Annie Golden made her Broadway debut in a 1977 revival of "Hair!" She created the role of "Squeaky" Fromme in the original Off-Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's "Assassins" in 1990. Her New York credits since include "On the Town" (1998), "The Full Monty" (2001), "Hair!" (concert version, 2000) and "Violet" (2014). She is perhaps best known as Norma Romano, a partially mute inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary, on the popular Netflix series, "Orange is the New Black." Now, she is front and center in a brand new musical, "Broadway Bounty Hunter," through Sept. 4 at Barrington Stage Company's St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield, Mass. The show was written for her by Joe Iconis, Lance Rubin and Jason SweetTooth Williams
1. So, what's it like to have a show, a musical, at that, written for you; with your talent and skills in mind?: Having a show written for you is a gift! This particular musical is a love letter to me representing my long friendship with Joe, and his best friends, Lance and Jason. It is also a sacred trust. What a wonderful responsibility to carry such a sweet, quirky, interesting, hilarious and original story put to such soulful, touching, catchy tunes.
2. How do the Annie in the show and the Annie that's playing her intersect? Differ?: The "BBH" Annie Golden is somewhat of a caricature of any actor at a crossroads, Broadway veteran going through a dry spell, or having the feeling that your glory days are behind you. You just gotta keep keepin' on ... but it ain't easy ... you gotta be thrown a bone once in awhile to be reminded that you are on the right path.
The Annie Golden outside of the "BBH" world is one lucky lady! The boys wrote this for me and showed me the opening and explained the concept: Me inside of a kung-fu/black exploitation movie plot. And I got it immediately: An entire genre of popular money-making ventures where martial arts and minorities sisters and brothers were doing it for themselves. They made it happen no matter what and that's what actors and actresses and singers and songwriters and performers must come up with all the time. If they don't get cast or chosen or hired or picked by the powers that be they gotta do concerts and showcases and write things for themselves to shine in. I got lucky 'cause ("Orange is the New Black") put me on the map with recognition and things started to happen quickly for me and blessings abound for me and for my collaborators.
3. Even though it's still early in the run, what discoveries have you made about the character that perhaps you didn't expect to find?: What I have discovered so far … is that the audiences are really eager to come along on this crazy ride! Also, that the show holds up on the strength of its writing and comedy. Some nights you might be fatigued or just plain tired but the audiences love you anyway.
4. What's a typical day like for you once rehearsals are over and you are in performance?: Today (Aug. 22) is my first day free from rehearsals and I had family and friends come in last night so I met them at Dottie's for breakfast on this glorious blustering cool day in the mountains. But as I said, the show is grueling even for my young cast-mates, so we really just sit by the pool or go see a waterfall or sit silently on our computers trying to line up our next gig back home. I will be returning home immediately to shoot season five/episode six of "Orange."
5. You've had roles that make people laugh. What makes you laugh?: What makes me laugh, for sho', is this brilliant cast; they are so very talented and beautiful to behold! My leading man, Alan H. Green, in particular is gorgeous AND goofy. Come on out and see for yourself!