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After six seasons of playing tyrannical cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester, for which she won a best supporting actress Emmy in 2009, Jane Lynch is embarking on her first major post-Glee project, See Jane Sing, her nationally touring musical-comedy variety show.
Lynch — no stranger to live performance, having been a member of The Second City improv group in Chicago and starring in the Broadway revival Annie in 2013 — combines comedy chops with musical highs in a show with live orchestration, song-and-dance numbers and fast-paced witty banter between Lynch and co-stars Kate Flannery (best known for her role as Meredith Palmer on The Office) and Tim Davis, the vocal coordinator for Glee.
See below for THR’s edited conversation with Lynch about what to expect from her newest foray into musical theater and the worst part of putting together a live show.
What can ticketholders expect from See Jane Sing?
Well, it’s an hour of fast, fun music with hopefully a bunch of hilarious patter in between songs. My friend Kate Flannery joins me for a bulk of it and we do some numbers together, and my friend Tim Davis, who is a wonderful crooner, opens for us and he also joins us and does some three-part harmony. I have a terrific quintet behind me, just an amazing band.
How’d you pick the songs?
It’s a bunch of songs that I just like. In fact, I say at the beginning of the show, “Join me on a musical journey through a world of songs that have very little to do with one another.” My friends would all tell me, “You know, once you make the list you’ll see a theme emerge,” and no theme emerged. So, I said, ‘Well, we’ll make this a non-themed show.’ The energy is really high and we have a great time.
What’s the most annoying thing about a national tour?
I have a rule: We fly everywhere. We only can change planes once. And if we have to drive between gigs, it’s no more than two and a half hours.
What’s the best part of performing live?
I do revel in it. I love the interaction with the audience. I love how they’re like another component of the experience, and you don’t have that with television and film. The live stuff, it surprised me how much I missed it because I hadn’t really missed it. When I [did Annie,] I had such a blast. I love theater, I love theater people, I love putting on my own makeup, I love the schedule, I love everything about it. And now I’m having the exact same fun doing this cabaret show all over the country.
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