East Ender Debra Messing will star on Broadway next year in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s (RTC) production of Noah Haidle’s Birthday Candles.
Messing will play Ernestine Ashworth, who, according to RTC, “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 will be directed by Vivienne Benesch. The News & Observer reports that Messing and Benesch’s friendship dates back to their graduate school days at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Messing made her Broadway debut in 2014 in John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar, while this will be Benesch’s Broadway directorial debut.
Messing is best known for her role as harried interior designer Grace Adler on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace, which ran from 1998–2006 and was revived in 2017. For her work on Will & Grace, Messing won the 2003 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and was nominated for countless other honors. She also starred on crime comedy/drama The Mysteries of Laura, backstage Broadway drama Smash and many other projects.
Birthday Candles will premiere in Spring 2020 at the American Airlines Theatre. The revival of Will & Grace will return with new episodes this fall.