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10Qs: Jane Lynch on Comedy, Cabaret & Her Belgian Shepherd Benjamin

10Qs: Jane Lynch on Comedy, Cabaret & Her Belgian Shepherd Benjamin


She's performing See Jane Sing! at Joe's Pub August 16-19

Even though Glee wrapped last spring, Jane Lynch -- known to many as the snarky Coach Sue Sylvester -- isn't losing any momentum. The funny lady, who recently made her Broadway debut in Annie, will return to the stage inSee Jane Sing!, a comedic cabaret show at Joe's Pub in New York City running August 16 to 19. Lynch will tackle such songs as "If Wishes Were Rainbows," "Mr. Monotony," "Far From the Home I Love," and "Skeletons/Blood," and will be accompanied by a five-piece band, co-singer Kate Flannery (from The Office), and Glee's music arranger, Tim Davis.

But what's extra special about this event? For an extra $25 audience members can use the promo code OUTMEETSJANE and have an exclusive meet-and-greet with Jane. The additional proceeds will benefit the True Colors Fund, an organization dedicated to ending LGBT youth homelessness.

In anticipation of See Jane Sing!, we caught up with Lynch to find out a little more about the show.

Out: You finished up Glee a little while ago and were recently in Annie on Broadway, did these projects reinvigorate your excitement about performing and singing?

Jane Lynch: Definitely. Performing in Annie reignited that fire to be on stage and to sing. Because I was in the Broadway community for a couple of months, 54 Below offered me nights in their theater to do my act. And I thought, Well, I don't have an act, but I will get one. So I challenged myself to come up with it and so what you're going to see at Joe's Pub is a humble beginning.

What song are you most excited to sing?

Well, all of them. I picked all of the songs because I love them. I didn't purposely pull together songs that have a theme or anything. When I'd be struck by a song walking around or taking a hike, I'd go, I'll put that in the show. So in the beginning I actually say: "Join me on a musical journey through a world of songs that have very little to do with one another."

And is it all musical theater-based?

No, it's an eclectic group of songs. I have a couple Broadway songs, but they're reinterpreted. So you won't know them. I have a couple jazz songs, including an Irving Berlin song called "Mr. Monotony." I did it on Glee, but it was cut. I loved it so much that I put it in the show. I do some songs that come straight from the kitchen table when I was growing up. My parents were wonderful singers and harmonizers, and my whole family would sit around and sing. Well, my brother and sister would actually watch in horror, and I would sing with my parents.

Did you take a lot of artistic liberty arranging these songs?

Absolutely! We made them our own. We have a great band, The Tony Guerrero Quintet, and he is a wonderful musical director. Tim Davis, who was the vocal arranger on Glee, also performs with me. He's a great arranger as well. Between the two of them I have some really cool arrangements of some songs you may night even recognize.

And you'll be performing with Kate Flannery for some part of it!

She's been in my life forever and we've been singing together for decades. She's a big part of the show and I couldn't do it without her. I am so grateful. She's such a blast.

Joe's Pub has been bringing in some amazing performers. Have you been there much?

I saw Bridget Everett there. That was amazing. That woman--talk about bold--she is a wonderful performer and great singer. She was standing up with her crotch in some guy's face and I was like, I want to perform here!

I also wanted to talk about the cool meet-and-greet you're offering after the show. So some folks can pay an extra $25 and will get to meet you, and then all those proceeds go to the True Colors Fund, which strives to end LGBT homelessness. How'd you get involved with the organization?

I have a terrific girl I work with, Kate Vogler, who is uber great with social media. She's super smart and compassionate and she came up with this. I'm such a fan of the organization, so I thought it was a brilliant idea. Hats off to Kate!


Photo by M. Sharkey for Out

I wanted to get your perspective on the recent change in the LGBT landscape -- post-SCOTUS ruling, of course -- but also how so many celebrities have been more vocal about the trans movement, queer representation, and LGBT homelessness.

There are so many issues and so many areas in our society where people need advocacy. There are kids on the street who aren't gay who also deserve our love and compassion. I'm all for people standing up and giving, and I don't have any criticism of anyone who doesn't. I don't keep track on anybody, and I don't think others should keep track. We're here to learn from each other and to help each other, and there are a myriad of place where our help is needed. I love that Miley Cyrus is doing The Happy Hippie Foundation, and I'm so proud of what Jill Soloway has done with Transparent, and I'm so proud and happy for Caitlyn Jenner, and for Ryan Murphy for what he did on Glee. We had two trans characters! Come on, that's good stuff. I think people do things according to their own conscience.

I wanted to ask a question we always try to end with. What's your spirit animal?

My Belgian Shepherd, Benjamin. He's not only my spirit animal, he's my guru and my life partner. I just adopted him six months ago ,and I was looking at him today and was thinking, What would I do without you? What if you didn't walk into that shelter? He was a stray and he is about 12 years old. He is pure unconditional, love--insanely kind and brings out the best in me. I love him so much.

Is he coming with you to New York!?

No, I can't put him in the belly of a plane. I want to get to the position where I'm over-rich and can fly private so I can bring my dog.

One day! But now you have someone to come home to, so that's good.

Exactly! I'm glad we did this. I hope the community comes out and becomes a part of this show.

Buy your ticket now and consider paying an additional $25 for a VIP ticket and a chance to meet the lady of the night.

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