morris), in order to devote his time to his daughter, Margaret (Sydney Armstrong). Gerald Bordman, American Theater 1869-1914, Oxford Univ. Press, 1994 http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/maude/adams73.html Frank and Mrs. Mordaunt were leaving to tour in this, so couldn't help with the Actor's Fund Fair in 1892.
Charles Frohman commissioned a play from Henry De Mille, and Lost Paradise opened in Nov 1890 at Proctor's in New York, and it ran until March 1891. Maude Adams, Odette Tyler and Bijou Fernandez were also in the cast. HC DeMille died in 1892 and was the father of Cecil B de Mille and grandfather of Agnes de Mille.
New York 1895 Mr. [AM] Palmer and his short seasons crippled me and it was fortunate for me I broke loose from him when I did, for I have done better than I should have done with him. Now his [Palmer's] so-called "Stock Co" are away in Boston in the middle of the season playing New Woman so they are no better off than I am, as far as a home is concerned or saving money, for this travelling takes away the chance of saving anything
By Sydney Grundy Nov. 1894. Female emancipation and the much derided 'New Woman' was a subject of immense fascination in the English Theatre of the 1890s. Associated issues of women's education, freedom of thought, the sexual double standard, and the right to self-determination feature in play after play of the period. However, the advent of the New Drama after the turn of the century marked a change of emphasis and figures previously demonized now became heroes. This collection includes two plays from the 1890s, Sidney Grundy's The New Woman (1894) and Arthur Wing Pinero's The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith (1895), both much mentioned in recent criticism but neither available until now. The New Woman, Oxford University Press, 1998
New Woman http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/40839
Old Homestead by Denman Thompson, was first produced in January 1887 and ran for 160 performances at the Academy of Music from Aug 30, 1888 - May 1891. "'Certainly the most famous of all rural plays', [Odell] it grew out of a vaudeville sketch. Thompson also played the role of the New Hampshire farmer whose son had gone to New York and not been heard from for nearly a year. Old schoolmate Henry Hopkins (now a New York millionaire) helped him discover the now derelict son and rehabilitate him. Oxford Companion to American Theatre
New York, Feb. 18th 1887 Hattie goes to a matinee occasionally and that is about all the amusement she gets. Yesterday she went to see Denman Thompson in the "Old Homestead" and Wed with Mrs. Dr. Nagle to see School for Scandal at Wallacks.
NY, Feby 6th/90 The first time [to a theater this winter] being with Neppie and her aunt to [Denman Thompson's] the Old Homestead.
Church scene from the Old Homestead
Denman Thompson and the Old Homestead http://www.oldhomesteadswanzey.com/ http://www.wellswooster.com/tommies/denman/
Denman Thompson had played Uncle Tom in a production of Uncle Tom's Cabin with John Nickinson's at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Toronto in Feb. 1857. Charlotte Nickinson played Eliza. Topsey was played by Virginia Nickinson. Owen Marlowe, who married Virginia Nickinson in 1857 played Shelby. Miss Phillips played Cassy.
Prisoner of Zenda
novel by Anthony Hope Hopkins, adapted by Edward Everett
Kansas City 1896 Had a quiet trip, uneventful except last night about 8:30 we met the Prisoner of Zenda Co on their way to San Francisco from Chicago. Our trains were stopped and the two companies were allowed to greet each other. I had retired, so did not see any of them but Mr. [James K] Hackett sent his kindest regards to me and regrets that he could not see me, by Miss Graves of our company. They open on Monday in San Francisco
Harper's Weekly review 1895
1937 Douglas Fairbanks film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emHJ4ytm6qg&playnext=1&list=PL9F46D9BD589A1BD0
Chicago Feb 1895 "Do not always feel as Samsonian as I would like to. I have not had my hair cut off as he, Samson, did but it is falling out and that may account for my want of strength."
Salvini had opened Palmer's Theatre season in Oct 1889 "with the thrilling play of Samson, which the star had not acted here since his first season in New York in 1873." [Odell] Samson and Delilah (adapted from the French by Augustin Daly) had been done in April 1889. And Samson (by Ippolito d"Aste, adapted by William Dean Howells) opened in May 1895
Sporting Duchess, 1898
Philadelphia 1898 Week before last I went to National Theatre at a matinee to call on Mr. Stoddart who was playing there in Sporting Duchess. We had a pleasant chat and he spoke to me about a part in a new play he expected to play in and he would speak to the management about me. I do not expect to hear anything more about it.
Coveting the Duke of Desborough's prize race horse "Clipstone," Major Roland Mostyn schemes to destroy his rival and thus obtain possession of the animal. After framing the duke's wife Muriel in a false adultery suit which results in divorce, Mostyn ruins the young duke at cards, thus forcing him to auction his horse in order to pay his debts. Muriel, heartbroken by the separation, persuades her old friend Captain Streatfield to purchase the horse and enter him in the derby. Mostyn bets all his money on his horse and attempts to fix the race but his plot is discovered and Clipstone wins the contest. After Muriel's innocence is proven, Mostyn's villainy towards the duke is finally stopped and the couple is happily reunited. Film  Based on the play The Sporting Duchess by Augustus Harris, Cecil Raleigh, Henry Hamilton (New York, 29 Aug 1895). http://www.afi.com/members/catalog/DetailView.aspx?s=1&Movie=17992 Agnes Booth was also in the cast. and the play was produced by Charles Frohman.
Too Much Johnson
Ordomean (adapted by Wm. Hooker Gillette) Dec 1894
Salt Lake City 1896 "Last night Mr. [Gustave] Frohman came behind the scenes very much elated over a letter he had rec'd from his brother Charles [Frohman] saying that in May next he was going to send Gay Parisians and Too Much Johnson to Australia."
Chinatown by Charles Hoyt 1926 silent film
The story of a widow who maneuvers several young suburban couples into a big city restaurant – where a rich man loses his wallet before true love wins out in the end. John Kendrick http://www.musicals101.com/1890-1900.htm
Charles H. Hoyt and Broadway of the 1890's, A Trip to Chinatown, Charles H. Annaheim, 1999
AM Palmer in 1891-1892 "established his fine company at Palmer's Theatre (late Wallack's), and the house he had made so delightful a feature in the lives of intelligent playgoers was relegated to the amusing trivialities of the farces of Charles. H. Hoyt." On Sept. 15, 1891 the Madison Square became Hoyt's Madison Square Theatre, playing a Trip to Chinatown.
Belasco & DeMille 1887 The first play written by collaborators David
Belasco and Henry C. DeMille. Opened in New York in Nov 1887 and was a huge
Boston 1888 "we are to follow the Lyceum Co in their great success of The Wife and other plays [in San Francisco] We cannot be anything but a failure."
WJ LeMoyne, Herbert Kelcey, Mrs. Thomas Whiffen and Mr. and Mrs Charles Walcott(Isabella Nickinson) were in the original 1887 production.
Woman of No
Importance by Oscar Wilde
Cleveland 1893 "Miss Elsie deWolfe did not gain her bit of diplomacy as Miss Ada Dyas & Mrs. Thorndike Boucicault are engaged for A Woman of No Importance"
Dec 1893 Maud Harrison was in this, after leaving Palmers?
Durham, Walter B. American Theatre Companies 1749-1887, Westport CT : Greenwood Press, 1986.
Durham, Walter B. American Theatre Companies 1881-1930, Westport CT : Greenwood Press, 1987.
Frohman, Daniel, Daniel Frohman Presents, New York, C. Kendall & W. Sharp 1937
Frohman, Daniel, Memories of a Manager Reminiscences of the Old Lyceum and some players of the last quarter century, 1911 http://books.google.com/books?id=OydaAAAAMAAJ&dq=inauthor:%22Daniel+Frohman%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Harpers Weekly: Thomas Nast and Shakespeare http://staging.thomasnast.com/Activities/NastandShakespeare/NASdefault.asp
IDDB Internet Broadway DataBase, advanced search http://www.ibdb.com/advancedsearch.asp Searchable by play, person or New York theater.
Hawkins-Dady, Mark (editor), International Dictionary of Theatre Playwrights, Detroit London : St. James Press 1992.
New York Times Theater Reviews, New York: New York Times, 1975. Vol. 1. 1870-1885, Vol. 2 1886-1895
O'Neill, PB Anthony, A History of Theatrical Activity in Toronto, Canada, from its beginning to 1858, Louisiana State University dissertation, 1973
Ryan, Pat M. AM Palmer, Producer: "A study of management, dramaturgy and stagecraft in the American Theatre 1872-1896, DFA Dissertation, Yale University 1959
Samuel French Collection, Amherst College https://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/holdings/samfrench
Strang, Lewis C., Players and Plays of the Last Quarter Century, Boston : LC Page & Co., 1902. http://books.google.com/books?id=3V9EAAAAIAAJ&dq=Players+and+Plays+of+the+Last+Quarter+Century&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Last Updated august 25, 2020
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