Tour


JUDY GARLAND COMES TO LIFE

 

On September 9th, 10th and 11th, 2016, Houston’s Jones Hall was truly alive with the sound of incredible music. Linda Eder, Conductor Steven Reineke and the wonderful Houston Symphony… perfect together! The chemistry between Linda and Maestro Reineke was incredible given the fact that they had not met previously. They both had a blast working together and doing this show as they brought the spirit and magic of Judy Garland to life for three very appreciative audiences.

Maestro Reineke and the Houston Symphony brought down the house each performance as he conducted the symphony in “A Judy Garland Overture,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “The Wizard of Oz Symphonic Suite,” and “Overture to Girl Crazy.”

It was an incredible experience to hear Linda bring back songs she had recorded in her “tribute to Judy” CD. Her set list included “Almost Like Being in Love/This Can’t Be Love,” The Boy Next Door/You Made Me Love You,” “Me and My Shadow,” “I’d Like to Hate Myself in the Morning,” “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart/The Trolley Song,” “It Never Was You,” “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody,” “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows/Over the Rainbow,” and “By Myself.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be a “Linda show” without some of her “fan favorites.” Those selections were “Someone Like You,” “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” “Anthem,” “Vienna,” and “Man Of LaMancha.”

Linda stayed after each show to greet fans and some of those fans have written about their experiences. Thank you Ruben Perez, Renee Teel, Margie Hayden, Lynette Williams, and Jessica Zeller.

 


Fans Ruben Perez, Renee Teel and Margie Hayden with Linda. Not pictured: Bobby Teel & Rose Mary Reff
Ruben Perez, Renee Teel and Margie Hayden from Texas write…

Magic Revisited

We met Linda in 1990 at the Alley Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde in Houston, Texas. It was Linda’s first theatrical production, and she brought a fresh perspective of joy that made the show fun for the whole cast. Rehearsals for the world premiere were underway, and the adrenalin rush was building among all the employees of the theatre. None of us was prepared for the blast of excitement and the people who came from all over the world to see the production. Despite the immense fanfare and media attention, Linda always stood out as a gracious lady who would sooner share a laugh and a hug than get caught up in the hype.  

After her recent concert with the Houston Symphony, we exchanged old stories much like old friends often do. “Linda, did you ever hear about the customer who almost broke the glass partition in the box office when she found out all the shows had been sold out? She wanted to see you so badly that she banged on the window demanding tickets.”

Our reunion after Linda’s concert at Jones Hall was at Birraporetti's, the same restaurant we frequently haunted back then when Linda was in town. Stimulated with nostalgia, Linda ordered spaghetti, the same dish she had the night theatre critics released their reviews of Jekyll. And when the piped in background music in the restaurant played one of her signature songs from Jekyll, we perked up like high school kids. All the sweat equity, sleepless nights, laughter, and tears that played out behind the scenes came back as a reminder of touchstone moments that will forever keep us joined at the hip.

For us, the concert was more than just an opportunity to see Linda in action again. While she indeed was amazing, we got to revisit that stirring in the heart when you see someone you hold with great affection. She continues to put everyone under her spell as she did when we were all together last. When she spoke about Judy Garland’s influence on her life, there was an audible sigh from the audience. Linda truly has the quality of spirit to bring out tangible signs of affection. Hearing Judy Garland’s songs with Linda’s voice was the best of two worlds. It tickles us that with all of Linda’s success, she retains her genuine joy and shares her kindred spirit with ease and grace. And her voice is as rich and powerful as the day we first heard her. 

Thank you Linda for an amazing evening! 



Fans Duke and Lynette Williams with Linda

Lynette Williams from Texas writes…

I have been a Linda Eder fan since the time my daughter came home from her high school drama class with a CD of the musical from “Jekyll & Hyde”. Her teacher knew that I was a huge fan of musical theater and was excited to share this show and this soundtrack with me. I fell in love with Linda’s voice the first time I heard her sing. She sang with such power, such clarity, such tone, and such emotion. I never imagined at that time that I would actually have a chance to hear her perform in a live setting.

Years later, however, I connected with her Facebook page and discovered that she was doing a joint performance with my favorite male pop singer, (Steve Tyrell), in Ocean Grove New Jersey that very weekend. Now – me being a San Antonio, Texas girl, you can understand how my husband might have reacted when I marched into the bathroom that morning and informed him that we WOULD be buying airplane tickets to fly to New Jersey that weekend, even though we had just returned from a trip to Hawaii. He looked at me like I was crazy for a few seconds and then said, “Call Southwest.”

That trip resulted in back stage passes to meet Linda and a connection with Linda’s newsletter publisher, Ellen Jacobs through Facebook. In the years since that performance, Ellen and I had become great friends from afar, even though we had never met personally.

On September 8th, I was scrolling through Facebook and noticed a post from Ellen that she was getting ready to fly to Texas for the very first time. I immediately wondered if this trip had something to do with Linda. I got on Linda’s website and sure enough – found that she would be appearing that weekend with the Houston Symphony in a tribute to Judy Garland. I immediately contacted Ellen, and we made plans to finally meet face to face and to share in the privilege of hearing Linda’s performance. Another plus was finding out that yet another Facebook friend through Linda, (Jessica Zeller), would also be attending.

Linda’s concert did not disappoint. She has only gotten better in the years since I last heard her sing. From the moment she took the stage - her amazing voice captivated. This, coupled with her warm personality and rapport with the audience, made it a night to remember. It was an extra special treat to hear her sing with one of the finest symphonies in the country, the Houston Symphony. There was an obvious connection between Linda and the director of the symphony, Steven Reineke. Their banter and interaction throughout the evening was fun to witness.

Linda sang so many of Judy Garland’s hits… everything from “I’d Like to Hate Myself in the Morning” to her beautiful medley of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows/Over the Rainbow.” She told us she had never had the opportunity to meet Judy Garland, but I’m sure if Judy had been looking down on her that evening she would have been absolutely bowled over. Linda interspersed some of her own greatest hits including “Anthem” from Chess, “Someone Like You” from Jekyll & Hyde, and my favorite encore number, “I Am I, Don Quixote” from Man of LaMancha. Even though this song is written for a male singer, Linda explained that long ago she decided she would just sing the songs that she loved – male or female – and she brought the house down with this one!

This was an evening never to be forgotten and the cherry on top was meeting up with Ellen after the show where she arranged a little “meet and greet” for Jessica and me. Both times I have met Linda, I have been so impressed with the warmth of her personality and her total lack of “self-importance.” She is always so down to earth and “real.” Even though she is a huge star, she puts you totally at ease. I’ll never forget the year I ordered several of her Christmas CDs as gifts, and she personally hand addressed and mailed them all to me. She loves her fans and is one of the few stars who goes out of her way to make herself available to them. I will always love her for her amazing talent, but her genuine care and concern for her fans just amplifies my admiration for her. Not only is she one of the greatest singers of our time, but she is also a genuinely beautiful person inside and out.


Fan Jessica Zeller and Linda

Jessica Zeller from Texas writes…

September 10, 2016 was a night Houston, Texas audiences will never forget, for Linda Eder made her way back to Jones Hall with the Houston Symphony, with another spectacular show--this time an homage to the incomparable Judy Garland, Linda's childhood idol. Those who know Linda best know very well the story of how Judy enchanted young Linda's heart for the first time, so we were in for an evening of nostalgia on her part as well as all of ours.

The orchestra opened the concert with a “Judy Garland Overture,” comprised of all of her best hits, hinting of what was to come. Linda entered the stage and prefaced her set with a favorite in her repertoire, “Almost Like Being in Love/This Can't Be Love” and followed up with one of my personal favorites of Judy's, “The Boy Next Door/You Made Me Love You” and the precious gem, “Me and My Shadow.” Of course, no visit to Houston would be complete without the song that marked the beginning of Linda's Broadway journey, in Houston of all places: “Someone Like You.” As per usual, I was in tears.

This performance was special, though, because of the context. Linda is paying tribute to her idol, Judy Garland, doing what Judy inspired her to do. And there I was, in the audience, listening to Linda sing the very song that in turn inspired me to do the same... share myself with the world through song. It's Linda's theme song for a reason—it never fails to move me to tears—and it's the highlight of her shows for sure.

The show continued with a song that Linda says is very “Judy,” which was “I'd Like to Hate Myself in the Morning” and from the symphony, the oldie but goodie, “The Lady is a Tramp” from “Babes in Arms.” She also included a long-time favorite of hers and the fans, “Don't Cry for Me, Argentina” from “Evita,” which is another one that just gets better and better. Linda closed the first half with another Judy medley from her “By Myself” Judy tribute album, “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart/The Trolley Song.”

The second act was a real treat! The fabulous Houston Symphony conductor, Steven Reineke shared with us his experience working with Linda on this brand new tribute to Judy, and what better tribute than to feature the orchestra playing a revitalized medley of the songs from “The Wizard of Oz.” It was quite the spectacle, complete with a rainbow backdrop. It was so beautifully played and nuanced that my mom and I could envision the movie when we closed our eyes. I'm sure we weren't the only ones!

Linda came out and sang “Anthem” from “Chess,” one of her favorite songs to sing written for the male voice. Why can't a woman sing it if she's got a powerhouse voice? The evening moved along with Linda's rendition of “It Never Was You,” “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody,” and the orchestra's take on the Overture from “Girl Crazy.”

The concert concluded with the song that started it all for Linda—her path to musical greatness and also the Judy Garland tribute album. There is not a soul on this earth who has not seen “The Wizard of Oz” or heard “Over the Rainbow.” Both the movie and song have captivated generation after generation, and continue to do so. Linda reminisced about her very first viewing at eight years old, a significant age for a lot of people because it's when we become self-aware and usually develop a special lifelong interest. Obviously, for Linda, it was singing. Fans were not the only ones who were moved; Linda was too. We all felt Judy's presence; it radiated through Linda so poignantly with every note. Linda bore her heart and soul on stage, and it was a heartwarming experience witnessing Linda give to Judy and to us. We got to see Linda's true, beautiful spirit doing what she loves. She is truly at home singing Judy Garland and as Judy herself said, “There's no place like home.”

Linda gave one final “thank you” to her Texas fans and the Houston Symphony. We were honored to share this with her, as she proudly proclaimed that she has sung with several symphonies over the years, and they are not all of the caliber of the Houston Symphony. As Eder fans know, it would be an injustice to exclude another song very near and dear to Linda and her fans because it was composed with a symphony, and that is “Vienna.” It was gorgeous as always. And as with any Linda concert, she ends on a high note... literally! “Man of La Mancha” showcases Linda’s incredible voice and ability to give it her all for her fans, time and time again.

My favorite part of Linda's concerts is watching her interact with fans. It doesn't matter how she's feeling, she takes the time to not only sign autographs and take pictures with every person who waits in line, but she will have a conversation with them too. She treats each person like they are the only one in the room, and I respect her and appreciate her more each day for her generosity. She makes the fans feel special, and that is another testament to people’s love for Linda. Not only is she a phenomenal vocalist, she is a kind and gracious person as well. As the Wizard of Oz himself once said, “A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” People love Linda, and it’s easy to see why. Her heart is as big as her beautiful voice.

 

 

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