I first came to know Annie Golden when she was starring on Broadway in The Full Monty! Ten years later, I continue to be in awe of her talent and am so honored and thrilled to be able to interview her for Call Me Adam.
Now Annie is starring in The New York Musical Theatre Festival's (NYMF) production of Jennifer Robbins' original new musical Marry Harry (with music and lyrics by Michael Biello and Dan Martin). Once again, Annie steals the spotlight every time she is on stage and when she sings, all eyes and ears are on her. Marry Harry plays at the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre (480 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue). With only 3 shows left, Saturday, July 27 at 9pm, Sunday, July 28 at 1pm and 5pm, I suggest you click here for tickets!
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1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My idols are the Judys: Garland and Holiday; and Miss Rosalind Russell! The pop stars who record as well as act: Garland, Sinatra and Bowie!
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I was so very impressed with Warren Carlyle's rejuvenation and resurrection of FINIAN'S RAINBOW and then I love HUGH JACKMAN ON BROADWAY (or anywhere that gorgeous gifted guy is!) and they were both directed by young Warren!
3. What attracted you to Marry Harry? I was invited to be Debby in MARRY HARRY by Playwright's Horizons, Kent Nicholson, who was directing it up at NY Stage and Film a few summers ago...he brought me on board and I could not be happier! The music is lush and lovely, the story is original and sweet, contemporary, and funny!
4. What do you identify most with about your character? I identify with long-suffering "Harry, Sr.'s" girlfriend "Debby" because of her loyalty to him and his son and his business, the restaurant...also her denial in being so loyal for so long when it apparently is not doing her any good! Emotional invested with so little return! I can identify with that! Don't ask!!!
5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Marry Harry? As I said, it is an original story with lush music and it is although contemporary, a throw-back to a by gone era of romantic comedy with a sweet resolve! So audiences will be satisfied and smiling and leave the theatre singing some of these tunes, I am certain!
6. What excites you about performing in NYMF? What excites me about being involved in NYMF is that there is such a palette of original musicals being presented: individual and new! Having been involved with movies into musicals: XANADU and THE FULL MONTY I find it refreshing to discover and interpret new storylines and characters! Plus in the hallways you see your friends coming and going: Malcolm Getz, Luba Mason, etc! Also, it's always good to line up your next job, yo!
7. I first came to know you when you were starring on Broadway in The Full Monty. Looking back, what did you enjoy most about that time? THE FULL MONTY was an absolutely exquisite experience: creating the role of "Georgie!" Working with Jack O'Brien and Jerry Mitchell and Terrence McNally and David Yazbek (his first time out!) not to mention: Kim Grigsby and John Ellison Conlee and Patrick Wilson! Just extraordinary! And to experience the trauma of 9/11 through the Broadway experience as a working actor in a hit show...Broadway being dark! Never again...wouldn't wish it on anyone...but the resilience of the performing community inspiring New York City and its people!
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Speaking of resilience: being a working actor for this many years (38?) is incredibly rewarding but I learn the most about myself when listening to others about this vocation of being a performer. The wisdom I try to impart to the young ones just starting out and the behavior I try to demonstrate by example, hopefully professional and cooperative and satisfying. I feel the love and respect and I try to express the joy I have in being able to continue to grow and improve inside this crazy career!
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice: I give it now and I can not recall a specific person who said it to me as cold comfort, but I have learned: don't take it personally! Rejection, slave-driving, drilling songs, and lines and steps!!! It all will make you better out there and make it look as tho there is no effort or sacrifice behind it! This is a business! It's all about the ticket sales and earnings: just use it to your best advantage and be your own best financial advisor! Ha!
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I think to fly! I am not a dancer God knows, Wayne Cilento, Ed Love, Twyla Tharp, Dan Knechtges, Jerry Mitchell, Denis Jones, they can all attest to the fact that I am NO DANCER! (I guess I can kiss the Warren wish goodbye, then! Kiss Carlyle good-bye Golden Girl!) so I think if I could be light on my feet and soar free in any regard, that would be lovely!
More on Annie: Annie just finished the first season of Orange Is The New Black alongside some of Broadway's biggest divas such as Beth Fowler and Lea Delaria. She begins shooting the second season Monday, July 29, the day after NYMF closes! She hopes to go to the Public Theatre with Taylor Mac in the fall with THE GOOD PERSON OF SZECHUAN!
Annie considers herself the illegitimate child of the legitimate theatre, having been discovered on the Bowery fronting a rock band and cast by Milos Forman as "Jeannie" in Hair, the 1978 film. Some Broadway credits include: Xanadu, The Full Monty, Ah! Wilderness. Also was Sondheim’s original "Squeaky Fromme" in Assassins (Playwrights Horizons). Numerous Film/TV credits—just wrapped shooting season 1 of Orange Is The New Black for Lionsgate/Netflix. Available now on Netflix.