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