© 2022
1078x200-header-mic.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Roundabout Theatre Company presents "Birthday Candles" on Broadway - interviews with actor Debra Messing and playwright Noah Haidle

debramessing-as-ernestine-in-birthdaycandles-credit-joanmarcus.jpg
Joan Marcus
/
Provided
Debra Messing in Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Noah Haidle's Birthday Candles (dir. Vivienne Benesch)

The new play “Birthday Candles,” written by Noah Haidle and directed by Vivienne Benesch is currently in previews on Broadway, produced by Roundabout Theatre Company and running at The American Airlines Theatre. Opening night is April 10.

Debra Messing stars as Ernestine Ashworth. A woman on the cusp of adulthood as the play begins, she ages 90 years onstage, from 17 to 107. Each scene finds her on another birthday assessing her life and choices.

Debra Messing is an Emmy Award-winning actress, producer, and social justice & human rights advocate. She’s best known for her Emmy & SAG Award-winning role as “Grace” on NBC’s “Will & Grace” and starred in “The Mysteries of Laura,” and “SMASH,” both on NBC. Notable film credits include the award-winning “Searching,” “Along Came Polly,” “The Wedding Date” “Nothing Like The Holidays,” “The Women,” and most recently, “The Dark Divide.” Messing has been honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Women In Film’s Lucy Award, and The Gracie Allen Award, American Comedy Award. She last starred on Broadway in John Patrick Shanley’s Tony Award-nominated, “Outside Mullingar.”

Noah Haidle’s plays have been produced all over the world. He is a proud board member of the Detroit Public Theatre, where Birthday Candles was commissioned and first produced.

Sarah has been a public radio producer for over a decade. She grew up in Saranac Lake, New York where she worked part-time at Pendragon Theatre all through high school and college. She graduated from UAlbany in 2006 with a BA in English and started at WAMC a few weeks later as a part-time board-op in the control room. Through a series of offered and seized opportunities she is now the Senior Contributing Producer of The Roundtable and Producer of The Book Show.
Related Content
  • “The Minutes” a new play by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tracy Letts, directed by Anna D. Shapiro is currently in previews on Broadway at Studio 54. The Steppenwolf Theatre Company production takes a hard look at the inner workings of a city council meeting and the hypocrisy, greed and ambition that bubble to the surface when a newcomer to the small town of Big Cherry starts to ask the wrong questions. That newcomer is played now, after the Covid19 pandemic shut down Broadway, delaying the run and opening, by Canadian actor and musician, Noah Reid. Noah Reid has been performing in theater, film, and television since he was a child. He voiced characters on Canadian and American children’s television programs - including the title turtle in the long-running cartoon, Franklin. Recently, Reid played Patrick Brewer on break-out hit, Schitt’s Creek.
  • On April 5, director Jamie Lloyd’s Oliver Award winning revival of “Cyrano de Bergerac” will begin performances at Brooklyn Academy of Music, having run in the West End to great acclaim. For the production, Edmund Rostand’s classic text has been newly adapted from its original French verse into English (still verse) by long-working playwriting-maestro Martin Crimp. James McAvoy embodies the title character wholly and imbues the brilliant wordsmith he plays with humor and humanity. The swagger of this Cyrano is different and the entire story feels - if not new - more urgent. The production is stealthy in its minimalism and inspiring in its palpable adoration of language.Director Jamie Lloyd and actor James McAvoy join us.
  • Art Omi in Ghent, New York presents the works of contemporary artists and architects, and offers a range of large-scale works in nature, plus a 1,500 square foot gallery. The Sculpture & Architecture Park currently offers more than 60 works by artists and architects on view, with pieces added or exchanged each year.“Raven Halfmoon: Ancestors” is the current exhibition on view in the Newmark Gallery at Art Omi through June 12. A member of the Caddo Nation, Halfmoon was born and raised in Oklahoma, and has always been strongly connected to the arts and her heritage. This is the first solo institutional exhibition of Raven Halfmoon’s work. The gallery is host to six recent large-scale ceramic sculptures. Halfmoon’s sculptures examine entanglements between past and present, sampling from an array of sources including graffiti, Caddo tattooing and mythology, and her own family history. I visited Art Omi recently and spoke with Senior Curator of the Sculpture & Architecture Park Sara O’Keefe and with artist, Raven Halfmoon.
  • Hrishikesh Hirway is an acclaimed musician and host/creator of the Song Exploder podcast and Netflix series. His first EP under his own name, “Rooms I Used to Call My Own,” is due March 30.The album features collaborations with a long list of acclaimed artists, songwriters and producers including Yo-Yo Ma, Jay Som, Baths, Jenny Owen Youngs, Jimmy Tamborello, Jonathan Snipes, John Mark Nelson and Grammy-winners John Congleton and Kimbra.Hirway is marking the release of the EP with a co-headlining tour with Jenny Owen Youngs that started in Austin at South by Southwest this on Tuesday (when we recorded this interview) and will bring them to Orpheum Theatre in Saugerties, New York on Sunday, March 20.
  • Deon Jones is a musician and artist with one of the most important voices of his generation. Jones created his first recording project—a powerful rendition of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” featuring Academy Award-winning composer Jon Batiste — after being shot by police in the face with a rubber bullet during the 2020 summer protests. The recording has been hailed by Rolling Stone magazine and U2’s Bono as “transformative” and by The Boston Globe as “a performance with clarifying power.” Jones brings his transformative energy to the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA on Saturday, March 19.The music video for Deon Jones’ cover of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” is part of artist Glenn Kaino’s exhibition “In the Light of a Shadow” which is installed in MASS MoCA’s Building 5 through September 5. The exhibition is inspired by the connection between protests across the globe.