Jane Lynch gleeful about bringing her love of music to the stage

Jane Lynch will share her love of quirky songs during her show at Atlanta Symphony Hall. Photo: Jake Bailey

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

caption arrowCaption
Jane Lynch will share her love of quirky songs during her show at Atlanta Symphony Hall. Photo: Jake Bailey

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI

From playing a tyrannical cheerleading coach-cum-principal on “Glee” to portraying some mega-memorable characters in Christopher Guest’s masterpieces “Best in Show” and “A Mighty Wind” to hosting the most tolerable game show this side of Regis Philbin, Jane Lynch has mastered it.

She even endured the Atlanta-filmed “The Three Stooges” in 2012, playing Mother Superior in full nun garb in the roasting summer heat.

So yes, Lynch is game for pretty much anything, which is why her touring show, “See Jane Sing,” which plays Atlanta Symphony Hall on Saturday, sounds like such a hoot.

Chatting from her home in Los Angeles recently, the gregarious Lynch — who is soon filming a pilot for CBS called “Angel From Hell” and will return to TV this summer with “Hollywood Game Night” — shared what fans can expect from the musical side of her creative mind. (Hint: “Far From the Home I Love,” from “Fiddler on the Roof,” makes an appearance.)

Oh, and she has a message for the local crowd: “I hope folks will come out. It’s a lot of fun and the audience is really smiling when they leave. No pressure, Atlanta, but they’re always on their feet.”

Q: Do you find that, even with your Broadway background and the songs you’ve done on “Glee,” that people are still surprised when they hear that “Jane sings”?

A: I haven't heard that, but since I didn't sing so much on" Glee," I think that people wouldn't expect me to be doing a cabaret show. The origin of the show is that last year 54 Below (Cabaret) asked me to do my act for four nights and I said, "I don't have an act — but I'll create one!" There's nothing like having a deadline to force you to put something together. I started with choosing the music — "Slappin' the Cakes on Me," a funny jazz song — and we said, we'll start there. My friend Brad (Ellis), the pianist on "Glee," said once you start picking the music, a theme will arrive. Well, that never happened! So I say, join me on a musical journey.

Q: You heard a lot of “Funny Girl” around the house growing up. Did you ever have Streisand-like aspirations like Rachel on “Glee”?

A: That was never me, although I loved Fanny Brice. I loved making people laugh and singing songs. I was very much in love with the character of Fanny. My mother cleaned the house to "Funny Girl," "Man of La Mancha."… My parents were a gorgeous sight to behold. They loved to sing and dance together. My dad was a wonderful harmonizer. They would sit at the kitchen table and croon. They loved "My Fair Lady," "The Music Man." They loved to do the harmony songs, so I would join them because I loved them.

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Lynch hosted the 67th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards in February. She returns with "Hollywood Game Night" this summer. Photo: Getty Images.

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

Lynch hosted the 67th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards in February. She returns with "Hollywood Game Night" this summer. Photo: Getty Images.

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

caption arrowCaption
Lynch hosted the 67th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards in February. She returns with "Hollywood Game Night" this summer. Photo: Getty Images.

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

Credit: Melissa Ruggieri

Q: Are you a fan of current music?

A: "Glee" really helped me, because we did a lot of current music. But ("Glee" co-creator) Ryan (Murphy) is great about going back into the '80s. I actually don't play music in the house much unless I have people over. I like silence at home, but I like big band. When I choose to listen to music, it's because I want to sing it. I love the Roche sisters from the '70s. On their (1980) album, "Nurds," they do these crazy songs with wonderful three-part harmonies. We should have one of their songs ready for the Atlanta show.

Q: What else can we expect from the show?

A: Kate Flannery is with me. She sings harmonies and we sing a song together. The show is about an hour long, so hopefully I have some hilarious patter for you. My friend Tim Davis, who is also the musical director on "Glee," he sings with us. We do some beautiful three-part harmonies. I have a five-piece band, the Tony Guerrero Quintet, and the band and Tim open the show for me.

Q: Do you tailor your banter for each specific market?

A: No, not really. I bring my show. I figure it's a pretty universal thing. I don't make comments like, "Hey, what about your mayor!" When I was with Second City, they forced us to reference local things.

Q: So let’s talk about all of your other careers. You made your Broadway debut last year in “Annie.” Would you do Broadway again?

A: I LOVED it. In a second I would do it again. It was like heaven.

Q: Whenever “A Mighty Wind” or “Best in Show” is on TV, we stop and watch because they’re just so funny. Do you ever go back and watch those movies?

A: I barely turn on the TV. I think I saw "Best in Show" a couple of years ago and it still holds up, it's still very funny. In this show, I'm doing Folksmen songs from "A Mighty Wind" — "Blood on the Coal" and "Skeletons of Quinto."

Q: What was it like your last day on set for “Glee”?

A: It was brutal. I shed a tear, and I don't cry for nothing.

Jane Lynch with Kate Flannery and Tim Davis. 8 p.m. Saturday. $25-$59.50. Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com.

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