One year ago Jane Lynch was in the middle of her eight week run of playing Miss Hannigan in Broadway’s Annie. It was Lynch’s long-awaited Broadway debut in a career that stretches back to the early 1980s. However, audiences didn’t have to wait that long to see Lynch back on a New York stage. On June 18, Lynch began a four night stand of cabaret performances at 54 Below, a New York City venue that is housed in the basement of the former Studio 54. Lynch spoke to the Associated Press about why she decided to do the performances and why she has Glee to thank for her musical theater success.
Lynch admits that unlike most cabaret performances her shows don’t have any kind of overarching theme. She explains, “It’s just a bunch of songs that I like to sing, hopefully some engaging patter, and I hope everybody has a good time and I’m not holding people hostage.”
She also says that doing cabaret performance is a natural extension of ignoring all of her instincts when it comes to musical theater. She points out, “I didn’t have any conscious plans to do Broadway but I always wanted to. So when I got the Annie gig, everything in me screamed ‘No!’ but of course I said, ‘Yes.’ I was so happy I did it and I got the bug back. I saw (Glee co-star) Matt Morrison perform here and I said to myself, ‘Self, this would be fun for you, Jane.’ And then I got the call: Would you like four days? Everything inside of me screamed ‘No!’ but I said, ‘Yes.'”
Of course, Lynch rightly credits Glee for bringing her career to a new level. She says in reflection, “It was a total game-changer. They would not have asked me to do Annie if I weren’t on Glee. At the time I was kind of known for the Christopher Guest movies. I was enjoying my career. I was happy doing guest spots here and there. But this really upped it.”
For tickets to 54 Below, click here