In the two months since my last interview with Broadway & Orange is the New Black's Annie Golden, she has had her plate full! So much so, that in a reversal of roles, she called and I answered! Annie wanted to catch up on all that she has going on from her upcoming Annie Golden Friends & Family concert at Joe's Pub to singing at Feinstein's/54 Below's Inner City concert to a new film. Annie gives me the low down on everything!
Catch Annie in Feinstein's/54 Below concert of Inner City The Musical on Thursday, August 17 at 7pm & 9:30pm! An evening of music from Tom O’Horgan’s 1971 Broadway musical! With book and lyrics by Eve Merriam, and score by Helen Miller, this pop-rock-gospel musical won a Tony Award for its star Linda Hopkins, and has become a cult favorite of musical theater aficionados. Hosted by original Broadway cast member, Allan Nicholls. In additon to Annie, the Feinstein's/54 Below Inner City concert will also feature the talents of Yolanda Wyns, C.E. Smith, Ray Shell, Lauren Elder, Cheryl Pepsii Riley, Dionne Carole, Elisa Galindez, Sarah Kowalski, and Erika Xiomara Reyes. Feinstein's/54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street (between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!
Get your tickets now for Annie Golden Friends & Family at Joe's Pub on Friday, August 25 at 7pm! It's an evening of original songs and stories that only Annie can tell! Click here for tickets!
AND, if you want to hear Annie talk up a storm, you can listen to her new podcast It Makes A Sound on iTunes starting Sunday, September 24!
For more on Annie follow her on Facebook!
1. It's so great to catch up with you Annie! First, now that Orange is the New Black Season 5 is out, is there any behind the scenes story from filming this season you can share with us? What was your favorite scene to film? Which one was your most challenging? I think being in "Freida's" bunker was my favorite: The girls getting high together and playing games and going through "Freida's" things before "Gloria" got the frightening news about her boy, "Benny." The most challenging was taking "Piscatella" down: That was real teamwork: our ensemble of castmates, the crew, the prop department, as well as our stunt doubles: Just an amazing accomplishment! We all loved being directed by our fearless leader, Laura Prepon for some of the sweetest moments underground!
2. Second, how did your run of Ripcord at The Huntington Theatre go? Is there a funny or crazy story that sticks out in your head? I am delighted to report that Ripcord was a huge hit for Huntington Theatre Company. I think I speak for the entire company, cast and crew, when I say we did not want it to end, but we did get extended for an additional week.
Many years ago, I participated in the CBGB's Rathskeller band exchange program (I met THE CARS there playing "The Rat" and a bleached blonde ska trio from England, THE POLICE) right behind Fenway Park in Kenmore Square. The crazy good thing that happened while I was back in Boston doing Ripcord, was reconnecting with Oedipus, the first dee jay to play THE SHIRTS on the radio on WBCN and also on his "demi-monde hour" out of Cambridge. "Are you ready for Oedi?" he was my date on the red carpet with me when Hair premiered in Boston. We hadn't seen each other in decades. He now writes for The Boston Globe and lives in Thailand and came back to Boston when he heard I was in Ripcord!
3. So much has been happening since our last interview. You went to the Sundance Institute Theatre lab to work on a new musical theatre piece with Jeanine Tesori (who you worked with during Violet on Broadway) & David Lindsay-Abaire (who's play Ripcord you just finished at Huntington Theatre). What can you tell us about this new show? What was it like to work them both again so soon after just working with them? SUNDANCE was wonderful! This city slicker faced a huge learning curve being on a mountain in the woods! Singing at that altitude makes breathing a challenge and the desert climate with relentless radiant sunshine depletes any and all moisture. I had to get my PH balance back.
SUNDANCE is a "show and tell" of works in progress. I enjoyed meeting David Lindsay Abaire in his hometown of Boston doing Ripcord. His language is lovely and so, therefore, his lyrics are too and his words sung or spoken are clever and soulful and sweet. Working with Jeanine again was a joy! Her melodies raise you up as a songstress and you better rise to that opportunity! Keala Settle played my mentor. We worked to perfect ACT ONE and presented it to the other lab participants and they seemed so thrilled by it! So who knows? I loved working with Alex Brightman, too!
4. What did you relate to most about your character in this show? What was one characteristic of hers that you were glad you didn't possess? I related to my character's strength and endurance and childlike resilience. I'm glad I didn't have my character's devastating disappointment.
5. You are also about to start filming a new film in NYC. What is the film called? Who do you play? What attracted you to it? We are filming on location in Prospect Park and elsewhere around town. It is a romance between an IRS accountant (Christian Coulson) who audits the representative of a church of Vampires in the future when the bloodsuckers are accepted into society as a religious cult. It's called Bite Me!
6. What's it like to make a film in your home residence of NYC? Do you look at the city any differently while filming? Well my first film was Hair 40 years ago now. It gave me this gift of a career. I filmed once on City Island, a magical place, which I did not know existed, and I look forward to uncovering some more best kept secrets!
7. On August 17, you will be participating in Feinstein's/54 Below Inner City The Musical concert. What made you want to be part of this concert? What do you relate to most about the show's story? I have only been involved with the re-boot of it since about 2011. This piece is (tragically) timely still. This is a 1972 Broadway gem that deserves another run! It is Michael Boyd's love child and he invited me along after I loved seeing my friend, Darlene Love, in it decades ago!
8. On Friday, August 25 at 7pm, you have your own concert at Joe's Pub with your band. Now that it's just a few weeks away, what excites you and what makes you nervous? The concert is on the 25th of August, Friday night at 7 pm so, after the show, people can get the hell out of Dodge if they want to for the weekend.
Nothing about doing my own songs makes me nervous now since I played them on Pride Weekend after my Violet matinee. Not only was our band multi-generational but our audience was, too! The feedback from young Broadway and TV crew people, diverse acquaintances across the board, new, as well as, old fans was overwhelmingly positive and powerful! It was most encouraging that the people who came loved the songs, picked favorites among them, wanted to know when they could hear them again and hoped to have a CD to buy soon and take home with them. I needn't worry that the songs would not move and delight my listeners because thanks to that come back gig there was not one comment about the material being dated or out of time.
So what excites me about this concert? Singing my songs to a new audience of every age and demographic. Every other aspect of my career is in service to a director, a writer, a composer, a conductor. My task is always to be a tool used in the realization and creation of someone else's vision, with the exception of my cabaret act: Velvet Prison, which I hope to find the time to update and present again soon, this band is completely and totally mine: Telling the stories I want to tell, the way I wanna tell them and singing those stories with abandon!
9. What is one reason you can give fans NOT to miss this show? Well, besides the fact that it's gonna be a love fest on Lafayette Street? I guess I would say my nephew who is 18 and my drummer kept my dream alive by taking his father's place on the kit when I lost my brother, his dad, suddenly a few months after that triumphant comeback gig and Mick Golden stepped up and will be leaving the next day to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. So who knows when we will get to do it again? How's that for a tease?
10. Bringing the interview back to Orange is the New Black. It really seems as though things are exploding for you, career wise, since being on the show. How do you handle being in such high demand? How do you stay grounded? How do you relax? Orange is the New Black has given me the gift of notoriety. Your questions always ask: What attracted you to the project and now more than ever I am OFFERED the most interesting, cutting edge, creative, cool projects. In other words, people seek me out and ask me to join them on their journey as opposed to always having to audition.
Being in high demand is a blessing not a curse so in order to enjoy my own busy-ness I take the time to be present and give each project the attention it deserves. I gotta prioritize, be on task, and organize according to deadline. I am a good juggler! I'm presently recording a most intriguing podcast for Night Vale Productions called It Makes A Sound.
How do I relax? I don't. Ha! If I see someone I'm working with or singing for, smile or take delight in what I am doing for them then I can relax. I see friends and family and catch up on their lives. I also enjoy being a couch potato and watching old movies! Other actors' work inspires me. I can't believe my luck!
Annie Golden began her career as the lead singer of The Shirts (which headlined CBGB's in the late 70s). During the early 1990s she performed as part of the duo Golden Carillo with Frank Carillo. They released three albums; Fire in Newtown, Toxic Emotion, and Back for More. Since then she has performed solo and with a band. She performs a revue of songs from her stage career along with originals called Annie Golden's Velvet Prison. In 1984, her song "Hang Up the Phone" was featured on the soundtrack of the film Sixteen Candles.
While with The Shirts she was discovered by Miloš Forman who gave her a part in Hair. She had featured roles on Cheers and Miami Vice. On Broadway, she has appeared in the 1977 revival of Hair, Leader of the Pack, Ah, Wilderness!, On the Town and The Full Monty. She had the title role in the workshop of the short-lived adaptation of Stephen King's novel Carrie. She also played the role of "Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme" in Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's musical Assassins Off-Broadway in 1990-1991. In 2003 she joined other original Off-Broadway cast members in a Reprise! (Los Angeles) concert production of Assassins. In 2007, she was stand-by for the two comic villain roles in the musical Xanadu on Broadway.
Annie has the distinct honor of having appeared in three separate versions of Hair; a Broadway revival in 1977, the motion picture in 1979 and a special benefit performance concert in 2004. Annie was the voice of "Marina" in the Don Bluth film The Pebble and the Penguin. In recent years, she has been seen in commercials for Coinstar, in which she portrays The Tooth Fairy. She appeared in the musical film Temptation with actors Adam Pascal, Tony Award Winners Alice Ripley and Anika Noni Rose, and film actress Zoe Saldana and in 2009 had a small role in I Love You Phillip Morris, with actors Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey, playing a simple woman requiring legal assistance. In 2011, Annie starred with Peter Scolari in the world premiere of The Nutcracker and I. Comically playing the "Sugar Rush Fairy" (and three other roles) in this musical comedy featuring the music of Tchaikovsky and lyrics by Gerard Alessandrini, she and Scolari were compared in one review to the team of Imogene Coca and Sid Caesar. In 2014 Annie returned to Broadway in the Tony nominated revival of Violet, starring alongside Tony Winner Sutton Foster.
Annie continues to play solo gigs and with her own band. For the past five seasons, Annie has been starring as "Norma Romano" in Netflix's Emmy award winning show Orange is the New Black. Additionally, Orange is the New Black has won, three years in a row, The Screen Actors Guild Award for "Best Ensemble." Annie can also be seen in Season 3 premiere episode of Hulu's Difficult People, playing "Flipper."