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Barrymores, Drews and EJ Phillips 

EJ Phillips knew and acted with Drews and Barrymores, particularly the good looking but rakish Maurice Barrymore The main Palmer plays EJ Phillips was in with him was Jim the Penman (and Pharisee 1891) and Lady Windermere's Fan..  He was Romeo to Olga Nethersole's Juliet, when EJ Phillips played the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet.

Barrymore was the original London Louis Percival in Jim the Penman, and opened in it in New York in Nov 1886 but was replaced by HM Pitt by the time EJ Phillips was performing in Boston in 1887.  She was with him in the 1892 revival. (Barrymore rejoined Palmer's company in Dec 1890.) Mrs. DP Bowers was the original Duchess of Berwick in Lady Windermere's Fan with Maurice Barrymore as Lord Darlington.

Louisa Lane Drew(1820-1897),  Mrs. John Drew [mother of Georgie Drew Barrymore, and grandmother of John, Lionel and Ethel] appeared in Toronto at John Nickinson's Royal Lyceum Theatre in 1858 with her third husband an Irish comedian, drawing good houses with familiar Irish comedies and farces: The Irish Ambassador, The Irish Emigrant and the Irish Lion wrote Toronto theatre historian  Mary Shortt.

John Nickinson had also played with Mrs Drew when she was Mrs. Mossop in 1842 and 1843 in New York at Mitchell’s Olympic Threatre. [History NY Stage]   

In 1871 EJ Phillips "began a three years engagement under the management of  Lawrence Barrett, and next appeared at the Chestnut Street Theatre in  Philadelphia, which was then controlled by FF Mackay.  The [New] Chestnut Street Theatre was built in 1862 on the north side of Chestnut Street between Twelfth and Thirteenth Streets, a full seven blocks to the west of the old theatre, and considered by many too far removed from the theatre district to succeed.  But "the rapid westward expansion of center-city Philadelphia  soon made the new Chestnut Street Theatre the city's most fashionably located theatrical facility. ..  FF Mackay was manager of the Chestnut Street Theatre from 1875-78, along with William Gemmill (c. 1845- 1882 Catalog of Dramatic Portraits) and J. Frederick Scott. 

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chestnut_Street_Theatre
 This may well be when she renewed her acquaintance with Mrs. Drew,

However in 1878 severe internal difficulties began and the Company's previously favorable position (as Philadelphia's only first-class resident company) began to erode. Many of the company's best actors resigned. [source?]  EJ Phillips joined New York's  in 1877

http://maryglenchitty.com/LouisaLaneDrewc1840to48_small.png Louisa Lane Drew c1840-1848      Mrs. Drew Strang's Players and Plays of the Last Quarter Century    Strang's Famous Actors       

Louisa Lane Drew (1820-1897) managed the Arch Street Theatre in Philadelphia for many years, "which she ran with an iron hand." from 1861 to1892; and established it as one of the greatest of American stock companies.  The house was under her control for the next 31 years. "She was not the first woman in America to manage a theatre and direct an acting company, but she was the first to do so on a considerable scale, and over a term of years...When she finally retired from the management she became the grande dame of the American Theatre." In her last years she was said to cheerfully travel 1000 miles for a chance to play Mrs. Malaprop.  Dictionary of American Biography  She took over the Arch St Theatre in 1862 after John Drew died aged 34/

EJ Phillips attended Louisa Lane Drew's funeral in Philadelphia, September 1897. Did she ever meet John, Ethel of Lionel?

3219 Clifford St
Phila Pa 
Septr 6th/97 

My dear daughter Neppie 

Yesterday I attended the funeral services of Mrs. John Drew at St Stephens Church and followed her to the cemetery [Laurel Hill] which is not far from us.  The Church was packed with people and the Cemetery was crowded.  There was no getting near her grave.  Mrs. Dolman was with me. I am still waiting for a manager to send for me but I think it likely I shall have to wait sometime, for I do not see anything in the papers of new productions.

http://maryglenchitty.com/SaintStephensChurchPhiladelphia_small2.png St. Stephen's Church Philadelphia       

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisa_Lane_Drew   


Louisa Lane and John Drew http://www.barrymorefamily.com/fr_index.html?/drew.html

Frank Drew (1831-1903)  Played Uncle Bamberry in Saints and Sinners  in the first New York performance in November 1885, when EJ Phillips played Lydia.. Played McGillicuddy in Engaged February 23, 1886 with EJ Phillips playing Mrs. Macalister. He and EJ Phillips were also in Our Society in May 1886.
Frank Drew was the brother of John Drew Sr., so uncle to Georgie Drew Barrymore. John Drew Jr and Sidney White Drew.

http://maryglenchitty.com/johndrew_small.jpg Frank Drew

John Drew (1853-1927) Uncle of Lionel, Ethel, and John Barrymore, Drew was with Daly's company in New York for many years as a high comedian and noted for his Petruchio in the Taming of the Shrew.  Brother of Georgie Drew Barrymore and son of Louisa Lane Drew. 

New York Nov. 29, 1895 By today's Herald I see that Chas Frohman is going to put John Drew in Palmer's Theatre on Jany 6th, and that I guess has given rise to the report that he was trying to get a theatre to put us in on January 6th, but I guess we will have to go to Brooklyn and Harlem and dear knows where! before getting to Boston when we are to stay for a "run" (4 weeks I guess)

Strang writes of Drew that his "theatrical career naturally divides itself into three periods: From 1873, the time he made his debut in the Arch Street Theatre, Philadelphia, which was then under the management of his mother, until 1879 when he became leading man of Augustin Daly's New York company, from 1879 until 1892 when he became a star; and from 1892 until the present time."

Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Drew_Jr
My years on the stage 1922  http://books.google.com/books?id=HZQXAAAAYAAJ&dq=john+drew+my+years+on+thes+tage&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Georgie Drew Barrymore (1856-1893) was the wife of Maurice Barrymore and mother of John, Ethel and Lionel.  Her promising career was cut short by her early death at 37. .

TACOMA, Wash, June 23rd 1890  

Crane & Co
 played here last week and yesterday met them halfway between here and Portland. Both companies got out of the cars, and each greeted the other very warmly and ended in singing "Auld Lang Syne" in a very high key. It was very funny, and was thoroughly enjoyed by ourselves, as well as the natives, the latter looking on in blank amazement, but I do not think there were a quarter of the number Mr. Jarrett gives in his interview with the newspaper reporter.  I think 40 would be nearer the mark than 400. Of Cranes Company whom I knew were Mr. & Mrs. [William Henry] Crane, Mrs. Foster, Mrs. Lizzie Hudson CollierMrs. Georgie Drew BarrymoreMr. [George F.] DeVere and Mr. Herbert who was at the Chestnut St Theatre [Philadelphia] during my last season at that house. 

William Henry Crane (1845-1928) Most noted as a comedian, Autobiography Footprints and Echoes 1927. Contributed essays on acting and the theatre to contemporary popular journals. Successful as an actor-producer, beginning in 1890 in The Senator, in which he frankly imitated Senator Plumb of Kansas. Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre    Dictionary of American Biography 

Willard's Hotel 
 Washington D.C
 Jany 8th/93

Georgie Drew Barrymore has been taken very ill in San F'co and is being sent home by Sea. Poor woman she is having a hard time of it. [She died July 2, 1893 in Santa Barbara California.]

EJ Phillips must have  known her from her years in Philadelphia, where her mother Louisa Lane Drew (see letter of  Sept. 6, 1897 for that funeral) ran the Arch Street Theater for many years.  EJ Phillips reports an encounter of Palmer's company with that of Crane's (of which Mrs. Barrymore was a member) in June 1890 halfway between Tacoma and Portland, where both companies sang Auld Lang Syne. Georgie Drew would have been 19 when EJ Phillips was in Philadelphia starting in 1875. She married Maurice Barrymore in New York in Dec 1876. 

File:Georgiana Drew by Sarony.jpg  Georgie Drew Barrymore    http://maryglenchitty.com/MauriceandGeorgieBarrymore_small.jpgMaurice & Georgie c 1876  

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgiana_Drew 
Wikipedia Barrymore family http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrymore_family
Georgie Drew Barrymore with her three children Lionel, Ethel, and John 

Maurice Barrymore (
Born Herbert Blythe in India he came to New York in 1875.
On December 29, 1874, Barrymore emigrated to the United States, sailing aboard the SS America to Boston, and joined Augustin Daly's troupe, making his début in Under the Gaslight.  He made his Broadway début in December 1875 in Pique; in the cast was a young actress, Georgiana Drew, known as Georgie. Maurice and Georgiana had been introduced earlier by her brother John Drew Jr. who had befriended Maurice when he first arrived in America. After a brief courtship, Barrymore and Georgie married on December 31, 1876, and had three children: Lionel (born 1878), Ethel (born 1879), and John (born 1882). While their parents were on tour, the children lived with Georgiana's mother in Philadelphia. 
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Barrymore

He moved to Wallacks and then to AM Palmers in 1888, playing Wilding in Captain Swift (1889)  and Captain Davenport in Alabama (1891).  "In his last active years, his erratic behavior, stemming from the paresis [syphilis] that ultimately killed him, caused producers to shun him, so he turned to vaudeville."  [Oxford] 

http://maryglenchitty.com/Maurice_Barrymore_small.jpg   Maurice Barrymore  

Baldwin Hotel, San F'co Cal
August 1st 1886
My dear Son,
Yesterday Matinee went to see [Helena] Modjeska in As You Like It. I did not like the star or her company - a very weak performance all through.  Owen Fawcett was the Touchstone - [Maurice] Barrymore the Orlando.  I did not know any of the others but they were all pretty queer.

Aunt Jack (1889) was written for Barrymore. A founder of the  5As American Actors Amateur Athletic Association.  Played Lord Darlington in Palmer's production of Lady Windermere's Fan, one of "the most showy parts in the play" according to Odell.  Barrymore was 39 in 1886, when he joined Palmer's company.

EJ Phillips appeared as Lady Stanton in the original American production of Captain Swift in Dec. 1889, with Maurice Barrymore as Mr. Wilding.[History of the American Stage]  They were also in the original American production of The Pharisee in 1891

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 Reub Fax.  New York Times Review March 17 1891  
Mrs. Lancaster Wallace and Malcolm Watson "A remarkably strong and impressive performance of a well contrived new play ... it has meaning, purpose and intellectual force." 

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. 

San Francisco, July 31, 1890 I asked [Maurice] Barrymore about the 5 A's which he was one of the founders, but has not taken an active part lately.

EJ Phillips and Barrymore were playing in Captain Swift that summer both in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

5A's American Actors Amateur Athletic Association, founded by Barrymore, Steel MacKaye and London comedian Jimmie Powers.  The club met at Browne's chophouse.  "The members seldom exercised more than their tongues, although the drinking arm was occasionally tested with some Indian wrestling." [style="color: black">Kotsilibas-Davis]  King New York City says the club "usually called the Five A's" was organized in 1889 and incorporated in 1890 "for the encouragement of athletic sports among actors and for social purposes".  The initiation fee was $25 and annual dues were $12.  The club was at 43 West 29th Street.

We also have the following card issued to Albert.

43 West 28th Street  
New York  July 10 1890 

 At the request of  
 Mr. Win Andres

The Actors Amateur Athletic Association of America 
tender to  A.E Nickerson [sic] 
       the privileges of their Club House 
       for a period of Two weeks 
           Geo W June 
            House Committee

Denver, Aug 31st 1890  I have just returned from Morning Service at Dean Hart's Cathedral. The Dean preached a fine sermon from the text, "And who is my neighbor?". The Dean is an old acquaintance of Mr. & Mrs. [Frederic] Robinson and he was tutor to [Maurice] Barrymore in England .  He came and established the Church here at his own expense -- having a large private fortune of his own.  The Church was filled this Morning and he seems to be very popular. Mrs. Robinson was there with a lady friend,

Maurice Barrymore was in a revival of Jim the Penman in New York in January  1892, playing Louis Percival to EJ Phillips’ Lady Dunscombe.

He was also in  Lady Windermere's Fan, and played Romeo to Olga Nethersole's Juliet, when EJ Phillips was the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet. .  EJ Phillips' reviews were better than Barrymore's in this play, and better than some of Olga Nethersoles.

Washington Post Dec. 4, 1894 review
Olga Nethersole's debut before a Washington audience as Camille
The general verdict of those who lingered at Albaugh's until nearly midnight last night to witness the closing scenes of "Camille" is that the advance notices of Miss Olga Nethersole's have been none too glowing and that England has at last sent us a great emotional actress -- possibly a tragedienne. The mere fact that she could, for nearly four hours, maintain interest in that time-worn and tearful tragedy may be taken as an indication that an artist of new and original powers is before and that a new Camille has been born. 

In her first scenes she is Camille the siren, willful and coquettish, spoiled and a trifle pettish, but intensely real.  She does not flirt with Armand but her fascination is undeniable and the first important fact of the drama - why the hero should throw himself away on a woman of her class -- is firmly established. After that the other events follow logically, but she must be more than merely beautiful to win Armand in the first place.  

Miss Nethersole is thoroughly consistent. Her strong scenes are impassioned but not theatric.  Like Mrs. Kendall she is not afraid to spoil her makeup by faithful imitation of a woman in tears. This was rather too realistic for some of the masculine element in the audience, but it is only truth to state that after her interview with Armand's father - - a long and trying scene of sustained intensity -- half the women in the house were in tears. Likewise her death bed scene, while not so realistic as to be revolting, was wonderfully near to the truth. In short she is a modern actress who knows how to hold the mirror up to nature, without revealing or concealing too much.

Miss Nethersole's support in this play is good.  Maurice Barrymore being a manly and convincing Armand, while Barton Hill and Mrs. Phillips are excellent in their roles. There was a fine audience, including Mrs. Cleveland, Secretary and Mrs. Carlisle, Mrs. Bissell, Logan Carlisle, Senator Mitchell, Mavroyent Bay, and many members of Congress and the diplomatic corps.  

Washington Post Dec. 6, 1894 
AS THE FAIR JULIET Her Personal Triumph Complete"
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear is Miss Olga Nethersole's Juliet compared with the support she receives in this play. Personally the young English actress is a revelation and a fulfillment of the powers of which she gave promise in "Camille", but "Romeo and Juliet" is not a one part play. It is only truth to say that Mr. Barrymore's Romeo is as much a disappointment as his Armand was an agreeable surprise. He looks the part, and some of his scenes are excellent, but others are as crude and ill-digested as to destroy the harmony of his whole characterization. Beyond the Friar Lawrence of Barton Hill and the Nurse of Mrs. EJ Phillips, there is little to commend the rest of the cast. 

Ttaveling quilt
A piece of purple and old gold brocade comes next. That was used for a tea gown in "Captain Swift"[1888]. Agnes Booth [wife of Junius Brutus Booth Jr., brother to Edwin and John Wilkes] and Maurice Barrymore [father of Ethel, Lionel and John] were in that

Kotsilibas-Davis, James, Great Times Good Times: The Odyssey of Maurice Barrymore, Garden City NY: Doubleday 1977.  https://archive.org/details/greattimesgoodti00kots 
Maurice Barrymore obituaries and final days http://greenroomchatter.blogspot.com/2009/08/maurice-barrymore-1849-1905.html    Eulogy http://nystage1903.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/ssvulcania-mauricebarrymore1.jpg  
Buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Philadelphia

Last revised August 24, 2020

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