Playing with sound
The Broadway performer and inveterate singer will be performing at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek Saturday at 7:30 p.m.The songstress has an easy fit with Broadway tunes, but she has a bit more pop and jazz in her than most leading ladies. Eder began singing as a child. Her sometimes adoring, sometimes uninterested audience were the cows and horses on the family farm.”My voice was a toy,” she said. “I was making sounds and mimicking things, playing around as a kid. I think you slowly discover what music is.”Now, with several albums under her belt, a successful run in one Broadway production and another coming up, her voice is more than a toy.”It’s a tool,” she said.And a refined one at that, though she’s still a farm girl at heart. Her performing voice is rich and clear. She believes it’s better suited to sophisticated songs, rather than run-of-the-mill pop. Eder lives in New York with her husband, composer Frank Wildhorn, and their son Jake, almost 4. She’s still surrounded by animals, mostly horses, dogs and cats. “Not by any stretch of the imagination am I a glamorous person in my own life,” she said, laughing. “I’m comfortable in jeans and flannel, but the way my voice sounds, it’s sophisticated. And singing that way is more honest to my performing me.”Broadway tunes have always been special to her, as has classical music. She grew up listening to records of “The Sound of Music” and “Peter Pan.” Her latest album, “Broadway My Way,” is a compilation of several of her favorite songs. Interpretation is everything. She played fast and loose with the arrangements, creating new songs out of standards.”As a performer, one of the lessons you have to learn is not to please everyone,” said Eder. “You have to do what pleases you, and what feels right and honest. I’ve developed a sense of what works for me.”Ironically and fortuitously, what works for her has been embraced by audiences and critics alike. The Daily Variety described her as “an artist who possesses the kind of individuality that marks a great, enduring star.”When Eder was a kid, she didn’t actually see the Broadway plays. She heard them. Therefore, it didn’t matter if a song was supposed to be sung by a man; she simply sang whatever she felt like. She did it her way – she’s still doing it. Following her own advice took her to a performance high.”Growing up in Minnesota, I didn’t know much about the different places you could perform,” she said. “Carnegie Hall was one of the ones I had heard of, so playing there was very special.” She’ll be in New York City for another concert at Carnegie in February, and then back later in the year for the opening of “Camille Claudel.” The musical was written for her by her husband. The two met during her 13-week success story on “Starsearch.” At the time, he was in the planning stages for his musical, “Jekyll & Hyde.” Eder ended up originating the role of Lucy, and received several awards for her efforts.She’s looking forward to “Camille Claudel,” though not the time it will take her away from her son.”The sacrifice I’ll make is going into the second act while he’s at home, going to bed,” she said.She keeps her concert schedule easy, and only commits to 50 shows a year in two or three-day blocks. Her performance on Saturday will include a mix of songs from all of her albums, plus a few of the new ones thrown in for good measure. For more information on the performance or to purchase tickets, call the Box office at 845-TIXS or visit http://www.VilarCenter.org.Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.