Birthday Candles | Off-Broadway Show | Get the Best Prices With Headout
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Starring Emmy Award-winning actress Debra Messing, Birthday Cakes is a masterpiece by Noah Haidle that fuses top-notch acting with expert direction and set design!

Why You Should Watch Birthday Cakes

As Ernestine (the protagonist) transitions from teenage to adulthood, her birthday cakes never change. Writer Noah Haidle delicately explores how it might seem like everything in the world is always changing, but the most subtle and beautiful aspects of life always remain constant. The stellar cast led by veteran director Vivienne Benesch manages to bring out the range of emotions that Haidle infused into the play.

In this production, Debra Messing will take on the role of Ernestine. She has starred in several films, television series, and plays, including the immensely popular Ned and Stacey (1995-1997) and Prey (1998). She is best known, however, for her exquisite performance on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace. She has been nominated six times for a Golden Globe Award and five times for a Primetime Emmy.

As Birthday Cakes transports its audience into the quaint world of Ernestine, it begins to explore profound ideas such as the meaning of life and our place in the cosmos.

The Story

The story opens with a 17-year-old Ernestine helping her mother bake her birthday cake. She looks down upon all aspects of normal life and intends to be a ‘rebel against the universe’. As with most other teenage rebels, Ernestine eventually gets married and begins raising kids, wondering all along if she should have postponed her descent into a conventional lifestyle.

With every clang of a small bell on stage, the show jumps from one of Ernestine’s birthdays to the next. The timeline jumps are not uniform; sometimes it is just a year, and in other instances, it is over a decade. We see Ernestine grow and mature over more than eighty years, from her 17th birthday to her 101st. Will Ernestine succeed in her quest to ‘surprise God’ through a life well-lived?

Good For

Family Audiences | Fans of Debra Messing

Critics Reviews

Like its cake-baking heroine, “Birthday Candles” is destined for a long life” – Detroit Free Press

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Know Before You Go

Show Details

Preview Date: 2 April 2020

Opening Date: 21 April 2020

Closing Date: 21 June 2020

Show Timings
To be confirmed.

To be confirmed.

Leading Role
Debra Messing as Ernestine

Written by
Noah Haidle

Directed by
Vivienne Benesch

Additional Information

- Photo and video recording are not allowed during the show.
- Please be on time, as latecomers may not be admitted if no suitable break is available during the performance.

Available Facilities
Wheelchair Accessible
In-house Bar
Coat Check
Sign Interpreted
Assistive Listening

The theater has a seating capacity of 740 in total. For tips on how to choose the best seats, you can refer to our American Airlines Theatre Seating Chart Guide.

Dress Code
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theater is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.

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Strict Cancellation Policy

This experience cannot be cancelled, amended or rescheduled.

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My Tickets

Your e-tickets need to be exchanged for physical tickets with our uniformed Headout hosts outside the theater.


This performance is valid for the date selected at the time of booking.

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