Thank you, Jane Lynch for beautifully commencing Christmas

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Photo: Mariyam Quaisar

Tim Davis (left), Jane Lynch (middle), and Kate Flannery (right) performing “A Swinging’ Little Christmas” at City Winery, with The Tony Guerrero Quintet on the instruments.

By Mariyam Quaisar, Content Managing Editor, Business Managing Editor

On Wednesday Dec. 8, I walked into the City Winery with the brightest smile plastered across my face. Want to know why? Jane Lynch’s “A Swingin Little Christmas.”

The show is named for the former Glee star’s Christmas album of the same name, which she recorded with Kate Flannery, Tim Davis, and The Tony Guerrero Quartet in 2016. On the album, and in the show, Lynch takes iconic Christmas songs and puts a spin on them to provide Boston with an exhilarating performance that ended too soon.

“We want people to feel like it’s one of those old Christmas specials from the 60s and 70s that were so popular back then,” Tony Guerrero, the lead of the band, said. 

In an interview with The Beacon prior to the show, Lynch said she was excited to be performing “A Swingin’ Little Christmas” in front of a crowd again after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the previous year’s performance. 

“It’s become my Christmas tradition to do this show,” she said. “We love it, it’s just a joy.”

My five friends and I were seated in one of the front most tables, courtesy of Lynch, and excitement radiated off of us throughout the entire show, rightfully so. 

The quintet commenced the show with a mix of piano, drums, saxophone, trumpet, and an upright bass. The five musicians efficiently warmed up the crowd for Lynch and Flannery’s upcoming antics with witty dialogue and playful behavior in between instrumentals.

Photo: Courtesy of Jane Lynch
Tim Davis (front left), Jane Lynch (front middle), and Kate Flannery (front right) with The Tony Guerrero Quintet on the “A Swingin’ Little Christmas” tour.

The lights went out and then entered Lynch, Flannery, and Davis all three in all black. They vocalized as the lights slowly showered upon them and the butterflies in my stomach increased tenfold. They quickly dropped the “serious act” and welcomed Boston with open arms, shining smiles, and entertaining jokes. 

“It’s a blast,” Lynch said. “We have so much fun, and that is contagious. We love the music, it’s very precise and beautiful. It’s really about the beauty of this music and it’s just swinging.” 

During every song, the audience was tapping their toes and swaying and when the performances ceased, laughter and applause from the audience commenced. Flannery, known to many as Meredith the drunk from The Office, carried the show with her humorous and lively personality. Flannery and Lynch’s relationship, one that reminds me a lot of my roommate and I’s, kept the crowd engaged and chuckling. Flannery’s many alcohol jokes had my cheek bones aching by the end of the night.  

One of my two favorite songs of the show was ”Sentimental Christmas,” and here’s why. One of the lyrics is, “or the year my boyfriend gave to me his lousy STD.” Another lyric is, “Waking Christmas morning next to someone I don’t know.” Guess who sings those lines? The icon: Flannery. Paired with Flannery’s hilarious lyrics were Lynch’s expressions and Davis’s sincere Christmas spirit. They make quite a trio. 

“Christmas is a time when everybody is listening to the same songs,” Guerrero said. “As a society, Christmas music brings us all together. The music we [perform] evokes that, and all the songs were written for that feeling of unity and joy.”

My second favorite song, because I know you’re dying to know, was “Jingle Bells.” The instant the song came on, my friends and I perked up and belted along. Listening to “Jingle Bells” in the voice of Sue Sylvester evoked hundreds of emotions within me. There were too many childhood memories flooding me at once. It’s safe to say I’ve never felt such joy.

Lynch said the trio doesn’t aim to evoke a particular emotion from the audience, instead focusing on doing their best to create a relationship with the crowd. 

“We just do the best take on a particular song that pleases us, and if it’s pleasing us and it’s got mastery to it, the audience is right there,” Lynch said. “It turns into this one-on-one relationship, and that’s why we like intimate places. We like to be able to look into the eyes of the people and really have a connection.”

The multiple standing ovations weren’t enough to appreciate “A Swingin’ Little Christmas.” Lynch, Flannery, and Davis’s animated vocals paired with the euphonious instruments eloquently pushed the packed City Winery into the gates of Christmas. I wouldn’t trade the night for the world.