Red Flags by Capital W

Six words to describe Red Flags: poignant, engaging, evocative, surprising, fun, depressing.

Experienced: June 17, 2017 at Hollywood Fringe Festival
Location: Undisclosed
Address: Los Angeles CA, 90038
Price: $25.00 (current run is $45 check here for more info)
Audience Size: 1
Runtime: 60 minutes (current run is 70-85 minutes)
More Information: Hollywood Fringe, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

I missed Capital W’s Hamlet-Mobile but had heard great things about it. Since Red Flags was my first Capital W show I didn’t know what to expect with a description of being like a “bad first date”. All I knew from the Hollywood Fringe site was that the show was an hour with one actor and one audience member.

It started with an e-mail asking to meet at an intersection near a bar at my specified time. On the day of the date some text messages were exchanged. When I finally met Emma in person it was a whirlwind of an almost hour long conversation with surprisingly few awkward silences (I counted maybe 1). The flow was so natural — the give and take, meandering topics, references to everyday life, and interesting stories. It’s a testament to the writing and acting that this performance goes off without a hitch.

Capital W has mastered the art of conversation.

I would recommend this to anyone who is OK with a longer form conversational show as it is memorable and a highlight of my theater going experience. The character Capital W has created is more real than most people I’ve met.

The fact that this is a one-on-one show means tickets will be hard to come by so if there is ever an extension beyond Fringe (you’re in luck there have been extensions! click here for more info) do yourself a favor and buy a ticket immediately!

Some mildly spoiled random thoughts:

  • While there were definitely red flags throughout the performance I was a bit surprised at how I reacted to them. This is where my “depressing” description comes into play. To me Emma was so vulnerable and self-critical I felt extremely sorry for her. I was compelled to try and make her feel better about every negative thought or action she revealed. I think I did an OK job with much of it though I did stumble a bit toward the end. This probably says more about me than anything I’d be very curious how others handled it.

  • I was given a couple of choices for the date (go to the bar or for a walk) and in retrospect I’m wondering if the bar would have been more awkward (in a good way?) than a stroll through the neighborhood. I’m very curious how the setting affects the show if at all.

  • After talking to a friend (who had a date right before I did) we realized just how scripted everything actually was. Every story point that we could think of was repeated. It made us appreciate the show that much more because it seemed impossible to us that what we experienced so natural yet scripted.