BWW Interviews: JANE LYNCH, Coming to Ridgefield Playhouse
It's time to start celebrating holidays that embrace being together with family and friends. One way to do that is to see Jane Lynch's "A Swinging Little Christmas" at the Ridgefield Playhouse.
Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, it's worth seeing the show because of Lynch. She has more pep and energy than the Energizer Bunny. She has convictions. Oh, yes, and she has plenty of talent, and has earned numerous nominations and awards to show for her work. In addition to acting in theatre, in film, and on television, she is a singer and plays the guitar, she is a playwright, and the author of a memoir, Happy Accidents. But to most people, she is best known for playing "Sue Sylvester" in the show, Glee.
Was Glee an unexpected hit? asked Broadwayworld.com. "I had a strong feeling Glee would be a hit when we were shooting the musical scene in the pilot, the 'Don't Stop Believing' number," she recalls. "I had a sense that we would have a small but rabid following. And it turned out, especially in the beginning of the run, we had a huge rabid following!"
She adds, "It's an important show because kids were able to identify themselves in each of the Glee kids. And in the world of Glee, once you're in the choir room, you are a part of a group and everybody has your back. You were embraced for who you are. I think that speaks really strongly to kids. And as it turns out, adults as well. I was very proud to be a part of this groundbreaking show."
Last year, Lynch released the album, "A Swingin' Little Christmas." Her show at the Ridgefield Playhouse will include all the songs from the album, and she will be joined by people with whom she has deep personal and professional connections. "I'm joined by Kate Flannery who was Meredith the drunk on The Office, a very good friend of mine who I've been singing with for decades," she says. "And Tim Davis who was the vocal arranger on Glee and a very good friend. He arranged all of our vocals. We do very tight three-part harmonies.
"We have an amazing quintet led by Tony Guererro. Our take on the music is reminiscent of the popular Christmas music back in the late 50s and early 60s. Jazzy and beautifully orchestrated by Tony Guererro himself." She promises, "You'll recognize all of the carols and will be tapping your toes to Tony's amazing orchestrations and hopefully our swingin' three-part harmonies!"
The show and its specific type of music is important to her because "all of my Christmas memories, the ones that get me right in the heart, are musical ones," she explains. "We played the same beautiful Christmas music every year. it seems like Christmas music recording was paused in the 1950s. All the music we listen to today was recorded in that era. It certainly was that era that inspired our take on traditional holiday carols you'll be hearing in our show. And hopefully everyone will come on out to the Richfield theater to be a part of this musical throw-back of a holiday celebration!"
So, there's something for everyone, and certainly a terrific gift for people who already have everything.
As of this time, Lynch has no upcoming plans for straight plays or musicals in the upcoming year, but she says she is "always open to opportunities for trodding the boards!" Her memoir, Happy Accidents, details how some of her biggest opportunities came about unexpectedly. Chance meetings with influential people led to her getting work as a performer. A show she was scheduled to do was suddenly cancelled, but then she got the part on Glee.
Despite her broad range of talents, she says, "I have no need for an audience to remember me! I'm a very in the moment person! Kate, Tim, the guys in the band and I simply wish to bring some wonderful holiday joy into the hearts of the folks in the audience. The tone of our show is very uplifting and funny and in my humble opinion, musically gorgeous!"
The album, "A Swingin' Little Christmas," is available on iTunes and Amazon. Visit www.janelynchofficial.com for some cute holiday videos featuring songs from the album, her Christmas duet with Dick Van Dyke and more information ab
out her memorable work. Lynch will perform "A Swinging Little Christmas" on Saturday, December 2 at 8:00 p.m. at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and Sunday and Monday, December 3 and 4 at The Winery in New York City. Check out her website, www.janelynchofficial.com for concert dates and venues in Oregon, Washington, Indiana, and California in November and December. The Ridgefield Playhouse is located at 80 East Ridgefield Road, Ridgefield. (If you are using a GPS, use the address 76 East Ridge Road. Turn uphill onto Governor Street and take a left into the parking lot.) Call 203-438-5795. www.ridgefieldplayhouse.org
Photo credit: Jake Bailey