From the moment songstress Linda Eder walked out on stage at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence earlier tonight, her presence enveloped the audience with the warmth, humor and phenomenal skills of a musician sitting comfortably at the top of her game. 

She performed a wide range of holiday songs, from perennial favorites like "Silent Night" and "The First Noel," to powerful original tunes like "The Bells of St. Paul" and "The Silence of Snow," all with dynamic vocal prowess that only a true star can deliver. Eder even infused classic carols like "O Come, All Ye Faithful" with new jazz-infused arrangements that brought the audience to its feet.

Throughout the show, however, she also performed some of her tried-and-true classics, because as she mentioned during one of her monologues, "I'll hear about it on the Internet if I don't do these songs." Eder took us back to her Star Search win as she performed the theme from Ice Castles, "Through The Eyes of Love," sending the song's high notes through the rafters of the auditorium with phenomenal ease.

She also performed classic Broadway songs that had personal meaning for her, including "Climb Every Mountain," from her high school production of The Sound of Music, and "Someone Like You," which her ex-husband Frank Wildhorn penned for her first Broadway musical, Jekyll and Hyde.

Eder said that she is frequently asked why she hasn't returned to the Broadway stage, and she said that she remembers how hard it was to perform eight shows a week, seven days a week, and that she feels it is more important than ever to spend time with her 15-year-old son Jake, particularly with all the problems going on in the world today.

One particular highlight for me was her performance of "More Than Heaven," which was the first song she performed live after the tsunami that struck Japan. Ever since, she says she has been singing this song in memory of all the people who have gone through one horrible event after another ever since.

An evening with Linda Eder is very much like lounging in the living room of a very talented friend. Her songs are heartfelt, yet her demeanor is quite casual and inviting, reminding us that no matter how bright her star power is, she remains the same shy girl who grew up in Brainerd, Minnesota so many years ago. In a word, Linda Eder is "delightful."

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