NEW YORK (AP) -- Jane Lynch has something to be gleeful about -- she's about to make her Broadway debut.

The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning "Glee" star will be replacing Tony Award-winning actress Katie Finneran as the evil orphanage matron Miss Hannigan in the current revival of "Annie."

"I'm so thrilled I can't see straight," the actress said by phone from her home in Los Angeles. "It's a preposterous fantasy come true."

Lynch, a veteran of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, will play Miss Hannigan for eight weeks, from May 16 through July 14. Finneran will depart to film a new NBC comedy series with Michael J. Fox.

"It's a real joy for me to step into her shoes, which are large and scare the hell out of me," said Lynch. "But it's good to be scared. It's good to jump off a cliff."

She said she knows "every breath of this musical," having grown up listening to the cast album with her mother.

Lynch finds it funny that she'll go from playing a TV teacher who is fond of random acts of terror to a gin-swilling orphanage head to calls her charges "brats," denies them hot mush and threatens "your days are numbered."

"I do a lot of mean people," she said. "I'm the sweetest person you'll ever meet but I do have a fascination with that kind of cruelty that comes from a very, very soft place."