Birthday Candles

If you wished for a Broadway show or Debra Messing’s return to the stage — or both — when you blew out your birthday candles, you’re in luck. Messing will star alongside fellow TV favorite Enrico Colantoni in Noah Haidle's Birthday Candles on Broadway. Get Birthday Candles tickets on New York Theatre Guide now.

Birthday Candles is a play that follows Ernestine Ashworth (Messing) from her 17th to 101st birthday. She bakes a single birthday cake in that time, the same way her mother taught her. Matt and Kenneth (Braugher and Colantoni, respectively), two boys who first admired Ernestine as teenagers, are the only other constants that remain. Everything and everyone else in Ernestine’s life changes as she grows older. She changes from a headstrong, rebellious teen into an adult with a fairly conventional, family-oriented life, and she reflects at every stage on what makes life fulfilling.

Haidle is making his Broadway debut with Birthday Candles in New York. Detroit Public Theatre originally commissioned the play in 2018. Vivienne Benesch directed the premiere, and she will return to direct the Birthday Candles Broadway production. The Detroit production was acclaimed in the Detroit Free Press as “quietly profound” and “one of the most satisfying and moving new plays” in Detroit at the time.

Kate Hopgood will provide original music for the show, and the rest of the creative team includes costume design by Toni-Leslie James, set design by Christine Jones, sound design by John Gromada, and lighting design by Jen Schriever.

Experience Birthday Candles on Broadway and join the party! Birthday Candles tickets are on sale now.

(Photo courtesy of Polk & Co.)

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About Birthday Candles:

Debra Messing 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? Birthday Candles is a poignant new play as fearless in scope as it is tremendous in heart.

Noah Haidle
Roundabout Theatre Company
Vivienne Benesch
Jen Schriever
John Gromada
Christine Jones
Toni-Leslie James
Cast list:
Debra Messing (as Ernestine Ashworth), John Earl Jelks (as Matt/William), Enrico Colantoni (as Kenneth), Crystal Finn (as Joan/Alex/Beth), Susannah Flood (as Alice/Madeline/Ernie), and Christopher Livingston (as Billy/John)
Other info:
Original Music by Kate Hopgood
Birthday Candles Performance Dates & Times
Previews from: 
March 18, 2022
Opening date: 
April 10, 2022
Booking to: 
May 29, 2022
May 29, 2022

Performance schedules for all shows are subject to change.

Buy Tickets

American Airlines Theatre - Roundabout Theatre Company

227 West 42nd Street (between 7th & 8th Avenue), New York, NY 10036
Nearest subway station:
Times Square - 42nd Street station

Latest Birthday Candles News & Features

Debra Messing
'Birthday Candles' to offer $29 Broadway rush tickets on TodayTix
March 17, 2022

Blow out your candles and make a wish for Birthday Candles tickets! The new play, presented by Roundabout Theatre Company and written by Broadway-debut playwright Noah Haidle, will offer same-day rush tickets on TodayTix throughout its run. Performances begin March 18 ahead of an April 10 opening night, and the show runs through May 29 at the American Airlines Theatre.

Birthday Candles
Get to know Debra Messing and the Broadway cast of 'Birthday Candles'
March 16, 2022

Two years ago, the company of Birthday Candles was preparing to debut the play on Broadway when the pandemic ground theatre to a halt. Now, they've picked up right back where they left off as though 2020 was mere seconds ago, and Birthday Candles is going up at the American Airlines Theatre on March 18.

Birthday Candles
'Birthday Candles,' starring Debra Messing, completes Broadway cast
January 13, 2022

Your wish has come true! The complete cast for Roundabout Theatre Company's Broadway production of Birthday Candles has announced its full cast. After its original premiere date in 2020 was delayed, Noah Haidle's play will begin performances at the American Airlines Theatre on March 18 ahead of an April 10 opening.

Our Birthday Candles Review

Sugar. Butter. Flour. Those are the building blocks of a good cake but also, according to Birthday Candles, the treacle new play on Broadway by Noah Haidle, a good cake is also “atoms left over from creation. Look deeper and you’ll find the story of the universe.” That’s a lot to put on a cake, and like an overbeaten cake, the play inflates with potential before ultimately collapsing in on... Read more