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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

79
Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you are in need of some good old-fashion storytelling that pulls at the heart strings.

Don't see it if you think that life experience doesn’t make one an expert, able to give good common sense advice.

Also This stage adaptation of the material from author Cheryl Strayed’s boo... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You want to feel something.

Don't see it if You feel like reading an advice column out loud for a couple hours and calling it a play seems to easy.

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.

85
Absorbing, Emotional, Intelligent, Relevant, Refreshing

See it if The fine threads of emotions, love, loss, brutality and longing weave a rich tapestry of stories that are the lives of real people.

Don't see it if You have no patience for introspection. The age of Trump fights against emotion, if that is where you are, stay away.

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

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"

86
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if you are a fan of Cheryl Stayed & her brilliant way of addressing the human condition. The audience was obviously moved.

Don't see it if the things that affect our lives seems indulgent to you

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Triggers all of your emotions

See it if "Dear Abby" comes alive, are interested in the effects responses may have on troubled souls, or enjoy storytelling thru a series of letters.

Don't see it if Would not like a potpourri of issues in a "dear Abby" style, if you do not enjoy small venues, or if you want a large scale production.

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.

75
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if Feels like a theatrical exercise and lacks narrative development but is a deeply emotional very deep dive into empathy and shared humanity

Don't see it if You need narrative development and don’t like any hint of raw emotion and sentimentality

71
Disappointing, Overrated, Great acting

See it if you are a fan of Cheryl Stray's book or Nia Vardalos or other talented cast member.

Don't see it if your looking to see a play with a plot.

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if Letters were expertly chosen and arranged so moving moments were relieved by comedic moments; Vardalos has all the right notes

Don't see it if Nonexistent dramatic tension as you get seemingly unexpected "surprises" as an alternative; cynics might find it contrived and maudlin

74
Cliched, Banal, Great staging

See it if You like the Chicken Soup for the whatever series. It is great life advice. I heard sniffles in the audience.

Don't see it if Self help books are not your thing. The play is like a sel help book on steroids.

71
I wanted to like it but didn't

See it if You love Nia Vardalos. This is a dramatized advice column. So there is anguish portrayed and wisdom given but no plot.

Don't see it if If you are engaged in the production it will be emotionally draining. If not you will probably take a nap.

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.

78
Moving, Affecting, Wonderful writing, Good interpretation of source material

See it if you're a Cheryl Strayed fan like me or if you are moved by tales of human suffering and transcendence. If you like epistolary-type shows.

Don't see it if You need a plot; this is presented, like the book, as a series of anecdotes - letter and response. If you cry easily, bring tissues.

71
Relevant, Resonant, Slow, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you like "Dear Abby" updated but still the basic idea of advice to the troubled who have no one else to speak with. Well done sincere

Don't see it if you want "entertainment" with flash or action. This is a static but essentially humane interaction between people who never meet but connect

75
Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you’d like to see a conversational & multi character play that shows you human connection in the form of an advice column & responses.

Don't see it if you prefer your plays with plot or linear narratives.

84
Intense, Poignant,

See it if You are fan of self help, spiritual or new age writing. If the personal growth industry or emotional trauma recovery intrigues you.

Don't see it if You want a linear or plot driven play.

79
Profound, Relevant, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if you are a Cheryl Strayed fan. The acting is great, the staging is unique, the writing is profound.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a play in the vein of Dear Abby. I found it pretty great, but I could see how it might rub some people the wrong way

Also Not sure that this needed to be made into a play, but I enjoyed myself... Read more Read less

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

79
Absorbing, Delightful, Exquisite, Clever, Entertaining

See it if You're an empathetic soul, like to laugh and cry and are fascinated with others dealing with life issues.

Don't see it if You're not a Cheryl Strayed fan. You expect a linear theatrical production.

82
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if you are under 40 and have ever experienced love trouble, family problems, or drug issues. You like hearing about other people's problems.

Don't see it if you are over 50 as many of the stories related to younger people.

Also Don't see it if you are expecting some mind-blowing advice to help you... Read more Read less


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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