DIVA TALK: Chatting With NYMF Stars Susan Blackwell, Annie Golden, Rachel Stern and Allyson Tucker

By Andrew Gans
05 Jul 2013

Annie Golden

Annie Golden
Marry Harry at the Signature Alice Brickman Theatre, July 19-28

How did you get involved with this production?
I am on board with this production thanks to our director Kent Nicholson, who invited me to play Debbie in Marry Harry and go with him to NY Stage and Film at Vassar College a few summers ago after we had worked together at Playwrights Horizons on The Shaggs!

How would you describe the character you're playing?
My character, Debby or Debbie, is the long-suffering "girlfriend" of the father of our main character Harry, Harry, Sr., who owns the restaurant where the play takes place: the family business!

Why do you think audiences should attend this particular production?
I believe audiences will enjoy this musical because it revolves around a father and son and takes place in the family restaurant, which is his father's legacy. The father doesn't seem to want to grow up and the son most definitely wants to grow up and out of the family business  — being a chef as opposed to a cook. He admires Lidia Bastianich and with all the cooking shows and chefs becoming stars in and out of the kitchen, this is a very timely piece! The music is wonderful  — it is funny and joyful and poignant and heartbreaking and original! 

What other NYMF productions have you been a part of?
I have done only one other NYMF in Mimi Le Duck as Mimi and one other Fringe show, an adaptation of Citizen Ruth, which won best musical of the Fringe that summer!

Why do you think NYMF is so important?
NYMF is important for new musicals and lining up our next projects...backers' auditions get a buzz going with an audience! Begin having people talk about your project!

Golden previews Marry Harry.
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

NYMF celebrates new musicals, but which role in a classic musical would you most like to perform and why?
As far as a classic role I would like to play, I have said for years I would cut my hair off to play Peter Pan or Saint Joan...that ship has sailed! But I always felt I could be Georgie in The Full Monty until I was Jeanette! There is always Mrs. Lovett, yo, says Squeaky the other Sondheim redhead!

What is your most memorable onstage mishap?
Notable mishap? That's tricky: I was, of course, beside James Carpinello on that fateful second or third preview rehearsal day filling in for Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman, who [were on break] for lunch, and I was up on the bandstand in Xanadu when [director] Christopher Ashley… decided to tweak the finale number [and asked] if I could step in and he said: "Yes, please, honey, pick a muse!" And I found myself locked arm in arm with gorgeous, gifted James when he was heroically pointing out a potential problem in the trap crevice and down he went – breaking his leg in not one, but two places! Awful!

In The Full Monty I was also doing the finale for the "Let It Go" number when all the girls coming from the back of the house noticed — including our conductress Kim Grigsby — that the light rotation was off and so we knew that the boys would be in spotlight for the final "reveal"! Oh, honeys!!! The audience got a lot more than they paid for that performance!

What was your most enjoyable theatrical experience of the season (as a member of the audience)?
My most enjoyable theatre experience this season was, I think, my only theatre experience this season: Old Hats and also opening night of Lucky Guy! I saw Old Hats on Bill Irwin's birthday!

Do you have any other projects in the works?
Last night I did a presentation for interested parties in a revival of Inner City directed by Michael Boyd, and now I am going to a rehearsal of Unexpected Joy, a new show written by Bill Russell. I play Joy! I just finished a wonderful show called The Thing About Time with Betty Buckley, Stephen Bogardus, Lawrence Hamilton, and I was reunited with David Patrick Kelly [who played Claude in my first Hair revival]. My duet partner was Astaire Award winner Eric LaJuan Summers, who plays Jackie Wilson in Motown! The story is like the "Big Chill" meets "Ghost." Jerry Dixon is directing that and is the reason I am in such illustrious company on that one! I also have a Netflix Original Series available July 11th, "Orange Is The New Black" with musical divas Lea DeLaria and Beth Fowler, about women in prison... Speaking of prison, I plan to do my cabaret act (updated of course) at 54 Below called Annie Golden's Velvet Prison II (no hope of parole!)...if anyone is interested!