by Melissa Griegel . . .

A new immersive experience, Odd Man Out, opened at The Flea Theater (20 Thomas Street between Broadway and Church) on November 9th, taking “passengers” on a journey through the darkness on a simulated airline flight. The limited engagement will run through December 4th.

Upon entering the TriBeCa theater, you check in and are offered your choice of a glass of wine or a cup of Yerba Mate Tea. A Pitchblack flight attendant begins boarding, inviting you into a room, leading you to your seat, and equipping you with a headset and an eye mask. After the obligatory airline instructions (modified to explain what will be happening during the show), you are told to get comfy and enjoy the ride.

The room is silent and completely dark. The headphones deliver very clear 360-surround sound that takes you utterly away from your surroundings and into the story, with the right and left channels working perfectly to give you directional sound. Guests are given the choice of hearing the show in English or Spanish.

As a participant, you are immersed in the story of Alberto, a blind musician, who is conversing with his fellow passengers on his flight from New York to his birthplace of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It has been decades since Alberto has been to his place of origin, and it is not until the end of the story until we find out the reason for his return.

We are transported back and forth in time as his story unfolds. We learn about his upbringing, what it was like to be a blind child, and how he became a musician. We also learn of his love and loss, his fears and dreams, and his experiences with both acceptance and prejudice.

As we hear about the different stages of his life, we experience the sounds, smells, and occasionally, the tactile sensations, that accompany these memories. The enriched smells were so real and accurate; you can smell his mother’s cooking, the flora of Buenos Aires, and the exhaust of NYC buses. A delightful element was experiencing some of the weather elements in the engaging tale.

The 65-minute immersive experience takes you out of yourself and lets you briefly step into the life of someone else. Besides being swept up in the story of Alberto, you get to rely on your other senses, not having the visual clues. In some ways, it is like reading a book, and imagining the characters and the scenes. In other ways, it is more than that, as you get a glimpse into what it’s like to hear a ball bouncing and not know where it is, or walk into a bar and not be able to see where you are going.

Odd Man Out has been playing in Argentina for over a year, and has just come to New York. It was written by Martín Bondone with translation by Carlos Armesto. Bondone, Armesto, and Facundo Bogarín directed the voice actors. Armesto also served as a dramturg along with Aksel Tang, and as Lead Producer. Lola Lopez Guardone is the Production Manager.

Pitchblack hopes to have additional immersive experiences in the future. You can get tickets at and follow them on social media @oddmanoutnyc.

Theater photos by Camilo Llorente

Carlos Armesto CEO PitchBlack & Lola Lopez Guardone-Associate Producer

Step and Repeat Photo by Melissa Griegel