Noah Haidle’s play Birthday Candles, set to star stage and screen actress Debra Messing, will have its Broadway premiere courtesy of Roundabout Theatre Company this spring. Additional casting has been announced for the play opening at the American Airlines Theatre on April 21, 2020. The show is a limited engagement, running through Sunday, June 21, 2020. Joining Messing in the production are Andre Braugher as “Matt” and Enrico Colantoni as “Kenneth,” Crystal Finn as “Joan/Alex/Beth,” Susannah Flood as “Alice/Madeline/Ernie,” and Christopher Livingston as “Billy/John.” Vivienne Benesch will direct.
Two-time Emmy Award winner Andre Braugher (TV’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Men of a Certain Age) and Enrico Colantoni (TV’s Veronica Mars, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) will both make their Broadway debuts in Birthday Candles. Debra Messing’s last appearance on Broadway was in John Patrick Shanley’s play Outside Mullingar. She is, of course, one-half of the hit NBC sitcom Will & Grace, for which she won an Emmy Award. Other theater credits include Donald Marguiles’ Pulitzer Prize finalist Collected Stories, and Paul Rudnick’s Off-Broadway play The Naked Truth. Messing’s film work includes the box office hit Along Came Polly, The Wedding Date, The Women, The Mothman Prophecies, and Nothing Like The Holidays. She also co-starred in Woody Allen’s Hollywood Ending. Crystal Finn appeared in the Roundabout Underground productions of Kingdom Come and Bobbie Clearly. Christopher Livingstonwho appeared in the Underground production of Something Clean. Susannah Flood returns to Roundabout after most recently appearing in The Cherry Orchard on Broadway.
“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? A writer of “freewheeling ambition” (Charles Isherwood, The New York Times).
The design team for Birthday Candles will include Christine Jones (Sets), Toni-Leslie James (Costumes), Jen Schriever (Lights), John Gromada (Sound) and Kate Hopgood (Original Music).
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His latest book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, released on October 15. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.
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