Glee’s Jane Lynch tak­ing her ‘mean’ to Broad­way

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Mark Kennedy

NEW YORK — Jane Lynch has some­thing to be glee­ful about — she’s about to make her Broad­way de­but.

The Glee star said she’ll be re­plac­ing Tony Award-win­ning ac­tress Katie Fin­neran as the evil or­phan­age ma­tron Miss Han­ni­gan in the cur­rent re­vival of An­nie.

“I’m so thrilled I can’t see straight,” the ac­tress said by phone from her home in Los An­ge­les. “It’s a pre­pos­ter­ous fan­tasy come true.”

Lynch, a veteran of Chicago’s Step­pen­wolf The­atre Com­pany, will play Miss Han­ni­gan for eight weeks, from May 16 - July 14. Fin­neran will de­part to film a new NBC com­edy se­ries with Michael J. Fox.

“It’s a real joy for me to step into her shoes, which are large and scare the hell out of me,” said Lynch. “But it’s good to be scared. It’s good to jump off a cliff.”

Lynch will star op­po­site Lilla Craw­ford in the ti­tle role and An­thony War­low as Daddy War­bucks. The mu­sic con­tains gems like You’re Never Fully Dressed With­out a Smile, To­mor­row and It’s the Hard Knock Life

Lynch has an Emmy and Golden Globe for play­ing the track-suited, glee-club-hat­ing cheer­lead­ing coach Sue Sylvester on Glee. Her film cred­its in­clude Wreck-It Ralph, Three Stooges, The 40 Year old Vir­gin and A Mighty Wind.

She said she knows “ev­ery breath of this mu­si­cal,” hav­ing grown up lis­ten­ing to the cast al­bum with her mother. She re­calls see­ing the film in the mid-1980s and ador­ing Carol Bur­nett, who played Miss Han­ni­gan.

Lynch finds it funny that she’ll go from play­ing a TV teacher who is fond of random acts of ter­ror to a gin-swill­ing or­phan­age head to calls her charges “brats,” de­nies them hot mush and threat­ens “your days are num­bered.”

“I do a lot of mean peo­ple,” she said. “I’m the sweet­est per­son you’ll ever meet, but I do have a fas­ci­na­tion with that kind of cru­elty that comes from a very, very soft place.”


J.K. Sim­mons and Keri Rus­sell in a scene from Dark Skies.

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