Opal Alladin, Keith Powell & More Will Lead TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS at the Old Globe
The Old Globe today announced the cast and creative team for the West Coast premiere of Tiny Beautiful Things, based on the best-selling book by Cheryl Strayed (Torch, Brave Enough, Wild, "Dear Sugar"), adapted for the stage by Academy Award nominee Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Instant Mom). Co-conceived by Marshall Heyman ("Dietland"), Thomas Kail (Hamilton, Fox's Grease Live!), and Vardalos, and directed by Globe favorite James Vásquez (American Mariachi, Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!), Tiny Beautiful Things will run February 9 - March 10, 2019 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, opening on Thursday, February 14. Tickets are on sale now starting at $30.00 and can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE, or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.
Tiny Beautiful Things follows the relationships between an anonymous advice columnist named Sugar and the many real-life readers who pour out their hearts to her. Nia Vardalos adapts Cheryl Strayed's book into an enrapturing and uplifting play that surges with emotion and is called by Variety "a theatrical hug in turbulent times." Tiny Beautiful Things is about reaching when you're stuck, recovering when you're broken, and finding the courage to ask the questions that are hardest to answer. Tissues recommended. Contains strong language and adult content.
The cast includes Opal Alladin as Sugar (the Globe's Hamlet, Broadway's The Lifespan of a Fact and Tony Award-nominated Travesties, United 93), Keith Powell as Letter Writer #1 ("30 Rock," Icebergs at Geffen Playhouse, Romeo and Juliet), Avi Roque as Letter Writer #3 (Hir at Cygnet Theatre Company, "Chicago Fire"), and Dorcas Sowunmi as Letter Writer #2 (Off Broadway's Nollywood Dreams, regional A Raisin in the Sun).
The creative team includes Wilson Chin (Scenic Design), Shirley Pierson (Costume Design), Amanda Zieve (Lighting Design), Melanie Chen Cole (Sound Design), Caparelliotis Casting (Casting), and Chandra R.M. Anthenill (Production Stage Manager).
"Tiny Beautiful Things is a moving and gentle play that demonstrates the theatre's special superpower: empathy," said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. "Cheryl Strayed and her famous 'Dear Sugar' advice column showed that all of our unique stories ultimately bind us to each other and to the shared story of the extraordinary adventure of being human. Through love, loss, laughter, through family and friendship, we all yearn for connection and for kindness. This remarkable piece of theatre is by turns funny, sweet, and sad and is a highlight of the Globe's season, and in James Vásquez's beautiful production it embodies what the Globe values most: art that offers us a glimpse of grace and compassion. I am so pleased to bring it to San Diego."
Cheryl Strayed (Original Book) is the author of Tiny Beautiful Things, Torch, Brave Enough, and the No. 1 New York Times best seller Wild. Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages around the world. The Academy Award-nominated film adaptation of Wild was released in 2014. Ms. Strayed's essays and stories have appeared in The Best American Essays, Vogue, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. She is the co-host of The New York Times's "Dear Sugar Radio" podcast, which originated with her popular "Dear Sugar" column.
Nia Vardalos (Adaptor, Co-Conceiver) is an alumna of Chicago's The Second City and a Joseph Jefferson Award winner whose most recent theatre credits include Sugar in Tiny Beautiful Things directed by Thomas Kail in two consecutive seasons (The Public Theater) and Jennie in Company directed by Gary Griffin (Theatre 20). Her writing/acting credits for film include My Big Fat Greek Wedding and its sequel (Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, Independent Spirit and People's Choice Awards), Connie and Carla, and I Hate Valentine's Day. Her film and television acting credits include My Life in Ruins; For a Good Time, Call...; "Graves"; and "Jane the Virgin." Ms. Vardalos's memoir Instant Mom was a New York Times best seller, and all proceeds are donated to adoption groups.
Marshall Heyman (Co-Conceiver) has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, InStyle, W, Harper's Bazaar, New York, and many others. He recently wrote for the AMC show "Dietland."
Thomas Kail (Co-Conceiver) directed the Broadway productions of Hamilton (Tony Award), In the Heights (Tony nomination), Lombardi, and Magic/Bird. His selected credits include the world premieres of Hamilton, Dry Powder, Tiny Beautiful Things, and Kings (The Public Theater), the world premiere of In the Heights, Broke-ology, and the world premiere of When I Come to Die (Lincoln Center Theater), and the world premiere of Daphne's Dive (Signature Theatre Company). He is the co-creator and director of the hip-hop improv group Freestyle Love Supreme. Mr. Kail's television credits include "Fosse/Verdon" (upcoming), Grease Live! (two Emmy Awards), "2 Broke Girls," and The Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special.
James Vásquez (Director) recently directed the world premiere of American Mariachi at The Old Globe. Previously with the Globe, he directed Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Rich Girl, andRichard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show; served as associate director for Dr. Seuss's The Lorax; and provided musical staging for The Comedy of Errors, Boeing-Boeing, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, among others. With The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, he has directed Clybourne Park and the world premiere of Acquainted with the Night. He received the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical in 2018 for In the Heights (Moonlight Stage Productions) and in 2010 for Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). His other recent directing/choreography credits include American Mariachi (Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company), The Lorax (Children's Theatre Company), The Addams Family and Chicago (Moonlight Stage Productions), West Side Story and Cats (San Diego Musical Theatre), the West Coast premiere of [title of show], Pippin, and Next Fall (Diversionary Theatre), and Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Pageant (Cygnet Theatre Company), as well as developmental workshops at La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. Mr. Vásquez is a graduate of The Juilliard School.
Additional events taking place during the run of Tiny Beautiful Things include:
VICKI AND CARL ZEIGER INSIGHTS SEMINAR: Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.This series provides an opportunity to closely connect with productions both onstage and backstage. A panel selected from the artistic company of each show (playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and/or technicians) engages patrons in an informal and illuminating presentation of ideas and insights to enhance the theatregoing experience. Reception at 5:00 p.m. FREE; no reservations necessary.
POST-SHOW FORUMS: Tuesdays, February 19 and 26, and Wednesday, March 6, 2019.Join us after the show for an informal and enlightening question-and-answer session with cast, crew, and/or Globe staff members. Get the inside story on creating a character and putting together a professional production. FREE for ticket holders of each evening's performance.
SUBJECT MATTERS: Saturday, February 16, 2019 following the matinee performance. Explore the ideas and issues raised by a production through brief, illuminating post-show discussions with local experts, such as scientists, artists, historians and scholars. Subject Matters will ignite discussion, bring the play's concerns into sharp focus, and encourage you to think beyond the stage! FREE; no reservations necessary.
AXIS EVENT: I Love Africa: Saturday, February 9, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.Enjoy Zimbabwe-born musician and vocalist Piwai in concert. She will also teach an African-dance workshop, followed by a drumming workshop with Nana Obrafo Yaw Asiedu. There will be games, face painting, and the opportunity to create a traditional African mask craft with the support of a Globe Teaching Artist. Part of the Globe's AXIS performing art series for the whole family. FREE.
Tickets to Tiny Beautiful Things start at $30.00 and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623], or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors, military members, and groups of 10 or more.
Performances begin on February 9 and continue through March 10, 2019 in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Preview performances run February 9-13. Opening night is Thursday, February 14 at 8:00 p.m. Regular performances: Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday evenings at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. There will be an additional matinee performance on Wednesday, February 27 and no matinee performance on Saturday, March 2.