BWW Review: CLOVER at Ally Theatre Company
History and theatre buffs alike will love Clover, a new full-length play by Laura Rocklyn and Ty Hallmark. Rocklyn stars as Marian Hooper Adams-called "Clover" by friends and family.
Adams was a stalwart figure in late nineteenth century D.C. society, and the inspiration for the show comes from her memorial in Rock Creek Cemetery. Commissioned after her death, the statue is a haunting personification of grief.
It's obvious from the start that this is a well-loved show. Rocklyn and Hallmark's thorough research makes the history come alive, and the set is as detailed as its story. (For example, the programs are printed to look like the nineteenth century broadsheets Clover Adams might have enjoyed over breakfast.)
Clover Adams's wit and creativity entertained a variety of historic figures such as Henry James, General William Sherman, and John Hay-not to mention her husband, Henry Adams, the great-grandson of John and AbiGail Adams.
Clover is not without its difficulties; some of the technical aspects are a bit confusing and distract from the action. It's unfortunate they aren't enacted in the same subtle yet proficient manner as the storytelling onstage.
The show is performed in a gallery, and the audience is tucked into the room's corners amongst props and the antique furniture that composes the set. This cozy setting reflects the intimate portrayal of a woman few truly knew well, and climbing the stairs up to the galleries of Caos on F feels like you're stumbling across a well-kept secret. Clover is a strong finish to Ally Theatre Company's premiere season. Be certain to look for more from this new D.C. based company.
Laura Rocklyn plays the part of Clover Adams alongside Nick Depinto as her husband Henry Adams, Tamieka Chavis as Lizzie Cameron, Megan Khaziran as Grief, and Alani Kravitz, Ben Lauer, Stephanie Svec, and Reginald Richard as the ensemble. Angela Kay Pirko directs. The show continues at Caos on F through October 28, 2017. Tickets are available online at the Ally Theatre Company website.
Photo Credit: Teresa Castracane Photography