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BIRTHDAY CANDLES Starring Debra Messing Begins Final Two Weeks on Broadway

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

Birthday Candles

Roundabout Theatre Company will conclude the New York premiere of Birthday Candles by Noah Haidle, starring Emmy Award winner Debra Messing, directed by Vivienne Benesch on Sunday, May 29.

Birthday Candles stars Debra Messing as "Ernestine," Enrico Colantoni as "Kenneth," Tony Award nominee John Earl Jelks as "Matt/William" with Crystal Finn as "Joan/Alex/Beth," Susannah Flood as "Alice/Madeline/Ernie," and Christopher Livingston as "Billy/John."

At the time of closing, Birthday Candles will have played 27 preview performances and 56 regular performances. Previews began March 18, 2022 and opened officially on April 10, 2022 at the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway (227 West 42nd Street).

An award-winning television star, Debra Messing was last seen on Broadway in John Patrick Shanley's play Outside Mullingar opposite Brían F. O'Byrne. Enrico Colantoni makes his Broadway debut this season; he most recently appeared in HBO Max's "Station Eleven" and Nat Geo's "The Hot Zone: Anthrax" and opposite Tom Hanks in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood." John Earl Jelks was last seen on Broadway in Sweat by Lynn Nottage and received a Tony Award nomination for his work in Radio Golf by August Wilson. Roundabout Theatre Company welcomes the return of Crystal Finn who has appeared in the Roundabout Underground productions of Kingdom Come and Bobbie Clearly, and Christopher Livingston who appeared in the Underground production of Something Clean. Susannah Flood returns to Roundabout after most recently appearing in The Cherry Orchard on Broadway.

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.

Roundabout was thrilled to present a new Noah Haidle play following their collaboration on his black comedy Mr. Marmalade (2005) starring Mamie Gummer and Michael C. Hall. Birthday Candles was commissioned and previously produced by Detroit Public Theatre in the spring of 2018 and received the first 2019 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award citation. Ms. Benesch is the Producing Artistic Director of PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC and, as an actress, was seen in Roundabout's 2004 production of Arthur Miller's After the Fall.

The design team includes Christine Jones (Sets), Toni-Leslie James (Costumes), Jen Schriever (Lights), John Gromada (Sound) and Kate Hopgood (Original Music).

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:

Birthday Candles plays Tuesday through Saturday evening at 8:00PM with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2:00PM and Sunday matinees at 3:00PM.

Roundabout Theatre Company celebrates the power of theatre by spotlighting classics from the past, cultivating new works of the present, and educating minds for the future. A not-for-profit company, Roundabout fulfills that mission by producing familiar and lesser-known plays and musicals; discovering and supporting talented playwrights; reducing the barriers that can inhibit theatergoing; collaborating with a diverse team of artists; building educational experiences; and archiving over five decades of production history.

Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays and musicals on its five stages: Broadway's American Airlines Theatre, Studio 54 and Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and Off-Broadway's Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre.

Roundabout's current and upcoming productions include: Exception to the Rule by Dave Harris, directed by Miranda Haymon; ...what the end will be by Mansa Ra, directed by Margot Bordelon; 1776 by Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone, directed by Jeffrey L. Page and Diane Paulus; You Will Get Sick by Noah Diaz; the bandaged place by Harrison David Rivers, directed by David Mendizábal; The Wanderers by Anna Ziegler, directed by Barry Edelstein; Covenant by York Walker; and Primary Trust by Eboni Booth.

Photo credit: Joan Marcus



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