How Jane Lynch, Actress, Spends Her Sundays

The last time Jane Lynch, the character actress perhaps best known for her work in television (“Glee,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and film (“Best in Show”) performed on Broadway was 2013, playing Miss Hannigan in a revival of “Annie.”

Now she’s back, starring in the revival of “Funny Girl,” alongside Beanie Feldstein. “I’ve always loved being part of a theatrical group,” Ms. Lynch said. “This is how I like to live, to focus on one thing and let it be all-encompassing.”

Newly married to Jennifer Cheyne, 60, a screenwriter, Ms. Lynch, 61, usually lives in Santa Barbara, Calif. Her stay in New York is temporary; she is headquartered in Midtown until her commitment to the show ends in late September. She has enjoyed the change of pace, she said.

“New York has a pulse that throbs and is alive and bustling 24/7,” she said. “Los Angeles rolls up their streets at 8 pm”

GOOD MORNING I’m a monk. I don’t need a lot of space. For the first three months of rehearsals I was at the Mandarin Oriental, which was cozy. A few weeks ago I packed my two suitcases and moved to a two-bedroom apartment the production found for me, which is great because when company comes, they have a place to stay. I’m usually up at 6 am no matter what time I get to bed, but I’m exhausted from doing two shows the night before so I might sleep until 7 or 8.

SCREEN STUFF I recently got very militant and deleted 15 years’ worth of emails and put a filter on my email so now I get very few — from my agent, Jennifer and my sister and brother. I usually read those in bed. Now that I’m in the apartment I force myself to do it in the living room. I watch YouTube videos on my phone about UFOs, lectures on Jungian psychology and Jeffrey Mishlove’s “New Thinking Allowed.” He’s like an intellectual, spiritual Mister Rogers. My stomach’s not liking coffee, so I’ll have two Perrier caffeinated energy drinks.

CENTRAL PARK STROLL Around 11 I’ll go for a walk. Sometimes I stop at Ground Central and order an oat milk latte. I walk to Columbus Circle and head toward the dog park to get my puppy fix. I love dogs and dog people. We usually have three or four dogs at our house at a time. At the moment we just have Mildred, a Belgian shepherd. I’ll stay for an hour or so chatting with people, then walk through the park and get lost until I can locate a building I recognize.

PROTEIN HIT By the time I’m out of the park I’m hungry. I was vegan but didn’t think I could give up sushi, which I love. I go to Maki Maki and order three spicy salmon rolls, which I’ll eat there. Then I head to the theater.

THE NEW PROTOCOL At 2 pm I enter through the stage door. If my name has been cleared from yesterday’s Covid test, it’s in the book, which I sign and go into the building. Then I sign in on my phone via a QR code. My dressing room is up one flight, and I do a Covid test there where I spit into a vial and put that in a pouch with my name on it and hang that on the wall outside my door.

THE DRESSING ROOM The only thing I brought with me from home was a framed, professional photo of my parents taken in 1959 at the Plaza Hotel having breakfast before going to see “My Fair Lady.” I’m in my mommy’s belly. I’m not sentimental, but I liked that they were going to a Broadway show and I’m on Broadway doing a show.

PREP Barry Hoff, my dresser, who was my dresser for “Annie,” is usually ironing my wardrobe when I get there. I steam my face, which steams my throat. Then I listen to Manhattan Transfer’s greatest hits and sing “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.” I sing that two or three times in soprano, even though I don’t sing soprano in the show. That’s my vocal warm-up. It loosens up my voice and gets my breathing in a cadence.

NO MORE ANXIETY I wash and moisturize my face and do my own makeup. At 2:40 my wig and cap arrive. I’m in my foundation garments and costume and mic pack. I used to get anxious before the show and would say, “Jane, you know this show and you enjoy it.” About two weeks ago the anxiety went away.

RITUALS At 2:55 “places” is called. I take two mini peanut butter cups from the control guy, which is probably a bad thing to eat before you go onstage, but they don’t bother me, and stand in the winding stairwell with two other actors. As the overture starts, we do circle exercises with our arms and take our masks off right before we go onstage. The next hour and a half I’m in the zone.

INTERMISSION I’m already in my room, in a robe, because I’m done a little before intermission. I sit there until Barry says we should get dressed for the second act. I take two more peanut butter cups from the control guy.

CERTAIN STOPS I’m in the first three scenes, which includes my “Sadie, Sadie” and “Who Taught Her Everything She Knows?” numbers. I’m not onstage all the time, but I’m onstage enough, unlike Beanie. She’s on the train for the whole thing; She I get off at certain stops.

CURTAIN CALL When we bow it’s wonderful because that’s the moment we can see the audience’s eyes because they’re masked. They are so much a part of the experience. We all did something together. I love that.

SAFE EXIT Sundays feel different because it’s the end of our week. It’s my favorite show because there’s the sense of satisfaction of having done eight shows, plus I have the next day off. I change out of everything as quickly as possible and slip out a different stage door. I don’t like throngs of people, I like one-on-ones. And I’m trying to stay super safe because if you get Covid you’re out for 10 days.

CEREAL FOR DINNER Sometimes on my way home I stop off at the Westerly and buy an Ocho dark chocolate peanut butter bar. At the apartment I take off my makeup and change into PJs I might have a bowl of Raisin Bran with almond milk.

CLEAN SURFACES I go back to YouTube, on my phone, not on the computer. I try to stay away from news and Twitter. I had a terrible Twitter habit I broke in January. I was too obsessed. I used to tweet three or four times a day; now I check it once a day and tweet about the show. I don’t DM anymore — that’s in my profile. I’m much happier. I like clean surfaces; that includes my brain and my closet.

SILK LINENS, CITY VIEWS I’m asleep at 9, which is my normal bedtime. I put silicone patches on my forehead and around my eyes. And I have silk pillowcases from home. I have a beautiful view of the city. As I lay in bed I look at it until I get sleepy.

Sunday Routine readers can follow Jane Lynch on Twitter @janemarielynch and on Instagram @janelynchofficial.

Leave a Comment