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Tiny Beautiful Things

From 202 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Disappointing

About the show

The Public Theater presents an encore run of this comedy starring Oscar nominee Nia Vardalos and based on the eponymous book by best-selling author Cheryl Strayed. Directed by Tony winner Thomas Kail ('Hamilton'). More…

Vardalos is Sugar, an anonymous online advice columnist (later revealed to be Strayed) whom thousands of people have turned to for words of wisdom, honesty, and hope. At first unsure of herself, Sugar finds a way to weave her own life experiences together with the deep yearning and real problems of her readers, creating a beloved column about the monstrous beauty, endless dark, and glimmering light at the heart of being human.


Member Reviews (202)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Disappointing
75
Avg Score

50
Disappointing, Manipulative, Dull, Undramatic, Static

See it if you want to hear psychobabble about forgiving yourself and being deserving. The message that kindness counts is worthy, but not new.

Don't see it if you demand engrossing theater. This show has hot button issues (self-loathing, child molestation, alienation, etc), but little depth.

88
Absorbing, Riveting, Resonant, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a show that may be a bit contrived yet manages to touch on many emotional and heartfelt ideas with a genuine genius.

Don't see it if You have a cold, cold heart...or if you think theatre without much plot that deals with emotions and darkness should stay at the therapists.

95
Riveting, Resonant, Great writing, Absorbing, Powerful

See it if You wan.to be moved by raw and vulnerablse performances in this powerful show! Be prepared to dig deep...

Don't see it if You prefer narrative plays. This is a series of advice columns told through monologues.

75
Resonant, Wise, Weepy, Warm, Slow

See it if Advice columnist comes to terms with her own grief, regrets, and mistakes in life through interactions with her followers. Enlightening.

Don't see it if Plods along due to lack of character development, conflict, and plot. I checked my watch about an hour through. Enjoyable in a low key way.

45
Unengaging, Slow, Disappointing, Uneven, Untheatrical

See it if you are interested in seeing an advice column read aloud on stage.

Don't see it if you are interested in seeing a play.

71
Cliched, Disappointing, Intense, Quirky, Resonant

See it if Fine ensemble work & Kail's yeoman direction provides interest for about 1st 30 minutes of this confessional style advise drama But then...

Don't see it if Despite its empathetic qualities & often heartfelt questioning, the play becomes rather static & heavy - losing interest & becoming boring

76
Ambitious, Funny, Indulgent, Quirky, Slow

See it if You're a fan of Cheryl Strayed or Nia Vardalos, enjoy expository plays, don't miss character development, like sexually intimate stories

Don't see it if you expect linear storylines with character development, don't like s series of letters read on stage or actors playing multiple parts

90
Absorbing, Great writing, Profound, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you’ve ever written to an advice columnist. Or even if you haven’t. The situations are varied; you’re sure to find yourself in at least one.

Don't see it if you prefer traditional narratives. This show has no singular story. There’s no action. But the words will move you.

93
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You want to see fantastic actors in a wonderful, thought provoking show.

Don't see it if You want a light time at the theater. This play will make you think. At one point basically everyone in the audience was crying.

0
Awful., Simply awful.

See it if you are interested in what Oskar Eustis green lights when he is having an off day.

Don't see it if just don't see it—a waste of time and money.

65
Indulgent, Well-intentioned, Misguided, Manipulative, Emotional

See it if you are a fan of Cheryl Strayed or Nia Vardalos.

Don't see it if you expect a play with dialogue and a narrative arc, not an epistolary collage.

Also Great set. Good acting, especially by Alfredo Narciso. Better read tha... Read more Read less

68
Cliched, Thought-provoking, Fluffy, Entertaining

See it if you like to read advice columns or enjoy hearing about various human struggles. Material probably most resonant if you're a mother/have kids

Don't see it if you're looking for a play with a storyline, not just a bunch of vignettes, you're expecting this to be very insightful or fresh

71
Ambitious, Great acting, Quirky, Slow, Relevant

See it if You enjoy slow plays without a linear story line. This is an advice column read out loud- masterfully. Well acted and beautifully executed.

Don't see it if You need a linear story and don't enjoy random snippets of story and a lot of just standing around.

91
Clever, Great acting, Ambitious, Intense, Resonant

See it if you want a talky play that has something to say.It had me in tears at the end, but there was a lot of laughter before that point.Very moving

Don't see it if you want a play with traditional plot.This is series of Dear Abby type letters, but on a deeper emotional, philosophical level. Excellent

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Profound

See it if Amazing performance by the whole cast, especially by Ms. Vardalos. Touching. Moving. Emotionally raw. Filled with humanity.

Don't see it if There's not much of a plot. It's more of an anthology of grief.

75
Touching, Long-winded, Great acting

See it if you would enjoy a play with a small cast that explores very human problems and moments.

Don't see it if Many around me were moved to tears, but I didn't feel the same emotional impulse. A sweet reminder of what makes life worth living.

62
What's the opposite of a must-see? a can-miss?, Disappointing

See it if you'd like a staged reading of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Don't see it if No reason not to see it if the premise interests you, but no reason to feel bad about passing it up either.

Also Some people in the audience loved this show and were weeping loudly an... Read more Read less

76
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy well crafted vignettes exploring the human experience; willing to have the feels

Don't see it if You want a traditional play with a linear plot

74
Sad, On-point acting, Creaky concept, Indulgent

See it if The lonely/disappointed seeking online advice seems compelling. Their stories are touching, but the play structure leaves their reactions...

Don't see it if ...unknown and the plot undeveloped. Cheryl Strayed's intimacies become cloying. But Nia Vardalos and cast are adept at gleaning our empathy

83
Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Relevant

See it if If you enjoy a good , complex story about people's lives. Beautifully written and produced. Bravo to the cast!

Don't see it if If you enjoy only musicals or light dramas.

82
Resonant, Great acting, Ambitious, Moving, Slow

See it if you'd enjoy a play that's not a linear narrative so much as an original, affecting portrayal of the human experience. The acting is spot-on.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy outside the box theater.

76
Absorbing, Moving, Ambitious, Great staging

See it if letters to an advice columnist voiced by actors as they walk thru the columnist's living room & kitchen; emotional responses by 'Sugar'

Don't see it if you want a plot, drama, & well-developed characters; don't want a variety of emotional life stories

Also The vignette about a father's loss (son was killed in a hit-&-run) was... Read more Read less

65
Manipulative, Disappointing, Fluffy, Not really a play, Tiresome

See it if self-help books are your favorite genre, and if you enjoy daytime talk shows. If you liked Tuesdays with Morrie, this is for you.

Don't see it if You require tension and drama when you go to theatre.

69
Disappointing, Slow, Overrated

See it if you love the book it is based on & enjoy non stop advice questions answered with personal experiences by the talented actress Nia Vardalos

Don't see it if you don't enjoy plays with no plot or build up, but a series of questions and answers about love and life.

95
Ambitious, Absorbing, Great writing

See it if This is a performance piece rather than a traditional play. Riveting stories in the form of advice columns. Moving with light, funny moments

Don't see it if This is not a traditional play in terms of structure, narrative and character. More like mini vignettes strung together by "Dear Sugar"


October 2nd, 2017
"Vardalos and Kail are attempting to give their audiences a comforting place in which they might heal...If the show isn’t as effective as it could be, it’s because of the twofold difficulty of theatricalizing a series of anonymous advice columns...Kail and Vardalos manage to save themselves, thou...
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October 2nd, 2017
"A tiny beautiful diamond of a show...In a theatrical setting, this built-in sense of remove is a dangerous constraint, but a risk that ultimately maintains the enchanting purity of 'Tiny Beautiful Things.' Even more so than on the page, the play offers a meditative rhythm of delivery, acceptance...
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October 2nd, 2017
"While the play delivers a number of emotionally moving moments, it is difficult to get past the fact that the characters who seem to be interacting are at a remove and unknowable...Director Thomas Kail has brought the stories as far off the page as possible...But no matter how much affection and...
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October 31st, 2017
“Nia Vardalos has done a beautiful job as both adapter and star of the stage version of Cheryl Strayed's 2012 best seller, ‘Tiny Beautiful Things,’ the book based on Strayed's online advice column which she wrote as ‘Dear Sugar.’ As co-conceived by Marshall Heyman, director Thomas Kail and actres...
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Cast & Creatives (14)