Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Dance Party: A Good Lynching

I absolutely love it when a talented, well-trained performer, who has paid her dues, finally hits the big time. The star of this week's Dance Party has done just that. After earning an advanced theatre degree at Cornell, and after years and years of cameo work on episodic television and on the big screen, Jane Lynch has become a celebrity.

She's known primarily for her comedic work, but has delivered some nice dramatic moments as well. She gave a lovely performance as Julia Child's sister in last year's Julie and Julia, and there was even some talk of an Oscar nod.

That did not happen, but come Emmy time this year, Lynch will be the one to beat. She spent a lot of time in Chicago in her early career, with Second City, and toured as Carol Brady in the Real Live Brady Bunch. Her performance as a dog handler, opposite the equally hilarious Jennifer Coolidge, in Best in Show landed her in the Christopher Guest repertory; she also appeared in his A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration.

A list of her credits would be lengthy and unnecessary for anyone who has seen her work on Glee. I am not an avid fan of the show, though I admit I watch every episode. I find the show itself very uneven, one week terrific, the next week weak. I am not one who is overly enamored of the young cast, most of whom are not dynamic musical performers, though the rest of the country seems to think so. While on their winter hiatus, the Glee kids have been on tour, filling arenas with their lip-sync music and awkward dance moves (they were such a hit at Radio City Music Hall, extra performances had to be added).

Ah, well, best of luck to them. Their program has clearly attracted a following which does not just include those of us who were actually performers in high school. Pretty much everyone, it now seems, felt out of place and unusual in high school. It must be that chord which is being struck in the viewers which have made Glee the hottest show of the season.

After a long break, Glee is back next week, and I'm sure I'll be taping. The main reason will be to see how the writers take the further adventures of butch cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester into new directions. There are lots of clips of the Glee kids out there, but FOX has been quite stingy with the clip below, allowing it on Youtube for a very short while, then yanking it. But I love it, as it shows the exuberance which Jane Lynch gives to her performances. It's a rare scene in which she is getting along with our hero, played by Matt Morrison (he is one of the few on the show with real stage cred, as he created the role of Lt. Cable in the recent South Pacific revival, and has been a Broadway chorus boy for years).

Watch this clip of couple of times if you like, it's short, sweet, and great fun. Jane Lynch is clearly having a great time, both in the clip, and in her life. Happy Dance Party!