Not playing in Las Vegas at this time.
FEINSTEIN & EDER - MAKING MUSIC ON THE LAKE
By Esther Lynn
Beautiful music, in a beautiful setting, performed by beautiful people. What more could one want on a (hopefully) balmy September evening?
On Friday, September 8, as part of the Stars on the Lake series at the magnificent Lake Las Vegas Resort, the keeper of the Great American Songbook, Michael Feinstein, will be joined by Broadway star/recording artist Linda Eder, in concert.
Always a crowd pleaser, it was Michael Feinstein who, in October of 1998, was the first entertainer to perform in the beautiful Fontana Room at the brand new luxurious Bellagio. In September of 1999, it was the popular singer/pianist who launched the Broadway/Las Vegas series when UNLV started this type of entertainment. By popular demand, he has been brought back to UNLV to entertain audiences there. Now Southern Nevadans and visitors to the area have another opportunity to see and hear this multitalented man, this time with singer Linda Eder.
Michael Feinstein started playing the piano by ear when he was only five. By the time he was in his teens, he was entertaining at weddings and parties in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio. After graduation, he worked at local piano bars, and at age 20, he moved to Los Angeles. Through the widow of renowned concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant, Feinstein was introduced to Ira Gershwin. After years of working with the legendary songwriter, Feinstein became Gershwin's musical assistant. That long-term relationship, lasting from 1977 until Ira Gershwin's death in 1983, helped to build Feinstein's interest in American composers. Today Feinstein is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts and interpreters of Ira's brother George Gershwin's music.
Mr. Feinstein's career break came in 1986 with his debut at the Algonquin in New York. It was through Liza Minnelli that Feinstein got his next big break. Liza with a Z was so impressed after seeing Feinstein's cabaret act, she sponsored his 1988 Broadway debut. "Isn't it Romantic" was a smashing success and made Michael Feinstein famous.
Through his live performances, recordings, film and television appearances, and his songwriting, Feinstein has become an important and respected musical force. He was recently elected to the Library of Congress's National Sound Recording Advisory Board, and last December he received the first ever ASCAP American Songbook Award for his dedication to traditional popular standards.
In the last two decades, there have been more than 20 Michael Feinstein albums, a number of them paying tribute to American songwriters including Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerry Herman, Burton Lane, Jay Livingston & Ray Evans, Hugh Martin, Jule Styne and Jimmy Webb. His 1998 Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin (containing the most incredibly, uniquely arranged version of Embraceable You ever), earned him one of his four Grammy-nominations. His latest release, Hopeless Romantics, is a collaboration with jazz legend George Shearing.
A performer, composer, and arranger of his own music, Michael Feinstein also interprets the songs of music legends such as Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington, and Harry Warren. He performs in major concert halls, small jazz clubs, on college campuses, and with symphony orchestras all around the world. He recently completed a sold-out two-week engagement at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London's West End.
In addition to his travels away from home, the talented entertainer can frequently be seen, heard and enjoyed in his own Manhattan nightclub, Feinstein's At the Regency. For a period of time, Feinstein also booked acts and performed at the famed Cinegrill in Los Angeles. There was even some talk about him looking for a semi-permanent Las Vegas room that would offer the same type of entertainment. As of yet, that hasn't happened, so it is opportunities like this appearance at Lake Las Vegas that give Las Vegans and Las Vegas visitors the opportunity to experience the finest in cabaret talent. Which confirms Vegas as one of the most exclusive performance venues holding a renowned reputation for not only gambling but also for music and performance.
Linda Eder was born in Brainerd, Minn. (not far from Judy Garland's hometown of Grand Rapids). Her immigrant parents exposed Linda to all kinds of music, pop and classical, but three singers - Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand and classical/jazz soprano Eileen Farrell - influenced her more than any others.
She spent much of her 20s perfecting her vocals and stage presence. "I did Harrah's, opening for other singers in lounges," she recalls. "I was doing four shows a night, but things evolved when I started doing my own songs. There was no template and I was free to sing what I wanted." Her big break came in 1988 on the TV show "Star Search," where she reigned a record 13 weeks. That led to a lead role in the 1990 Broadway-bound musical Jekyll & Hyde.
Linda recorded seven Atlantic and Angel albums between 1994 and 2004, each a blend of standards, pop hits and originals, and each showcasing Linda's extravagant vocal gifts. Over the years, passionate fans across the country packed concert halls, including New York's Carnegie Hall. Among her many milestones, Linda's been profiled by the Bravo Network, had a solo concert run at Broadway's Gershwin Theater, and performed the track "Gold" to which Kristi Yamaguchi skated to during the Opening Ceremony at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
After several years of marriage and raising son Jake, Linda and composer Frank Wildhorn recently parted ways. Though divorce is never easy, in many ways Linda feels better than ever. "This is a whole new life for me," she says. "I'm back in control of my destiny, which feels good. If I may borrow the words of my late friend, Carl Anderson, I like to drive my own bus."
Eder's latest CD, By Myself: The Songs of Judy Garland, pays tribute to one of her lifetime idols (the other singers who have influenced Eder are Barbra Streisand and classical/opera diva Eileen Farrell). There are similarities between Garland and Eder - they both come from Minnesota farm country and both know how to get the most out of a song. Because of that, and Linda's admiration of Judy, this album - containing known as well as somewhat obscure songs associated with Garland - was probably predestined.
Following the release of By Myself, Linda hit the road for a series of concerts across the country and, for the first time in her career, performed in Europe. Not surprisingly, Eder has a large worldwide following. Although her latest CD is called By Myself, "I am not at all by myself," she says. "I have had a lot of great people helping me and Judy on my shoulder."
Presented on a grand stage that floats on a 320-acre privately owned lake, this evening with Michael Feinstein and Linda Eder promises to be nothing short of spectacular. To reach Lake Las Vegas (located about 17 miles from the Strip), head east on Lake Mead. You can't miss it and you shouldn't miss this concert event either.
More for Michael Feinstein / Linda Eder