‘Glee’ star Jane Lynch heading to ‘Annie’ this summer

Jane Lynch

Jane Lynch

“You think this is hard? Try playing Miss Hannigan in Annie, that’s hard!”

Hmm….now where have we heard that before?

Well, we haven’t—yet. But I can imagine that a certain jumpsuit-sporting cheerleading coach at McKinley High may be hollering it at her Cheerios in the near future.

That’s right, Gleeks. Sue Sylvester is coming to Broadway!

Glee star Jane Lynch has signed on to play the alcohol-swigging orphanage matron Miss Hannigan in the Broadway revival of Annie, an opportunity as exciting to her as the musical was when she began listening to it with her mother as a child. She will be replacing two-time Tony Award winner Katie Finneran, who is exiting the show to film a new series with Michael J. Fox on NBC. Lynch, who has won Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe awards for her portrayal of the glee club’s nemesis Sue, will be making a most villainous Broadway debut.

Needless to say, she’s feeling pretty gleeful.

Lynch will star opposite Lilla Crawford as Annie and Anthony Warlowe as Daddy Warbucks in an engagement running from May 16 to July at the Palace Theatre. With a song list including such treasures as “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “Tomorrow,” “Maybe,” and “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” Lynch is sure to have the time of her life.

But one must pause and ask: is she the best actress to fill this role?

After all, many seasoned actresses have played Miss Hannigan to great acclaim, most notably Carol Burnett in the 1982 film adaptation.

We already know Lynch can sing, as she has done multiple times on Glee. She is no stranger to television and has a multitude of films under her belt, from the cult classic Best in Show to Julie and Julia to her voice-over work in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and, most recently, Wreck-It Ralph. But we must also remember that Lynch graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in theatre and went on to receive a Master of Fine Arts degree in it at Cornell. She has had stage experience in Chicago with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company as well as The Second City. And we all know that she’s a pretty funny wench.

So did Broadway casting directors make the right choice?

My vote is a resounding yes.

For those with doubts, consider her fellow Glee co-stars who have had successful runs on Broadway already. Lea Michele lit up the stage—and made a huge name for herself—when she originated the role of Wendla in the 2006 production of Spring Awakening (and that was after performing in Les Misérables, Ragtime, and Fiddler on the Roof). Matthew Morrison has played everything from Link in Hairspray to Lieutenant Cable in the 2008 revival of South Pacific. And most recently, Darren Criss stepped in as J. Pierrepont Finch in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, making a Broadway debut of his own. Now if we could just get Naya Rivera to play Jasmine in the upcoming Disney production of Aladdin and Heather Morris to dance her way into the ensemble of Pippin, then the Gleeks will really be taking Broadway by storm. But I digress.

I have complete and utter faith that Lynch will give the performance of a lifetime as Miss Hannigan—a role that she says is “a preposterous fantasy come true”—and you should too.

I mean, let’s be real—watching her throw back bottles of liquor while screaming at a bunch of eleven-year-olds and singing the ever-hilarious “Little Girls” is going to be pretty epic.

And that’s how this guy “C’s” it.

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6 Responses

  1. Oh, boy, this is gonna be good. For some reason Miss Hannigan and Rooster were always the best.

  2. I cannot wait to (hopefully) see this! Jane is going to bring so much to the role of Miss Hannigan and I think this was a great casting choice.

  3. I LOVE “Easy Street” and I can’t wait to see what Jane and the other actors do with it. Also, Anthony Warlowe as Daddy Warbucks? YES PLEASE! If you haven’t heard this man sing, go on Youtube and make it happen! It’ll be worth it!

  4. Good gracious, a Jane Lynch rendition of “Little Girls” is going to knock everybody’s socks off! And just imagine “Easy Street”….!!!

  5. I really wish Chris Colfer had time to be on Broadway, he would be fantastic.