"I couldn't make a salad," says Debra Messing, referring to her cooking skills required for Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Birthday Candles, in which the actor bakes a real cake on stage in real time during the course of the play.
Messing appeared on Live With Kelly and Ryan on April 25 to talk about the Noah Haidle play and her role as Ernestine Ashworth, whose life is chronicled in the play as a series of moments, with many occurring on a birthday throughout her long life. "It's just about family, and time passing—and how quickly life goes. And how unexpected things happen in a family...relationships, deaths, happy things...so what ingredients go into making a lifetime a life?"
Vivienne Benesch directs the cast, which also includes Tony nominee John Earl Jelks (Sweat, Radio Golf), Enrico Colantoni (Just Shoot Me, Veronica Mars) in his Broadway debut, Crystal Finn (Roundabout's Bobbie Clearly), Susannah Flood (The Cherry Orchard), and Christopher Livingston (Roundabout's Something Clean).
And as for that onstage oven? "I haven't burned the theatre down yet," says Messing.