Chautauqua Theater Company's performance of Birthday Candles in 2017

“Birthday Candles” on Broadway Special Preview Performance

Thursday, April 7
American Airlines Theater

Join fellow Chautauquans in NYC for this preview performance, followed by an exclusive post-show reception!

After being postponed in 2020, Chautauqua Theater Company’s 2017 New Play Workshop Birthday Candles by Noah Haidle is making its Broadway debut, starring Debra Messing and directed by former CTC Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch.

Our group tickets to the performance have sold out but you are still able to join us by purchasing your tickets directly from the theater here and selecting the Thursday, April 7 performance. If you purchase your tickets directly from the theater you are still invited to join us for an exclusive post-show reception featuring special guests from the production and CTC leadership. You will need to purchase your reception ticket in addition to your performance ticket.

COVID-19 Safety
Roundabout Theater Company is requiring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine for audiences — as well as artists and staff. They require proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test for those who are unvaccinated due to a disability or religious belief. Please click here to read more about the Roundabout Theater Company’s COVID-19 policy before purchasing your tickets.

Reception Tickets

To purchase tickets to the post-show reception, click the link above or call 716-357-6407.

To attend the post-show reception, you must have a ticket to the Thursday, April 7 performance.

New play development at Chautauqua Institution is made possible in part by a generous grant by the Roe Green Foundation.

Birthday Candles Cast

Joining lead Debra Messing is an all-star cast headlined by veteran actor Enrico Colantoni, plus rising stars Susannah Flood (CTC Conservatory ’06), Crystal Finn and Christopher Livingston!


Debra Messing


Enrico Colantoni


Susannah Flood


John Earl Jelks


Crystal Finn


Christopher Livingston


Noah Haidle


Vivienne Benesch

A collaboration between the Detroit Public Theatre (DPT) and Chautauqua Theater Company (CTC), Birthday Candles was originally commissioned by DPT and in the summer of 2017, it received a workshop production at CTC, directed by Benesch. The play then had its world premiere at DPT in the spring of 2018, also directed by Benesch.

Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) 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), Noah Haidle makes his Broadway debut with a poignant new play as fearless in scope as it is tremendous in heart.