May 27, 2013 12:00 PM

>BROADWAY SHOWSTOPPER

The Glee star sheds Sue Sylvester’s sweatsuits for her Broadway debut, as orphan-hater Miss Hannigan in Annie

Were you excited to have the chance to be on Broadway?

It’s one of those preposterous fantasies I thought would never come true, but when I was asked, I said, “No.” But then I realized I was just scared to death.

Were you a fan of musicals growing up?

My family was very into musical theater. Even though we didn’t perform, we sang all the time. My dad always did the soft-shoe. My parents harmonized together. They’d sit at the kitchen table with their Manhattans, and then they’d sing. My sister said something to me recently—that she listened to [Annie song] “Little Girls” and thought, “Our parents are having a little party in heaven to celebrate this.”

Did you start out doing theater?

I was given the role of the king in The Princess and the Pea when I was 14. I went to one rehearsal and I quit. I found my old scrapbook from back then, and I had written, “I quit because I couldn’t get my character.” I probably read that somewhere. I didn’t get the huge laughs that I [thought I would], so I said, “I can’t do this.” I was afraid of failure.

Will Sue Sylvester be singing more on Glee next season?

[Laughs] I haven’t asked that yet! Hopefully I’ll get some fun solos. [Show creator] Ryan Murphy loved the play. He even put “Little Girls” in our show.

So you’ve terrorized teens and now orphans!

This makes the kids love me even more. I think I need to play a saint next.

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