The Pickpocket’s Daughter

Written by Neal Ruchman
Directed by Murphy Davis

Unless Matzy Moses successfully navigates the corruption and gang warfare of 1930’s New York City, she will lose everything. Based on the life and times of the playwright’s mother, audiences call The Pickpocket’s Daughter, “A first class thriller with loads of laughs.”

Please note: entrance doors will lock ten minutes after the show begins.

sponsored by Preferred Properties Coastal Realty

Here are just a few reactions to the table reading of Pickpocket’s Daughter directed by Murphy Davis at The Studios July 2018.

  • “A first class thriller but with lots of laughs.”
  • “The writing really makes you root for the characters and fall in love with them”
  • “The Pickpocket’s Daughter is nothing short of wonderful. The storyline is tight and seamless. The characters are beautifully drawn and touched my heart. I loved every second of it.  The Pickpocket’s Daughter could hold its own with anything on Broadway. It is a wonderful piece of theatre and should be shared with all.”
  • “Thought provoking.  Deeply stirring.  As the daughter of Holocaust survivors, I was moved by what happened, what might have been had another turn been taken in life, if the mother and grandmother had not been so courageous and outspoken.  This play, written from the heart, evokes it all: tears, and laughter.”
  • “It sits in your heart and thoughts for many weeks after.  Look up the definition of chutzpah and you should find a picture of the pickpocket’s daughter.”
  • “I see many, many plays -from Broadway to Community Theater.  I was speechless when I walked out of this play. This is something that has happened to me only one or two other times. Deeply affecting.”
  • “Well-defined characters. Fun story.”
  • “Excellent balance of humor and poignancy.  Powerful. Emotional.”


When I was a kid, I was introduced to an exciting and mysterious man, known simply as Jack. I thought he was my grandfather. He wasn’t. He did, however, save the lives of my grandmother and mother.

I used to ask my mom “What does Jack do?” I never got an answer. When I was 40 and my mom was 68, we were having a four martini lunch (one for me, three for her) at the U.N. Dining Room. I asked again. She made me swear that I would never tell a soul. I kept the secret for over twenty years.

​At age 89 she said to me, “You know, If I ever wrote my life’s story, I’d call it Pickpocket’s Daughter.” This play is about my Mom, Harriett Moses. Matzy.

​In the New York City of the 1930s, Jewish and Irish gangs fought for control of the city. Matzy was a tough, clever, and funny woman. Jack nick-named her Matzy due to her love of Matzoh.  She died before she ever got to write her story.

So I wrote it for her.

​—Neal Ruchman

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533 Eaton Street
Key West, FL 33040

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The Studios of Key West