“I Heart Maroc”

“I Heart Maroc” at the Whitefire Theatre Solofest 2022
Precious the Cat - Photographer Jim McCaffree.

A theatre review of “I Heart Maroc” at the Whitefire Theatre Solofest 2022, written and performed by Azo Safo, directed and developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson. 

I heart Maroc” is a peak inside the world of Azo Safo.  In her quest to find her place in this world she joins the Peace Corps and travels to Morocco to live in a small village and find a way to help.  In the two years she spent living there she learned the local language and customs, taught English and health, and helped some of the local women form a business making bags and rugs.  She imparted some of her ‘American’ pioneer spirit, or maybe it is her Armenian pioneer spirit!  Azo became an American when she arrived here with her family at aged five.  The resilience and deep family ties of her culture clearly guided her through her time serving in Morocco, but it is her passion and her empathic nature that endeared her to the strangers she found herself among. 

“I Heart Maroc” at the Whitefire Theatre Solofest 2022
Azo’s Mother -Photographer Jim McCaffree.

This is such a fascinating journey through the life of an Armenian immigrant turned American envoy for peace and corporation, at time when Bush was president and America was at one of its lowest points on the political world stage, especially in the Middle East.  Morocco might be in North Africa, but its roots run through the Middle East and it is a majority Arab nation. 

Azo performs her solo play, “I Heart Maroc,” with laughter and compassion. Her boundless energy and sweet nature imbue this story with all the charm it deserves. She flits from one brilliantly observed character to the next with utterly flawless timing and, while we have no guarantee of her accuracy, each portrait feels authentic and lovingly drawn.  

“I Heart Maroc” is a wonderful story and Azo brings us into the heart of it with her geeky hopeful humor and her earnest desire to help the world in general, and the people of this tiny village in particular.  She does this without the slightest hint of affectation or misplaced sense of superiority. She is genuinely compassionate and fully aware that all life is worthy of admiration in every corner of the planet, even when lived by rules and customs we in the west could not really understand.  She has created a beautiful ode to the two years she spent in the arms of these villagers, learning how to be a part of their culture and their families and their lives.  All this while staying exactly who she was the minute she stepped off the bus.  An admirable feat by any measure.

“I Heart Maroc” at the Whitefire Theatre Solofest 2022
Moroccan Wedding – Photographer Jim McCaffree.

“I Heart Maroc” is a wonderful show, gorgeously and generously performed.  Azo Safo is a genuinely gifted storyteller, hilarious, of course, but the funny is never at the expense of anyone. The opposite in fact.  She honors those she lived among with every word.  Bravo!!!

Not sure where you can catch this wonderful show next, the Hollywood Fringe Festival perhaps? Search it out though!!!

Another brilliant production helped to life by the genius of Jessica Lynn Johnson!! www.SoaringSoloStudios.com

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.