‘Birthday Candles’: Will & Grace star Debra Messing steps into new role on Broadway

Will & Grace star Debra Messing has stepped into a new role on Broadway.
“Birthday Candles" stars Debra Messing as Ernestine Ashworth.
"I play a woman who ages 90 years in 90 minutes and I never leave the stage,” says Messing.
The play, both a comedy and drama, delves into the meaning of a life as Ashworth ages from teenager to centenarian. Playwright Noah Haidle crafted the cake baked by Ernestine each year on her birthday to be rich in symbolism.
"Noah also makes clear that people are ingredients in a life,” says Messing. “People and traditions and rituals and birthday cakes."
Messing says during rehearsals that the play had her taking stock of her own life.
"Sort of looking back in how I thought my life was going to be and how it is, and the people who I thought would still be here who aren't,” says Messing.
“Birthday Candles" spans five generations, but the cake is constant the same each year, and yes, it's baked on stage.
"Birthday Candles" is scheduled to run through May 29 at American Airlines Theatre.