Celebrated actresses and singers Jane Lynch and Kate Flannery will make their praised debut at the elegant Café Carlyle (35 East 76th Street, Manhattan), beginning September 11 to September 22, with “Two Lost Souls”.
Two time Emmy winning host of Hollywood Game Night, and Emmy winner and Golden Globe victor for her portrayal of the devious gym teacher Sue Sylvester in Glee, Jane Lynch began appearing in her own live concert tour “See Jane Sing” shortly after her Broadway debut in “Annie” in 2013. “See Jane Sing” also included Tim Davis and Kate Flannery who is best known for her nine season role as Meredith the drunk on NBC’s “The Office”. Together they also recorded a holiday album, “A Swingin’ Little Christmas” which charted on Billboard’s top 10.
Jane is currently appearing in The Good Fight on CBS and on Amazon’s The Amazing Miss Maisel. On August 26 Jane will be doing an hour long special on NBC entitled Clear The Shelters a plea for animal rescue.
The Café Carlyle originally opened in 1955 and is the opulent height of cabaret entertainment in a close, intimate setting. It has been included in American Airlines in-flight magazine as one of the top 3 music venues on the planet. For this performance Jane and Kate will be doing a variety of songs from Broadway to music of the Swingin’ Sixties in their very own style, along with music director Tony Guerrero.
Tickets for the show can be purchased online via Ticketweb, or at 212/744/1600.
I spoke with Jane Lynch regarding her debut as well as her current endeavors ….
You’ve been touring for a while with “See Jane Sing,” how will your debut at Café Carlyle vary from that?
Well it’s just Kate and myself, and we’re doing all new songs. We have a four piece band as opposed to a five piece band. We’re calling this show, “Two Lost Souls.” “See Jane Sing” was kind of me in the driver’s seat, and after a certain amount of time I realized how stupid it was to not have Kate front and center with me. So in fact “See Jane Sing” is really “See Jane and Kate Sing.” So it’s just the two of us doing our thing. We don’t have Tim Davis doing this one, it’s going to be me and Kate in “Two Lost Souls.”
Can you give me a sneak preview?
It’s just one of those things…. we won’t even really know what the show is until we actually do it. We’re rehearsing at this point. We’re doing “Two Lost Souls” from “Damn Yankees,” we’re going to do “The One Note Samba,” which is going to be hilarious. We’re doing “Bei Mir Bistu Shein,” the Yiddish version by the Barry sisters. We are going to do the “Alleluia Chorus”….we’re all over the map.
So it’s singing and comedy, and everyone is going to love it?
Let’s hope so….we’re going to love it. I hope everybody else will enjoy the experience.
How did you and Kate come to team up?
I’ve known Kate for decades and we met in Chicago when we were both doing what we call non-equity theater. We were doing the comedy club stuff, and she and I found our way to doing duets a lot of the time. When we came down here to LA we continued with this sketch comedy. We got together with a lot of people and we came from “The Real Live Brady Bunch,” that was our show that we first did together back in Chicago. We did sketch comedy here in LA and then four years would pass and we would do a duet for a charity event, and then at 54 Below I was asked to do four nights there. I said, “I’d love too but I’d have to put Kate Flannery in there and we would have to create the show together.” We’ve been on tour together for four years. I’m on my way to her house right now to do a little singing.
How fun…must be fun to rehearse?
Oh it is….we usually chat more than we rehearse and then we have to say…”We have to sing, we have to sing.”
You’re quite busy now. You have The Good Fight on NBC, and something on Amazon, correct?
Yes, The Amazing Miss Maisel, that was just nominated for an Emmy.
A lot of people have wondered….On Glee you portrayed Sue Sylvester, the physical education teacher, what was your own gym teacher like?
Of course I had several… I don’t know that I had a Sue Sylvester. I did have a theater teacher who it seems I took a lot of her characteristics and put them in Sue Sylvester. She was shaming and she was powerful, and she could destroy you, but she also had a very wonderful heart. She was one of those people that when she walked through the hall the kids would part like the Red Sea. Everyone was really afraid and in awe of her and wanted to please her. When you didn’t please her, you knew it. She held great power over the theater students at Illinois State University.
Will the Hollywood Game Night be enjoying another season?
We are doing another season. In fact last night I had dinner with our producers. We’re going to shoot very soon but I don’t think it’s going to be on until next year. We will be doing 13 episodes.
If you could have your ultimate stage fantasy, what would you need to happen?
It’s already happened. This is every moment that I am on stage with Kate, and our band. It’s a dream come true. I can’t think of anything else I’d want.
So the Café Carlyle is a very intimate setting.
Yeah…I know. We usually play bigger rooms, but we enjoy the smaller rooms more so we are so excited. We’ve been kind of gunning to do this for a while. They want you to do a new show. They don’t want you to do something you’ve done before so, we had to wait to come up with something, and then we pitched it to them, and then they gave us a date.
The front row is practically the stage.
We like it that way. I want everyone so close we can spit on them, I love it.
I can tell you’re very excited about this!
Are there any other cool projects that you are working on at the moment?
Not really….we’re going to New York in a couple of weeks, I just take it a day at a time. You might want to add we are doing our Christmas tour. We’ve got a monster Christmas tour this year with Tim Davis who is also performing with us. It’s called “The Swingin’ Little Christmas” and we’ve been doing it for the last three years. We’re going to be all over the country. We have a Christmas album that we released called “The Swingin’ Little Christmas,” and it was number 8 on Billboard last year. It did very well. We’re going to be in Seattle, Portland, and we’re going to be in Florida for like a week. We’re going to be all over the place, Tennessee, the Midwest, we’re going out East, we will be all over the country. Chicago which is my hometown, we will be there for a few days.
Will you be hitting New York?
No. We did last year at the City Winery.
If you could say something to self-promote “Two Lost Souls,” what would you say?
Oh god, you’re asking the worst person. What I will say is Kate and I have fun. Even though it appears really loose and spur of the moment, and a lot of it is because Kate is a wildcard. I am much more of a precision person, and I kind of map things out. Then she goes and blows it all up. That’s why it works so well. I never know what the hell she’s going to do but she’s always gold. That’s why I keep her around. I work something out, she blows it up and makes it better.
So then you’re not scripted?
Well, I’m not going to give away those secrets…it’s a combination….
Is there anything that you want to add that I haven’t asked you?
I’m doing an initiative with NBC and it’s a pretty big deal, and it’s close to my heart. It’s called Clear The Shelters. It’s a month initiative and a challenge to Americans to come in and adopt a dog. Either the shelters will do it for free or at a minimal cost. Our goal is to clear the shelters and to make sure that all of these dogs, and cats and sometimes rabbits have a forever home. So for in over four years we have joined over 150,000 pets with forever homes. I’m going to be hosting the show which is August 26. The show is an hour long and will be highlighting some of the more touching stories that have occurred. It’s on NBC.
I feel like you have many of these dogs…in your own home?
We have four now. Especially Arbuckle. He was 150 pounds, he’s supposed to be 50. We treated him for his hypo thyroid and now he’s down to 85 pounds. He’s our success story He’s a happy boy. The Instagram handle is @allaboutarbuckle. He was named after the actor Fatty Arbuckle.
Get your tickets to “Two Lost Souls” at Café Carlyle here: https://www.ticketweb.com/venue/cafe-carlyle-new-york-ny/284974
Follow Jane Lynch on Twitter @janemarielynch
Follow Kate Flannery on Twitter @KateFlannery