Jane Lynch visited St. Louis just two days after the tragic events in Orlando. I went with my wife and was determined not to let fear stand in my way. It was an event attended by a large presence within the LGBTQ community; there was a real sense of comradery among the crowd.
While the crowd was somber in the beginning, when the opening band walked out, we knew it was going to be a great evening. The Todd Guerrero Quintet was magical in arranging all the music for the show. They played some songs, and then were joined on stage by a charming Tim Davis (known mainly for his work on Glee as music arranger, vocalist, etc.). He delivered a few songs with a silky smooth voice that took you back to the days of Sinatra.
Lynch entered the hall with a standing ovation before she even began her portion of the show. If you are not aware of who she is, you must have been hiding under a rock. Best known as Sue Sylvester on the television show Glee, she is a comic, movie star, television star, Broadway star, game show host—and, oh, star of her own cabaret show currently on tour. Along with Davis, Kate Flannery was a presence in this event. You may know her from The Office as the hard-living Meredith. The three, along with the jazz quintet, were a true cabaret lover’s dream come true.
Lynch and gang did numbers from Irving Berlin all the way to Christopher Guest, with the proverbial little bit of everything in between. And, yes, I said Christopher Guest. Some of you may know that Lynch has been in two of Guest’s movies, A Mighty Wind and Best in Show. I was thrilled when I heard she was doing a number by him and was thrilled to learn it was a song from A Mighty Wind. “Blood on the Coal” was a big hit with the crowd, especially for the Guest fans.
Another fun song was when the trio performed “Anaconda” by Nicki Minaj. To say the least, they nailed this song, even when set to jazz. You can just imagine the choreography that went along with the song. And then, when I thought it couldn’t be any better, there was another Guest song from A Mighty Wind, this time “Skeletons of Quinto.”
While those were some of my favorites of the evening, many other great numbers were performed, such as a beautiful medley of songs from West Side Story; “Mr. Monotony (a Irving Berlin number); and “Go Ask Alice” from The Brady Brunch Live (Lynch and Flannery worked on this project together in the 1990s). Another crowd favorite was a medley of songs that, as Lynch said, “made you cry as a child.” That last medley—songs picked by each member of the band and trio that made them cry—was extremely humorous.
The show was genuinely funny, and you could tell everyone involved in the show had a great time together. While Lynch was extremely entertaining, Flannery really livened things up. She reminded me so much of her character on The Office by the jokes and hijinks she pulled on stage. | Tracy Fort
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