NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- Linda Eder has been called one of the best voices of our time, and there is a rare opportunity to enjoy the North Salem resident in her professional persona, just a short drive away at the Ridgefield Playhouse.
I always knew my voice had the ability to make special sounds. I could do things my brother and sister couldnt, Eder said. My voice became my instrument.
Propped in front of her Minnesota TV set at the age of 10, Eder saw Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz and thought, I want to do that.
Eder never took voice lessons. I learned by listening to Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and Eileen Farrell, Eder said. They were my teachers.
Fifteen years after that, Eder was competing and winning for an unprecedented 12 weeks on Star Search, a forerunner of American Idol. That led to an audition for the Broadway musical, Jekyll and Hyde, which established her as a major star.
Being in that show was like a full life in the theater, Eder said. It took seven years to get the show to Broadway. But then my son was born and I realized I couldnt continue that life."
Nontheless, Eder has had a steady concert career. For 10 years before moving to North Salem, she traveled back and forth between Los Angeles and New York.
But Im not a city person, Im a Minnesota girl. Ive lived in North Salem for 14 years. I have three german shepherds and three horses. One of them is 29. I owned his mother when I lived in Minnesota, Eder said.
When it comes to music, Eder says she likes a lot of variety and her recordings prove it.
I became known as a Broadway lady, but thats just one part of me. I do all kinds of music and I really like country pop.
The three CDs in her car right now are Lady Gaga, Zack Brown and Lady Antebellum.
Her advice to young hopefuls is to make absolutely sure it's what they want.
If its not your absolute passion, dont do it. And have something else to fall back on, Eder said.
Eder will appear in concert at the Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge, in Ridgefield, Conn., on Saturday, March 24 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $65 to $85. Call (203) 438-5795 for reservations.
On Sunday Eder will judge at the playhouse for BandJam 2012, an American Idol style event created by kids to raise money for the playhouse. Call (203) 438-5795 for more information.
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