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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

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.

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

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

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

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.

68
Disappointing, Cliched, Monotonous, Self-helpy, Thought-provoking

See it if You are a Nia Vardalos fan -- though her performance is flat here. Like to think and hear about life's trials and ways of reframing them.

Don't see it if You are impatient with monologue after monologue -- with each being responded to by an advice columnist.

Also This doesn't hold together for 90 minutes. 45 would have been plenty..... Read more Read less

50
Disappointing, Banal, Excruciating, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if you don’t mind being told what’s important, and don’t care about narrative, story or structure.

Don't see it if You do care about the above. The whole whole is letters being read to the audience. By the third, I wanted to kill myself. It was preachy.

50
Banal, Insipid, Intense, Raunchy, Slow

See it if You like Nia Vardalos. It was boring and seemed to go on forever even though it was only 90 minutes.

Don't see it if If you like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". You will be disappointed.

65
Cliched, Dated, Disappointing, Fluffy

See it if you want to see one woman basically reading aloud from the self-help section at the bookstore.

Don't see it if you want more depth and character interaction, or a fully fledged out story.

65
Great acting, Resonant, Slow, Overrated, Fluffy

See it if You are a fan of Nia Vardalos or the writing of Cheryl Strayed. The show is engaging on an emotional level but not much else. Set was nice.

Don't see it if You don't like mushy storytelling. This was an indulgent piece by the Public. Tough ticket to grab for not much substance.

65
Earnest, Banal, Affecting if you resonate with the situations presented; borderline offensive if the bromides offered seem simplistic

See it if you are a fan of Cheryl Strayed or Nia Vardolos (doing her best to make a non-role engaging); you like life lessons in bite-sized vignettes

Don't see it if you are expecting a play, dramatic action, or exploration of relationships.

Also While this presentation of advice columns has affecting moments, it ga... Read more Read less

55
Ambitious

See it if you know and like the story.

Don't see it if you prefer a storyline that flows rather than a poorly connected dialogue among characters.

Also Great story, but poorly adapted for the stage.

69
Disappointing, Banal, Overrated

See it if you want to "see everything"

Don't see it if you are expecting deep profound and moving

65
Slow, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Cliched

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

Don't see it if This is not a play; this is a dramatic reading of an advice column turned into a book.

65
Indulgent, Quirky, Resonant, Intense

See it if you like what is essentially an acted advice column well acted but after a while a little repetitive and over-written.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of this sort of rather rambling and incoherent advice to random problems.

Also I found this to be much less moving and emotional than I expected and ... Read more Read less

60
Great acting, Intelligent, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if you are a Nia Vardolos fan, enjoy plays that are more like a succession of anecdotes than plays, enjoy a good cry, love over-sentimentality.

Don't see it if plays that go nowhere bore you, you don't care for Nia Vardolos, you dislike over-emphasis on sentimentality, disdain manipulated emotion.

69
Plotless, Fluffy, Disappointing

See it if you really love Cheryl Strayed and don't mind a plotless show that doesn't quite earn the emotions that it tries to pull out of you.

Don't see it if you need a play that has plot, or if you prefer your tears to come about through true theatrical catharsis.

68
Atlernately wise and irritating. more a reading than a play. good acting.

See it if You're a fan of Cheryl Strayed and advice columns.

Don't see it if You prefer a play (action, plot, characters) as opposed to what seemed to be more like a reading.

Also I wasn't bored, but I also wasn't moved, and now I have a hard time re... Read more Read less

53
Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if Your bookcase is filled with self help books.

Don't see it if You have difficulty with self indulgence or diabetes.

54
Banal, Cliched, Great staging, Slow, Boring

See it if You find advice columns profound and can't get enough of them

Don't see it if You bristle at frequent cliches. While acting was good , and staging was great; the play itself was melodramatic and banal.

65
Banal, Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated, Quirky

See it if The set was masterful.

Don't see it if You don't like Therapy-speak.

67
Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if You like self help kind of topics. Lacking any dramatic qualities,static, mediocre acting that becomes redundant. If you like dear abby, see

Don't see it if Youre looking for drama, great acting and insightful theatre.

50
Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Overrated

See it if you want to hear Cheryl Strayed's book read aloud.

Don't see it if you're looking for coherent drama with a substantial arc. You want to be moved more than fleetingly by short stories

Also An oddity that whilst well performed amounts to considerably less than... Read more Read less

68
Clever, Great acting, Confusing, Dizzying

See it if You're entertained by poignant stories about the innermost secrets of people's lives.

Don't see it if You are easily overwhelmed by information overload and prefer a linear performance.


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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