Red Flags

immersive theatre · capital w · Ages 21+ · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by ASHLEY STEED

June 19, 2017 stage raw and la bitter lemons original article

What I liked

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What I didn't like

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My overall impression

I haven’t been on a date in a really long time. So needless to say, I was a bit nervous. Now, I know that this isn’t a real first date, but I believe it’s far more enjoyable to fully give in to the conceit: I’m meeting Emma (Lauren Flans), a woman I met online, and after brief email correspondence (filling out a “profile”) we’re meeting in Hollywood for a date.

I don’t want to give too much away, but there are clues in the email dating profile as to what will be discussed, and with this being a one-on-one performance it is sure to be unique for each participant. For me, I went in wanting to make a good impression and to be a “good date.” I tried to be kind and inquisitive. In other words, I played along. As the title suggests, there are “red flags” almost immediately (with the first text) and those red flags slowly build throughout, revealing a deeply troubled woman.

There’s a structure to the piece, but Flans makes that structure invisible through genuinely connecting with you – asking questions, allowing awkward silences, answering questions, and moving the conversation/piece forward. I talked about falling in love with my husband (he was absolutely fine with the date), and my dead mother (which is excellent first date material). I asked her about her parents and she asked me about my fears. One-on-one performance isn’t for everyone, but if you’re intrigued definitely give this one a try. Flans (along with writer/director Lauren Ludwig) has developed a dynamic character and an unforgettable experience. I definitely won’t be going on a second date with Emma, but I hope a made a positive impression.

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