Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller
Having read the author’s book “Wild,” I had no idea what to expect from this theatrical production at Seattle Rep’s intimate Leo K. Theatre in Seattle Center. Unlike her sometimes dark and perplexing self-portrayal in “Wild,” Cheryl Strayed’s story in “Tiny Beautiful Things” is alight with sensitivity, benevolence, and a great deal of wisdom at every turn.
A small cast of four delivers stellar performances on all accounts. Julie Briskman, as Sugar, is the epitome of a tough, open-minded, witty, and totally reflective advice columnist who calls the shots as she sees them, all the while conveying her oft pain-filled personal experiences to drive her message home. You gotta love this warm, bold, unabashed woman who tackles every writers’ letter with aplomb.
Both Chantel DeGroat and Justin Huertas, as compelling Letter Writers, are in their element regardless of the gender of the writer whose issue they are voicing, the absurdity of their query, or the amount of food they’re ingesting during any given scene.
Never have I experienced a more profoundly powerful performance than that of Charles Leggett in his Letter Writer portrayal of a devastated father. Mr. Leggett’s heart-wrenching guidance-seeking letter goes straight to the heart, leaving nary a dry eye in the house.
Not every theatrical performance will break your heart, feed your soul, or make your spirit soar as does “Tiny Beautiful Things.” Give yourself the gift of this measure of humanity – set in motion with every emotion imaginable. “Tiny Beautiful Things” is on stage now through June 23, 2019, at Seattle Rep in Seattle Center. Tickets here.
Photo by Alan Alabastro