Detroit Theatre Company's 'Birthday Candles' is headed to Broadway

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A play called "Birthday Candles" was born in Detroit and now is destined for Broadway, with none other than Debra Messing as the lead. It all started at the little-known Detroit Public Theatre Company.

"It's just a huge connection between the work that we did here and the work that will be showing on Broadway which is so very exciting for us," said Courtney Burkett with Detroit Public Theatre.

Burkett is one of the founders of Detroit Public Theatre, which is getting ready to open its fifth season in October. But in its second season they commissioned Grand Rapids native and playwright Noah Haidle - who was living here in Detroit -  to write a play for them. That play, "Birthday Candles," follows a 17-year-old girl through adulthood into old age, always on her birthday, literally baking a cake and learning life lessons along the way.

"We knew right away it was a really special production and a special play that Noah had created," Burkett said.

Noah Haidle joined FOX 2's Lee Thomas last spring as the play made its world premiere at the 150-seat Detroit Public Theatre inside the Max M. Fisher Music Center. Now, "Birthday Candles" is heading straight to Broadway to debut in April of 2020.

"It has a real lightness to it and a heart to it and it's just a beautifully constructed play and story," Burkett said. "We know in Debra Messing's hands and in the Roundabout Theatre Company's hands, that this production will really soar in New York like it did in Detroit."

And with that, Burkett hopes more people will take notice of what's happening on stage right there at this little theatre in Detroit.

"We are very young - a lot of people don't even know that Detroit Public Theatre exists yet," Burkett said. "So to have this work that we created going on to this huge, national stage, will really we hope, raise awareness and convince people that they need to check out what's happening at the Detroit Public Theatre."

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