Jane Lynch, up close and gleefully musical, brings her cabaret act to the Palace of Fine Arts in The City this weekend.
After decades away from theater, the Emmy-winning star best known as the acerbic Sue Sylvester on “Glee” says, “I kinda thought I was done with that. I told people that I like this TV stuff. It’s easy. Plus I get paid lots of money!”
But she couldn’t pass up an offer to play the comically evil Miss Hannigan in the recent revival of “Annie” and make her Broadway debut.
“Who says no to that?” she says. “The minute I walked out on the stage I was like, ‘Holy cripes! I’m home!’ It was fantastic. It’s what led to me doing this cabaret show. I’ve been re-bitten by the bug.”
She’s not alone. The tour of “See Jane Sing” also features Kate Flannery (Meredith from “The Office”) and Tim Davis (vocal arranger for “Glee”).
“We were sitting around talking about how happy we were doing this,” says Lynch. “It’s the happiest we’ve been in years! We didn’t realize this is what we were missing.” A year ago, Lynch took the cabaret plunge in an hour-long show at New York’s 54 Below.
“It might run a little longer than that, but there will be no shedding of tears,” she says of her sentiment-free evening. “We do have some ballads, but of course we make fun of everything we sing!”
Lynch has been making television and film appearances for more than two decades, bouncing from comedy to solidly dramatic roles, such as the schizophrenic mother of Matthew Gray Gubler’s Spencer Reid on “Criminal Minds.”
“I really don’t have a preference one way or the other,” Lynch says about choosing roles. “I just love a really well-drawn character. I love the limitation [of a specific character] so that I can be free within it. I love corralling myself into something and then bouncing around within it.”
Before “Glee,” Lynch clocked time on dozens of popular series. She says, “I really enjoyed just sort of stopping in and doing a turn on those shows, but the brass ring for me was really to get a gig with a character that had a long life on a show.”
Having snagged the ring, she also found it appealing to be one of many in “Glee’s” large ensemble: “I didn’t work every day. I didn’t have a story line for every episode. Sometimes I’d just show up to serve someone else’s story line and it felt like I was a guest star!’”
IF YOU GO
Where: Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St., S.F.
When: 7:30 p.m. May 9
Tickets: $59.50 to $109.50
: (888) 746-1799, www.shnsf.com