To Richard!

ensemble theatre · pale horse craft · Ages 15+ · United States of America

world premiere
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June 14, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

I loved the progression of information that we learned throughout the show. Every time something new about a character and their life was brought to light, it informed all of the action and dialogue that came before it. This, to me, makes an exquisite writer.
The sound of traffic and car alarms from Santa Monica Blvd. flooded the theatre while I was watching. The play takes place at a park bench on the side of a busy highway. I thought it was written this way, and I imagined Jessica touring all the different fringe venues to find the theatre that would give the feel that we were on a busy highway. I found out that she didn’t do that at all. When she arrived to the venue and learned that the noise might pose an issue to her show, she adapted her script to include the very thing that might’ve caused her some grief at one point. This is such a perfect example of how Jessica was able to adjust the production to accommodate things outside of her control. Her fine-tuned creative problem-solving served her show incredibly well. I have to say, this was one of my favorite details about To Richard! Very, very, very thoughtful work.
Also, I loved how often the actors would storm off stage, to then return with something more to say. Made for a lot of hilarious moments.
This show didn’t have fancy lighting or sound cues. None of that, just two actors onstage the entire time, holding the audiences attention. THAT is the proof right there. This show could have been done on a completely bare stage, and it would have had the same impact on me. That’s how clear and poignant the writing and direction was.
Jessica is clearly a highly refined artist, with all the skills to blow you away right in her back pocket. I could go on and on about her writing and directing, but I’d also like to highlight what a beautiful actress she is too. I think as a writer, she really set herself up to shine as an actor. The part seemed incredibly difficult to play, yet her performance was flawless.
You must go see this show, this one is a shame to miss.

What I didn't like

Can’t say

My overall impression

Jessica Moreno packs it all into this one hour dramedy about love, loss and friendship between strangers. No wonder Jessica got into the MFA screenwriting program at NYU with this one, because it’s in a word: brilliant.

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