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Nia Vardalos Reprises Role in ‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ at Pasadena Playhouse

Vardalos’s film writing/acting credits include “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and its sequel, “Connie and Carla” and “I Hate Valentine’s Day.” – Photo by Jana Cruder

Pasadena Playhouse this week announced that Academy Award-nominated writer and actress Nia Vardalos will reprise the role of Sugar in the Playhouse production of “Tiny Beautiful Things.”

Vardalos originated the role of Sugar at The Public Theater under the direction of Thomas Kail. She also created the stage adaptation of “Tiny Beautiful Things” based on the New York Times Bestseller of the same name by Cheryl Strayed. The project was conceived by Vardalos in conjunction with Thomas Kail and Marshall Hayman.

The New York Times named it a Critics’ Pick, stating Vardalos’s performance was “luminous,” and that “’Tiny Beautiful Things’ turns out to be about the endangered art of listening to — and really hearing and responding to — other people … it works beautifully as a sustained theatrical exercise in empathy… a deeply reciprocal relationship between a show and its audience.” Time Out New York said it is “Incredibly moving,” and New York magazine described it as, “Tiny moments when the world surprises us with care.”

“Tiny Beautiful Things” is about Sugar, an anonymous online advice columnist to whom thousands of people have turned 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.

Vardalos’s stage credits include Jenny in “Company” directed by Gary Griffin (Theater 20) and she is an alumna of The Second City in Chicago and Toronto. Her film writing/acting credits include “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and its sequel, “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” and “Jane the Virgin.” Ms. Vardalos’s memoir “Instant Mom” is a New York Times Bestseller, and all proceeds are donated to adoption groups.

Sherri Eden Barber will restage the Playhouse production based on the original direction by Kail, who directed both of Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway shows – “In the Heights” and “Hamilton,” for which he won the Tony Award for Direction (2016). Performances run from Wednesday, April 10 to Sunday, May 5. The press opening is Sunday, April 14 at 5 p.m.

Tickets are now available exclusively to Playhouse Members but will go on sale to the general public on Friday, March 8 at 10 a.m. They can be purchased online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org, by phone at (626) 356-7529, and in person at the Pasadena Playhouse Box Office (39 S. El Molino Ave. in Pasadena).

Please note that due to scheduling conflicts Nia Vardalos will not appear in the following performances: April 10 at 8 p.m.; April 13 at 2 p.m.; April 20 at 2 p.m., April 21 at 2 p.m., April 27 at 2 p.m., April 28 at 2 p.m., May 4 at 2 p.m., and May 5 at 2 and 7 p.m.

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