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KPBS Midday Edition

Nia Vardalos And Her 'Tiny Beautiful Things'

A 2019 photo of actor and writer Nia Vardalos, who wrote "Tiny Beautiful Things," running at The Old Globe through March 17.
Courtesy of The Old Globe
A 2019 photo of actor and writer Nia Vardalos, who wrote "Tiny Beautiful Things," running at The Old Globe through March 17.
Nia Vardalos And Her 'Tiny Beautiful Things'
GUEST: Nia Vardalos, actor and playwright, "Tiny Beautiful Things" Subscribe to the Midday Edition podcast on iTunes, Google Play or your favorite podcatcher.

Before she became the best-selling author of "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," writer Cheryl Strayed took a job as an online advice columnist.

She adopted the identity of "Sugar" for the "Dear Sugar" column on the website The Rumpus and later with writer Steve Almond in a The New York Times column and podcast also produced out of Boston public radio station, WBUR. Strayed gained a loyal and affectionate following from people struggling with life issues. Her advice was delivered in the form of poetic personal anecdotes. They were the kind of answers that made readers feel like they were really being listened to and understood.

Those letters became a book, and that book is now a play adapted by Nia Vardalos running through March 17 at The Old Globe Theatre.

In 2017 Vardalos starred in the New York production of "Tiny Beautiful Things." And though she won't be taking the stage in San Diego, she has seen the local version and advises audiences to bring plenty of tissues to the theater.

On Midday Edition Tuesday Vardalos, the writer and actress known for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" explains why she was drawn to Strayed's advice, and why having compassion for other people's struggles is especially healing right now.