In the Body of the World
Closed 1h 30m
In the Body of the World

In the Body of the World NYC Reviews and Tickets

(139 Reviews)
Members say
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Profound

About the Show

The Tony Award-winning author, performer, and activist Eve Ensler ('The Vagina Monologues') comes to MTC with a powerful new solo-play based on her critically acclaimed memoir.

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Member Reviews (139)

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699 Reviews | 214 Followers
Intense, Relevant, Funny, Moving, Disturbing

See it if Woman devoted to helping Congolese rape and torture survivors gets stage IV cancer. Harrowing yet hopeful. Powerful delivery and staging.

Don't see it if You don’t want to confront real horrors both far away and nearer to home. Stark descriptions of bodily mutilation.

670 Reviews | 149 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Edgy, Thought-provoking

See it if you're an Ensler fan, interested in fighting cancer and improving lives of young women in Africa, like 1-person shows & visual surprises

Don't see it if not interested in 1-person shows or author's experience fighting cancer or working with young girls in Africa, brief female nudity Read more

668 Reviews | 156 Followers
Ambitious, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Intense, Uneven

See it if you're a fan of Ensler or have an interest in cancer care or the atrocities of the 2nd Congolese Civil War & steps taken to heal from them.

Don't see it if you do not love solo shows, or 1st person narratives that conflate personal pain with world events. Read more

605 Reviews | 268 Followers
Eve ensler's one-person show about facing cancer, helping congolese women more an inspiring performance piece than a work of theater

See it if Ensler, a force of nature, speaks truth to power, often bluntly funny; had many in the audience cheering her on

Don't see it if one-person shows are tricky; need either a great script or a gifted performer playing many roles (see Billy Crudup); this show had neither

495 Reviews | 126 Followers
Absorbing, Edgy, Relevant, Passionate, Humorous

See it if you're interested in an honest autobiographical telling of one woman's experience with cancer; working with rape victims in the Congo.

Don't see it if partial nudity and baring your soul and body are offensive to you; Ensler is an open book about the physical ravages of uterine cancer Read more

406 Reviews | 188 Followers
Ambitious, Indulgent, Thought-provoking

See it if To watch Eve Ensler (Vagina Monologues) relate her ordeal with cancer in great detail. Nothing is left unsaid. Charity work is great!!!

Don't see it if You are offended by nudity or too many medical details. You or a close family member or friend is suffering through a disease. Read more

399 Reviews | 203 Followers
Masterful, Intense, Great writing, Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if A powerful show that tells parallel tales of Ensler’s fight against cancer and her efforts to build a women’s sanctuary in Congo.

Don't see it if Some of the descriptions are very painful to hear. Ensler is a compelling writer and presence, but not the greatest actress.

407 Reviews | 67 Followers
Ambitious, Confusing, Edgy, Indulgent, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy women centric pieces that speak directly to global and feminine issues.

Don't see it if you thought it might be a sports piece

Critic Reviews (37)

The New York Times
February 6th, 2018

"This is grim stuff...Ensler laces her tales with humor, gallows or otherwise...The play's intensely autobiographical self-focus will come off as liberating or oversharing...Rather than using Ensler's illness to illuminate the world's, it too often borrows from the world's suffering in an effort to legitimize her own...Ensler's disease would have been compelling enough on its own...The play itself, though, still ails; like most one-person shows, it needed a second opinion."
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Time Out New York
February 6th, 2018

"The story moves through a passionate study of the horrors of disease. Ensler feels everything keenly, and she conflates her different pains: a sister’s slight is described in the same tone of shock as her horror at mass incarceration...It’s simultaneously appalling—surely she can hear the narcissism?—and true. This really is what it means to be stuck in a body. It’s the center of your universe, all the time."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
February 11th, 2018

"'In the Body of the World' is nothing if not self-satisfied and problematic...While the connection Ensler is attempting to draw between the disease of a single body and the ills of the world isn’t in itself troubling, the fact that all her stories also seem to bleed together — into a kind of showy solipsism masquerading as impassioned vulnerability — is...There’s almost a feeling of torture porn in her descriptions of the atrocities she’s witnessed or had recounted to her."
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The Hollywood Reporter
February 6th, 2018

"A harrowing evening, alleviated by the writer-performer's frequent doses of mordant humor. Unfortunately, the evening also comes off as self-indulgent, lacking the thematic depth that would elevate it into something more than an account of personal suffering...The piece is more effective when it strains less for poeticism...At times, the piece feels like an extended therapy session...Would have been more effective as a simple lecture."
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Entertainment Weekly
February 6th, 2018

"Ensler is smart, funny, mostly fearless, empathetic - an engaging if sometimes tangent-plagued raconteur...Parts of 'In the Body of the World' are hard to hear...With a piece this intimately personal and politically significant, it feels churlish to take Ensler to task for stylistic shortcomings. Yes, the show is a mishmash of worthy concerns. But Paulus is comfortable with chaos, and helpfully reigns in the tangents, presenting each segment in a well-defined space."
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February 6th, 2018

"An intimate, shocking and touching tale...A bold, political work that is as personal and global as her signature work...Ensler connects the cancerous attack on her body with those women suffering from afar...Ensler presents it in a thoughtfully laid-out narrative quilt, made up of engaging frankness, measured sentiment, and disarming humor...It’s her knack of mixing the serious with the flip that keeps the air charged with sudden surprises and unexpected richness."
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February 6th, 2018

“Ensler adapted her harrowing, revelatory 2013 memoir into an equally harrowing, revelatory play…Paulus has drawn an astonishing, and astonishingly anti-maudlin performance from Ensler…Some of it is blessedly hilarious. Most of it isn’t. And yet ‘In the Body of the World’ is tough love, harsh medicine, a tonic...I came out rattled as I have rarely been rattled by any theater experience, devastated and blissful at the same improbable time.”
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New York Daily News
February 6th, 2018

"Ensler doesn't tiptoe around a topic. She doesn't mince words. That unblinking, even brutal, bluntness is a strength in her solo play...Humor is another plus...She's not shy about revealing her scars - physical and psychic. It makes for anguished howl of a play...It's also a show that can meander and turn indulgent, even for a memoir...Directed with sensitivity by Paulus and enhanced by vivid projections, the play reminds that connection can arrive when and where it’s least expected."
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