ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Annie Golden Talks "Orange is the New Black" and Norbert Leo Butz Shares Stories from Big Fish

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13 Jan 2014

Annie Golden
Annie Golden
Photo by Robb Johnston

A week in the life of actor, radio and TV host, music director and writer Seth Rudetsky.


First of all, I started doing my deconstructions again! A lot of the songs in Disaster! are there because I'm obsessed with them and we figured out a way to put them into the plot. So, I was obsessing about Michael Jackson singing "Ben" and decided I had to deconstruct it... here 'tis.

Speaking of Disaster!, it's Mary Testa's last week. Wah! I'm not allowed to say what show she's going into, but suffice it to say, I don't think she needs to be worried about it closing anytime soon. The cast made Mary a video where we all do an imitation of her saying various lines in the show... I'm obsessed

Mary's final performance is this Friday, and next Monday, Annie Golden takes over as "Shirley Summers." Annie actually played the role when Disaster! was first running at The Triad in 2012. However, she was recently looking over the script and told me that she basically remembered nothing even though she did the show for three weeks. I told her that's because back then, the show only ran on Sundays. So a "three-week run" was actually just three performances, or, as I told Annie, if it were a Broadway show, it's as if she went on for a Tuesday night and then a Wednesday matinee and night show two years ago!

Annie came on "Seth Speaks," my SiriusXM radio show, and first we talked about her film debut in "Hair." She played Jeannie (the pregnant Tribe member), and you can see a great shot of her at 1:35 in the trailer. Her big song was "Air," but it was not in the final cut, because the film is supposed to take place in the late '60's but when they filmed her number, the Twin Towers were visible in the background (and they weren't completed 'til a few years later).

Speaking of video footage, here's one of my Annie Golden favorites: Her pop song "Hang Up The Phone." I'm not saying it's dated, but, the song is about her frustration calling her boyfriend and hearing a busy signal. Basically it should be retitled "Please Invent 'Call Waiting.'"

I praised Annie about her new gig on the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black," and she told about her audition. She reminded my audience that actors always have to appear like they're very much in demand. When she finished her audition and the people at "Orange is the New Black" asked her what she was up to, she started name-dropping all the various projects she was involved with, trying to sound like she had many, many irons in the fire. Then she began to realize they were trying to find out if she was available to do the series so she completely reversed course and flat-out said, "I have nothing. I'm totally available."

She had gone in for the role of the nun, which went to Beth Fowler, but when the director was watching the tape of her audition, she lowered the volume and watched Annie with no sound. Annie got the role of Norma, the prisoner who doesn't speak, and she loves it because she's always been obsessed with silent screen stars.

Jonathan Freeman, Mary Testa, Seth and Annie Golden


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