“Tiny Beautiful Things” runs through June 23 in the Leo K Theatre at Seattle Rep. Tickets start at $17, and are available at 206-443-2222 or seattlerep.org.

Seattle Repertory Theatre closes its season with “Tiny Beautiful Things,” a play of heart, hope and hilarity, as seen through the human condition.

Based on Cheryl Strayed’s nonfiction book of the same name, the theater adaptation centers on her advice as the anonymous — and unpaid —writer of the column, “Dear Sugar” for the online magazine The Rumpus. 

Strayed broke into literary world with “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.” The memoir relived her heartbreaking account of a life-changing 1,100-mile hike and became a best seller. It was adapted into a popular 2014 film, starring Reese Witherspoon in an Oscar-nominated performance.

As Strayed waited for “Wild” to be published, she took on an advice column under the name of Sugar. A collection of her columns was published under the title “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar.” The book was later adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” fame, and co-conceived by Marshall Heyman, Thomas Kail and Vardalos.

The theater version of “Tiny Beautiful Things” follows the relationships between Strayed as Sugar and the many real-life readers who pour out their hearts to her.

In the play, the letters sometimes become soliloquies, and spoken dialogue at other times. Topics range from transgender acceptance, rape and violence, fidelity and infidelity, rejection and emotional patterns, to loss of love and grief, fear and guilt, tragedy and sorrow, and loneliness and heartbreak.

Sugar is a different kind of sage. She’s not a trained therapist. Her own particular brand of brutal honesty and incisive empathy resonates with those who reach out to her. Sugar (Strayed) responds to their letters by baring and sharing her own despair, disappointment and desire.

Sugar has lived many lives: A daughter whose mother died too young; a former heroin-user who lost years; a childhood victim of incest; and a woman who hurt the folks who loved her.

But she eventually became a woman who looked for and found tiny beautiful things infused with a precious commodity called hope. 

No obstacle is too large or too small for Sugar. Nothing is taboo; she’s not afraid to be blunt, profane, funny, dark and disturbing.

Directed by Courtney Sale, artistic director of Seattle Children’s Theatre, the action unfolds in Sugar’s cluttered home, with three guests, who portray her readers with masterful versatility. Together, this fabulous-four cast delivers a terrific and meaningful production. 

Beloved Seattle actor Julie Briskman shines as the forthright Sugar, supported by the outstanding performances of actor/playwright Justin Huertas as Letter Writer 3, Charles Leggett as Letter Writer 1, and Chantal DeGroat as Letter Writer 2.

DeGroat channels the many females who write in for help with devastating issues, such as rape, incest and domestic violence. She endows each one with a distinctive voice. Huertas (Writer 3) delivers tragic stories with somber empathy, but also presents the more amusing letters with light-hearted panache. While DeGroat gives a moving monologue about a miserable-and-married wife, Huertas painfully ponders a transgender man’s sensitive query — should he try to reconnect with his judgmental parents.

A long-time favorite of this critic, the brilliant Leggett reigns in both the funniest and saddest of the columns. His hilarious confession about a man’s girlfriend’s fetish for Santa Claus will have you in stitches, and then his portrayal of a grief-stricken father will have you in tears.

But the play isn’t just sad stories; there’s lots of laughter as well. You will hear about a window-peeking widow, a grade-school science partner who picks his nose, and a guy who signs his letter as “Confused” and needs help with love (Don’t we all?).

Before advice columnists overloaded the internet, some of us grew up with twin sisters (and eventual rivals) from Sioux City, Iowa, “Dear Abby” (Abigail van Buren) and “Ann Landers.” Unlike Sugar, they never used their own experiences to guide their readers. But both sisters used humor, sarcasm and one-liners in their syndicated newspaper columns. “Dear Abby,” for instance, once published a letter from a reader asking if a woman could get pregnant under water. Abby’s response? “Not without a man.” 

The twins are gone now, and we have Sugar. She leans forward by anchoring her advice in intimate candor and well-lived wisdom, with a dollop of heart. .

While The New York Times hails Sugar’s epistle, “Tiny Beautiful Things,” as “the handkerchief-soaking meditation on pain, loss, hope and forgiveness,” Variety describes it as “a theatrical hug in turbulent times.”

This critic was reminded of her own mother’s comforting advice when life stumbled. She would put her arms around and whisper, “Always remember, honey girl, out of bad sometimes comes good.”

Even better, just add Sugar.