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Birthday Candles
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Birthday Candles

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Debra Messing returns to the stage as Ernestine Ashworth, who spends her 17th birthday agonizing over her insignificance in the universe in BIRTHDAY CANDLES..
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About Birthday Candles

Debra Messing (Will & Grace) returns to the stage as Ernestine Ashworth, who spends her 17th birthday agonizing over her insignificance in the universe.

Soon enough, it’s her 18th birthday. Even sooner, her 41st. Her 70th. Her 101st. Five generations, dozens of goldfish, an infinity of dreams, one cake baked over a century. What makes a lifetime…into a life?

A writer of "freewheeling ambition" (Charles Isherwood, The New York Times), Noah Haidle makes his Broadway debut with a poignant new play as fearless in scope as it is tremendous in heart.

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Tell Me More

Celebrate a lifetime of birthdays at Birthday Candles in New York, starring Debra Messing in her return to the Broadway stage. Birthday Candles is a play by Noah Haidle which premiered at Detroit Public Theatre in 2018 under the direction of Vivienne Benesch, who is returning to direct the new Broadway production. Birthday Candles tickets are now on sale.

Starting on her 17th birthday and ending at her 101st, Messing’s character Ernestine Ashworth bakes a singular birthday cake and contemplates what makes life worth living. TV favorites Andre Braugher and Enrico Colantoni also star as Matt and Kenneth, Ernestine’s potential prom dates who remain present throughout her life. They are about the only constants in Birthday Candles — as Ernestine ages, the rest of the people in her life change, as do her younger self’s plans to live a free-spirited, rebellious life rather than settle down.

Birthday Candles will feature original music by Kate Hopgood, and the rest of the creative team includes set designer Christine Jones, costume designer Toni-Leslie James, lighting designer Jen Schriever, and sound designer John Gromada. Birthday Candles Broadway tickets are now available on TodayTix.

What to Watch For

  • Playwright Noah Haidle is making his Broadway debut with this production. He has won three Lincoln Center Lecompte Du Nouy awards, a Claire Tow Award and a Helen Merrill Award for his work over the past two decades.
  • Are you a TV buff? Two of the show’s stars are best known for headlining NBC sitcoms: Debra Messing led Will & Grace for 11 seasons as Grace, and most know Andre Braugher as Captain Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which recently wrapped its eighth and final season. Braugher is also making his Broadway debut.
  • TV fans will also recognize Enrico Colantoni, who played the title character’s father in the 2006 Veronica Mars TV series, the 2014 movie, and the 2019 TV reboot. In Birthday Candles, he plays Kenneth, a neighbor and hopeful partner of Messing’s character, Ernestine.
  • Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau played at the Detroit Public Theatre in the same season Birthday Candles premiered. Morisseau, who wrote the book for Ain’t Too Proud on Broadway, will bring Skeleton Crew to Broadway this season as well.
  • Time to celebrate! May 12 is the show’s own birthday, as it opened on that date in Detroit. Haidle celebrates his birthday on Oct. 16, Messing on Aug. 15 and Braugher on July 1. Colantoni gets a dual celebration as his birthday falls on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day.
Start date

March 18th, 2022

End date

May 29th, 2022

Genre

Play

Venue

American Airlines Theatre

Debra Messing returns to the stage as Ernestine Ashworth, who spends her 17th birthday agonizing over her insignificance in the universe in BIRTHDAY CANDLES..

From $29
Save 58%
Prices you'll brag about

We're your one-stop shop for everything theatre. We work with theatre partners from around the world to bring you unbeatable prices for must-see shows.

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