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posted: 6/22/2014 5:30 AM

Jane Lynch hits the stage with cabaret appearance

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  • Actor Jane Lynch performs for the press before her concert debut at 54 Below in New York on Wednesday.

      Actor Jane Lynch performs for the press before her concert debut at 54 Below in New York on Wednesday.
    Associated Press

  • Actor Kate Flannery, left, and Jane Lynch perform for the press before Lynch's concert debut at 54 Below in New York on Wednesday.

      Actor Kate Flannery, left, and Jane Lynch perform for the press before Lynch's concert debut at 54 Below in New York on Wednesday.
    Associated Press

 
By Mark Kennedy
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Jane Lynch has zipped off the tracksuit and left the Cheerios behind. The "Glee" star is going cabaret.

The Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winner made her nightclub debut this week with a four-night stand in front of a three-piece band at 54 Below, a club in the cellar of what was a notorious, coke-fueled disco in the 1970s.

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The show got to show off another part of Lynch, who has been roaring to take a stage again since she made her Broadway debut last summer as Miss Hannigan in "Annie."

Lynch recently sat down with The Associated Press to chat about her set, "Glee," "Hollywood Game Night," Broadway and who she most admires in the business.

Q. What can we expect of your show?

A. It's just a bunch of songs that I like to sing, hopefully some engaging patter, and I hope everybody has a good time and I'm not holding people hostage.

Q. Is there a theme for the evening?

A. Everybody told me as you pick songs that a theme will emerge all by itself. Nothing emerged. There's very little tying these songs together. I say, 'Come with me on a musical journey through a world of songs that actually have very little to do with each other.'

Q. Why did it take so long for you to do cabaret?

A. I didn't have any conscious plans to do Broadway but I always wanted to. So when I got the 'Annie' gig, everything in me screamed 'No!' but of course I said, 'Yes.' I was so happy I did it and I got the bug back. I saw ("Glee" co-star) Matt Morrison perform here and I said to myself, 'Self, this would be fun for you, Jane.' And then I got the call: Would you like four days? Everything inside of me screamed 'No!' but I said, 'Yes.'

Q. What's the latest with 'Glee'?

A. We're going into a sixth season. I think it's going to be half a season. I think we're going back to McKinley High. I think. I don't know any of this for sure. But that's the word on the street.

Q. What's the show's legacy?

A. I don't think you can underestimate truly how powerful this show has been and will continue to be: It's the place where you can go where you're celebrated for who you are. It's this safe refuge for kids. That's what we're all looking for. We're still in high school, a lot of us.

Q. For you personally, what did 'Glee' do for your career?

A. It was a total game-changer. They would not have asked me to do 'Annie' if I weren't on 'Glee.' At the time I was kind of known for the Christopher Guest movies. I was enjoying my career. I was happy doing guest spots here and there. But this really upped it.

Q. Who do you look up to in this industry?

A. Neil Patrick Harris. He's all over the place, but in a good way. There's a method in what seems to be the madness of him doing this and then doing that, hosting this and then doing that. I'm always watching Neil from the corner of my eye.

Q. Your improv skills are on show on "Hollywood Game Night." How do you prepare your star guests?

A. What I really learned is that if I'm not relaxed, they're not relaxed and the audience is not relaxed. So I just really have to be relaxed. And I do clunkers -- I have jokes that don't go over. Somehow they get on the air and they look funny. I don't know how they do it. They funny-ize them.

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