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July 2, 2021
The Extremely Grey Line is a charming tour of Manhattan’s underside
Alejandra Venancio as the Unrealtor. Credit: Mallory Kinney

There's a lot of real estate in Manhattan, but have you ever thought about the real estate six feet under?

The Extremely Grey Line, a 23.5° Tilt Production, takes exactly that angle. On a walking tour of Greenwich Village, an "unrealtor" shows you some of the best--and worst--real estate to be buried in, and asks you to consider questions like, "do I want a public or private lot? Do I want to be remembered or forgotten? Do I need space for visitors?" Ultimately, the goal is to help you choose your final resting place.

There are actually three experiences to choose from for The Extremely Grey Line, co-written by Kate Pressman and Elizagrace Madrone and directed by Estefania Fadul. You can sit in the Underneath, take a bicycle tour, or walk. Each option is a different show, though all deal with the converging line between Manhattan's living and dead residents.

While I can't speak for the other two experiences, the walking tour was charming. The Unrealtor, played by Alejandra Venancio, guided our group of five around Greenwich Village's historic streets, stopping at places like St. Luke's, where victims of epidemics still sleep beneath the playground.

"Manhattan is an expensive place to be dead," she told us--which I fully believe. Though as she admitted at the very beginning of the tour, the Unrealtor told us a lot of lies as well. "No lies in real estate. Not from you. You tell me the truth, I’ll tell you the lie that gets you where you need to be."

Picture a Mary Poppins selling burial plots to the newly dead, and you'll have a pretty good picture of the Unrealtor. She's poised and outwardly polite, even as she makes jokes at our expense ("You seem like you are probably going to die alone"). At the same time, she's enigmatic, keeps talking about her mother "who was and was not," and knows who lies beneath every square inch of the city.

If you don't like intimate theatre experiences, this is not one for you. Your group is small and the Unrealtor is in your face every step of the way. There's nowhere to hide (at least, not until you reach your final resting place). But if, on the other hand, you like intimate, site-specific, one-of-a-kind encounters, The Extremely Grey Line is a delightfully whimsical experience, cleverly planned and performed, sure to appeal to anyone with a slightly macabre sense of humor.

The Extremely Grey Line runs June 30 to July 3 at the New Ohio Theatre. For tickets and more information, see:

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Written by: Erin Kahn
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