See Jane Rap!

Jane Lynch at Joe's Pub.

In “See Jane Sing!,” Jane Lynch’s show at the fabulous Joe’s Pub last week, Lynch played a character, but it was not the deliciously loathsome phys-ed teacher Sue Sylvester (Glee), her most famous role, or any of the other characters she’s portrayed in TV, film, and theatre. It was instead a clueless and somewhat pompous version of herself that was—partly because she never broke the fourth wall to show us the real Jane Lynch—consistently hilarious. With help from Kate Flannery (The Office) and Tim Davis (musical arranger for Glee), she sent up romantic ballads such as “It Must Be Him” (“I grew up with this bullshit”), tearjerker songs (“Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast”), folk songs (“Blood on the Coal,” from A Mighty Wind), psychedelic rock (“Go Ask Alice,” here referring to housekeeper Alice of The Brady Bunch—"Make your bed! Make your bed!"), and, fully in touch with her inner and outer Minaj, hip-hop (a tour-de-force “Anaconda”).

This might not have worked so well if the three singers hadn’t all been in fine form, especially Lynch. Backed up by the Tony Guerrero Quintet, which had its own quirky sense of humor (the band opened for her as well), she sounded great, from delicate to brassy to, um, fierce. See Jane come back to Joe's Pub? Hope so.

With Tim Davis and Kate Flannery.

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