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In the Body of the World

From 139 member  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. More…

While working with women suffering from the ravages of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ensler was stunned by a life-threatening diagnosis. Told with her signature brand of humor, Ensler’s personal journey uncovers surprising connections between her body and the earth and how illness can be both transformative and transcendent. Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.


Member Reviews (139)

MEMBERS SAY:

Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Profound
81
Avg Score

90
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.

70
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.

Also I left this wildly uneven solo show deeply conflicted. Eve Ensler addr... Read more Read less

91
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

Also Ensler has a powerful story to tell, probably one not possible without... Read more Read less

67
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

70
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.

Also Ms. Ensler tried to interject gallows humor. I felt like a prisoner in... Read more Read less

86
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

Also Ensler may not be the best actress around but her passion, honesty. hu... Read more Read less

80
Intense, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you love Eve and you're up for intense subject matter wrapped in dark humor.

Don't see it if frank, harrowing deeply personal stories about cancer and atrocoties against women trigger you.

85
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.

81
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy excellent storytelling and are comfortable with uncomfortable topics

Don't see it if you want a larger production than a 1-person show; looking for a purely joyful experience

70
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

79
Ambitious, Absorbing, Entertaining, Great writing, Masterful

See it if you are seeking a new theatrical experience that will teach you something you didn’t already know about the world and playwright Eve Ensler.

Don't see it if real world knowledge delivered in a theatrical setting is not your thing.

Also Playwright Eve Ensler has done it again with her latest play. She has ... Read more Read less

84
Absorbing, Intense, Ironic, Emotionally draining yet uplifting

See it if you know Eve Ensler's feminist/body focused activism; can tolerate a very personal survival story juxtaposed with unspeakable war crimes

Don't see it if you are unable to listen to very graphic description of medical issues, torture of women, personal & family dysfunction-a lot to handle here

Also Some critics will find much of this monologue indulgent. This play is ... Read more Read less

96
Extraordinary, excruciatingly demanding, inspiring

See it if you are brave, willing to be emotionally challenged, ready to laugh and cry, unafraid of hard truths, open to unsettling revelations

Don't see it if you want an easy night in the theatre that won't give you nightmares and make you count your blessings.

Also I knew it would be brutal. I knew it would touch me personally as a su... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Profound, Must see

See it if You want to see a well done play that follows one woman through her battle while helping other women witth theirs. Funny, must see!!

Don't see it if If you dont like one woman shows, or don't want to hear about real life womens health issues.

71
Edgy, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Quirky

See it if you know you can enjoy one-person autobiographical shows that deal with serious, sometimes depressing subjects.

Don't see it if you know you would not enjoy a detailed description of the author's cancer diagnosis and treatment plus horrifying stories about the Congo.

Also Though dealing with depressing subjects, the author/performer tells he... Read more Read less

77
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you can relate to both personal tragedy and loss as well as the horrifying degradation of women in the Congo. The contrast is compelling

Don't see it if you are unwilling to expose yourself to the trauma of loss and abuse. This is rough material handled well and powerfully. Bravo

80
Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like achallenging, well acted thought provoking 80 minutes of relevant theatre.

Don't see it if You are looking for a comedy.

75
Eve ensler is an open book! feminist, activist, playwright, performer

See it if Ensler's memoir describes brutal truths of fighting cancer and violence against women; raw, provocative, honest, emotional (and funny)

Don't see it if If you are squeamish to graphic descriptions of rape/torture in the Congo or cancer topics. Hard topics, but so important to hear about!!!

90
Ambitious, Edgy, Dizzying, Intense, Profound

See it if good god i was not prepared for this. eve ensler is truly a living icon who should be celebrated. her work on this piece is extraordinary!

Don't see it if it's a tough sell: a one-woman show about rape and torture in the congo + ovarian cancer. definitely not for the faint of heart.

Also i mainly went to see this show for nostalgic reasons; the vagina monol... Read more Read less

91
Absorbing, Relevant

See it if you enjoyed The Vagina Monologues. See it if you have ever had cancer. See it if you can relate to topical stories told by one person.

Don't see it if nudity, atrocities, or cancer bothers you. About 95% of the show was excellent. A bit here and there could have used some rewrite.

Also But the humor in the show relieved the audience of some of the horror ... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Riveting, Shocking

See it if You can stand true horror stories and you want an education in how bad it can get. You think your life is tough.

Don't see it if Your depressed or easily depressed. Horror brings you down.

75
Relevant, Intense

See it if You're interested in the intricacies of cancer treatment or are a fan of Ensler's.

Don't see it if You want character interaction (it's a one-woman show) or if you're at all uncomfortable hearing about women's health issues in detail.

69
Slow, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if I have enormous respect for Eve Ensler. She is smart and seems like a genuinely good human being. I just hated the show.

Don't see it if See it if.... You want to think and are into plants and the environment. Human rights (needed more space).

90
Absorbing, Intense, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you want to be totally absorbed in one woman's story of a fascinating life journey to find herself after an intense fight for her life.

Don't see it if you can't handle upsetting topics like cancer, genocide, abuse, and humankind's rape of the earth. Despite this, the show is not depressing!

79
Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues) in a one women show about her fight with cancer. Well written of course. Well staged.

Don't see it if it is a depressing show. Hard to recommend but it is well done.


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 ...
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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 narcis...
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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 sho...
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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...
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