BSO SuperPops welcomes Broadway's Linda Eder

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Entertainment,Music,Marie Gullard

Broadway's Linda Eder rarely is alone onstage when she brings her repertoire to audiences. From within, the spirit of Lena Horne, Etta James, Judy Garland, Patsy Cline and others soar from her through the classic renditions of their most popular songs. On Thursday, her most ardent admirers -- and maybe some new ones -- will have a chance to hear her perform the Broadway, pops, standards, country and jazz repertoire that makes up her newest show, "Songbirds."

Presented by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (who won't be playing alongside her), Eder travels to Strathmore with her own band that includes a pianist, a bass player, a drummer and a guitar player. The sound is big because the voice is bigger.

When the BSO last presented Eder to her local fans in January 2010, she worked up a program titled "The Judy Garland Songbook," which comprised works sung by or written for the legendary actress and singer extraordinaire. A critic from Broadway World noted in awe, "You could hear a pin drop when she began 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow,' which was followed by a wild ovation."

Such is Eder's power to move an audience, as was witnessed night after night in the Broadway musical "Jekyll & Hyde" through the tragic character of Lucy, for which she received a Drama Desk nomination.

Onstage
Linda Eder
Where: Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Info: $28 to $90; 410-783-8000; bsomusic.org

In "Songbirds," Eder give us a concert, a description she decidedly prefers to cabaret, since that is an art form in and of itself, presented in an intimate, theatrical way.

"I'm actually more comfortable in a bigger room," noted the soprano/mezzo-soprano with nearly a three-octave range. "I'm shy, believe it or not, and it took a lot for me to sing in front of anyone to begin with. But an audience isn't an individual [person]. It is a living and breathing thing that I've always felt comfortable with."

When asked, Eder gave a preview of her concert, saying she would be performing the Etta James classic "At Last," the Adele hit "Someone Like You" and Patsy Cline's "Crazy."

While Eder has considered returning to the stage, perhaps in a drama, she is in no real rush, preferring the road to the commitment of a play or musical.

"I've had a long, long career," she said. "I always consider myself so blessed to be doing this and to have such a loyal fan base."

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