I had the opportunity to see Linda Eder perform at Town Hall this week. She is best known for her powerful performance on Broadway in Jekyll and Hyde, where she tore the roof off the house every night.
Her set was filled with eclectic songs- Broadway, jazz, pop, country- she can sing it all. Her voice is so clear and pitch perfect, it stunned me.
She opened with the song that won her 12 straight weeks on Star Search, what she called "the kindler, gentler American Idol", Looking Through the Eyes of Love.
Eder spoke of her upbringing in Missouri, where her dad was a chef and owned a restaurant with an attached dance hall. She was a dishwasher, but every night she sang one song with the band- Jesse Colter's I'm Not Lisa. We were treated to a reprise of that song, which I haven't heard in years.
Of course, we got her two big songs from Jekyll and Hyde- Someone Like You and A New Life. It was wonderful for those of us who never got to hear her sing it on Broadway. She also gave us two more iconic Broadway songs- Don't Cry For Me Argentina from Evita and I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. If she had just sung those two songs, it would have been worth the price of admission. Throw in her rendition of Climb Every Mountain from The Sound of Music, and it was heavenly.
The Young Voices of New York Choir joined Eder onstage and they added a new dimension to her performance, especially on the pop classics Adele's Rolling in The Deep and Dusty Springfield's Son of a Preacher Man. Both songs were highlights for me.
Eder performed in Atlantic City for a few months- four shows a night in six hours. Oh my goodness, that is crazy! The most popular song for that crowd was Abba's Fernando, which seemed like a bit of joke, until she started singing it and the entire audience went crazy. She made it so much fun.
The one song that is her favorite is one co-written by her ex-husband Frank Wildhorn, Vienna, which is on the CD I have of hers from 1999, It's No Secret Anymore. You can see all of Eder's CDs here on her website.
Eder has been compared to Barbra Streisand, and that is an apt comparison. Her musicality is impressive and if you have a chance to see her in concert, jump at it.