Author and activist Eve Ensler doesn’t tiptoe around a topic. She doesn’t mince words.
That unblinking, even brutal, bluntness is a strength in her solo play “In the Body of the World,” at Manhattan Theatre Club and based on her 2014 memoir.
Humor is another plus. It comes in various tones — ranging from warm and wry to pitch-black and caustic.
In her book and now on stage, Ensler (“The Vagina Monologues”) connects the dots between her own cancer battle with her work with abused Congolese women.
Ensler is among the walking wounded — and not just from the cancer surgeries, but from relationships. 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. Like when the audience is invited to dance. But those are minor distractions.
Directed with sensitivity by Diane Paulus and enhanced by vivid projections, the play reminds that connection can arrive when and where it’s least expected.
“In the Body of the World” is harrowing, but it saves space where hope and other things can grow.