New York singing star Linda Eder began 2013 with a bit of ambivalence.
After more than 30 years of playing venues including Carnegie Hall and Radio City Musical Hall, and recording music under prestigious record labels, Eder began to re-evaluate her new self-employed lifestyle and how it would affect her creatively and personally.
Eder, who starred in Broadway’s 1997 Jekyll & Hyde, wrote in an online post that past “stable” jobs gave her structure but deprived her of the energy to “wonder and wander.” In summer 2014, she released a retrospective solo album called Linda Live, that she says has “infused new life” back into her career.
Fans can expect to hear songs from Linda Live when Eder performs in concert Friday and Saturday at Miami Beach’s Colony Theatre, the inaugural show for the 2015 South Beach Broadway Series, which later will headline stars Betty Buckley and Billy Porter.
“I chose songs that were important to my career for one reason or another,” Eder says. “The stories and the pattern between the songs all came together so naturally that the show just really works.”
She’ll sing her Broadway hits, but Eder also will reach back to show tunes she first sang in high school, including Climb Ev’ry Mountain, which she performed at age 18 in a production of The Sound of Music.
Matthew Lombardo, the co-producer alongside Rick Barry for the South Beach Broadway Series, first saw Eder when she starred as Lucy in Frank Wildhorn’s Jekyll & Hyde.
“It was such a moving performance. I thought, ‘Wow, this is someone special,’” Lombardo recalls. “When someone has a God-given talent and you’re witnessing that talent, there’s some kind of unspoken joy that comes with that attendance.”
Lombardo, who has never produced a show in Miami, wants the South Beach Broadway Series to be a celebration of “pop, classical and modern-day Broadway.” Naturally, Lombardo says, Eder was selected for her success both on Broadway and as a singer.
Eder has recorded 15 solo albums but says often times they’re overshadowed by her Broadway performances. Today, she is working on three separate projects of unreleased and original music.
“The funny part is that people see me as a Broadway standards singer, but when I sit down to write with my guitar, I write country-pop,” Eder says. “That’s what I write–– I’m just a Minnesota country girl.”
The first album in this three-piece project will be released this year, she says.
Recently, Eder began to incorporate country-pop into her recorded music and live performances. She first introduced the idea to fans with her 2008 release of The Other Side of Me, with an original song called Waiting for the Fall —the most successful song on the album, Eder said.
Eder says that for the first time she can fully be herself.
She’s settling into her new identity as an independent artist. Turning 54 on Tuesday, Eder now devotes most her time to re-exploring music —she even admits to starting a for-fun garage band with friends near her North Salem, N.Y., home.
While she playfully calls it “a midlife crisis” band, Eder says most importantly, “We have fun.”
“Singers, we change and we grow,” Eder says. Her voice, she adds, has gone through many changes over the years. As a singer, she often lingers on the technical details of her artistry, but for listeners, she understands the audience demands some emotion in what she produces.
She says this new chapter in her life will do just that. “I still continue to grow. That’s the great thing about music: you can always grow.”
If you go
▪ What: Linda Eder in concert
▪ Where: Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
▪ When: Fri, Jan 31, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.; and Sat, Jan 31, 2015 8:00 p.m.
▪ Cost: Subscriptions for the three-concert series are $299, $199, and $99. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 305-434-7091, or visit www.colonytheatremiamibeach.com.