The VIP Lounge with Annie Golden

Annie Golden in Amsterdam in 1978.
JR Rost
Annie Golden in Amsterdam in 1978.

Most know her as Norma, the mostly mute inmate on the hit Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” but Annie Golden has an impressive and diverse career that includes Broadway, the silver screen, and fronting a new wave band called the Shirts in New York City in the ’70s. Golden, who was born and raised in Brooklyn and still lives there today, recalls fondly her days performing at the Rathskeller (which closed in 1997) in Kenmore Square, and is happy to be back in Boston — this time in the Huntington Theatre Company production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s comedy “Ripcord,” at the Calderwood Pavilion through July 2. We caught up with Golden to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? Amsterdam. I call it my home away from home, since I have spent the most time working there. That city, also the Netherlands, just speaks to me in a very serene way.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing? Dutch honey cake for breakfast. . . . Yummy.


Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? Ireland. My roots are there. My father’s father was from County Mayo and his mom, who he never knew, and who I am named for — Anna Lavin Golden — is from County Cork. I may just get there when “Orange Is the New Black” wraps season six, since my guitarist, Paul McKenzie, has a home in Dingle.

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One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? Two things I cannot do without when traveling: moisturizer and mascara.

Aisle or window? Aisle seat always these days. I have been trapped into the corner by the window too many times now and have learned my lesson. Why be stuck beside a sleeping passenger who is out like an overhead light and will not stir. Ugh — so rude. Honestly.

Favorite childhood travel memory? We were a big working-class family. I am the oldest of six children, so we could not really afford travel or vacations, but I do recall a fun family reunion of my mother’s side — Irish and Swedish — at Lake Ronkonkoma on Long Island.

Guilty pleasure when traveling? If it’s an early flight, I treat myself to a nice breakfast with a mimosa. Any later, a nice lunch or dinner with a glass of champagne. Since I still don’t vacation, but rather have seen the world thanks to my work, I am usually toasting the project that paid my way. The one I am coming from and congratulating myself for is yet another milestone like the SAG Awards at LAX for “Orange.”


Best travel tip? Travel light. All my years traveling first with the Shirts to and from CBGB’s to the Rathskellar behind Fenway Park in the late ’70s taught me that. My bandmates were like brothers, caretaking gentlemen, but they had their instruments, amps, and equipment to transport so, girlfriend, you best be sure you can carry your own weight.