It is a play based on a book based on an online advice column which was called “Dear Sugar”.
I had previously read some of the Dear Sugar material, and found it to be spotty advice from a writer who appeared to be more interested in her convoluted writing style than in offering sound counsel. Besides that, the answer to any problem is to speak the truth.
That might sound too simple, but until the truth is spoken, nothing is going to get better. That’s what psychoanalysis consists of in its most basic function. The patient starts at their current circumstances and then begins working backward looking for the point when things went wrong. Inevitably, the patient arrives at an untruth and addresses it.
Before psychoanalysis, there were 2000 years of confessing one’s sins to The Almighty. Before that, there were untold centuries of offering sacrifices to atone for wrongdoing. An untruth has always been considered a problem.
How many people teach their kids to lie and cheat and get away with anything they can at the expense of others? Maybe Roger Stone would take that approach, but it’s starting to catch up with even him.
Satan, or Lucifer, is considered the “Father of Lies.” Look wherever you want in the history of humanity, and wherever you find lies you will find suffering. The devil is at work where there are lies.
The reality of existence is massive, and we are small. When we try to alter reality, it never ever works—in the long run. Once we speak the truth and align with reality, things begin to get better.
I’m not saying there isn’t truth in Tiny Beautiful Things. There is a lot. However, Sugar is basically writing an autobiography via the questions of those who write in to her. Sugar speaks the truth about her own circumstances and life experiences.
When all is said and done, the flowery sentences run on forever and feel as though they are a stream of consciousness akin to the art of Faulkner, and we receive the impression of a towering intellect passing down the wisdom of the ages, wisdom born of suffering, and it all comes down to just one thing and one thing only that we can always be sure of even in the darkest of circumstances when the blood of our pain eclipses the sun of our joy. Tell the truth.
Tiny, Beautiful, Things plays at The Old Globe Theatre through March 17.