Monday, December 15, 2014

December Notes

TigerBlog starts the week off with a multiple-choice question.

In the picture below, the woman with TB is: A) his cousin, B) a colleague, or C) an award-winning Broadway actress/singer.

If you guessed "C," you'd be correct. If you can correctly identify her by her picture, well, then TB is impressed.

Linda Eder is the woman's name. For the life of him, TigerBlog cannot figure out why she doesn't have multiple Tony Awards and Grammy Awards on her shelf.

TigerBlog has never met anyone who has heard her sing who doesn't rave about her. He also hasn't met many people who have heard her sing.

It has to be her own choice that she's only been in one Broadway show, the musical "Jekyll and Hyde," for which she won a 1997 Theater World Award for Best Broadway Debut. TB's favorite song of hers, "Someone Like You," is from that show.

TigerBlog has seen two of her concerts, including a recent one in which she sang a mix of Christmas songs, Broadway songs and some of her original songs, of which she has written many. She also has a bunch of albums with all kinds of Broadway songs, as well as some with Christmas music.

TigerBlog has 68 of her songs on his iTunes, which puts her in second place behind Bruce Springsteen, just ahead of Train, Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny. 

TigerBlog compares her to Judy Collins, whom he has also seen in concert, not so much for the types of music that they sing - Collins is mostly a folk singer - but in how powerful their voices are, what an incredible range they have and how the sound overwhelms the audience from the first note.

Linda Eder is also a great self-deprecating storyteller during her shows. She talked about how she wanted to be Maria as a high school senior in "The Sound of Music," only to be cast instead as the Mother Superior of the convent and then singing "Climb Every Mountain."

She talked about her big choreography move was to go from standing up to sitting on a stool. She talked about missing her 14-year-old son's wrestling match because of the concert.

She seemed like someone who loved what she was doing and appreciated her audience, so much so that she said she'd come out to the lobby to say hi, sign autographs and pose for pictures. For as many times as TB has seen the Boss, he's never once done that.

At one point during the show, she described herself as "just a big Minnesota farm girl who still drives a tractor, owns every power tool know to man and knows how to use them all." TigerBlog would describe her more as an extraordinarily talented woman with a great musical gift, and possibly add the parts about the tractor and power tools after that.

With December and Christmas concerts comes a lull in the Princeton Athletics schedule. Princeton has very few teams who still have events for the rest of the calendar year and into the beginning of 2015, after it all shuts down for two weeks for first semester exams.

Then it's the sprint to the rest of the winter, and only a few weeks until the overlap between winter and spring. Hey, TigerBlog sent a tweet yesterday at 1, noting that it was exactly two months until opening face-off of men's lacrosse season. Two months? It's not even Christmas yet.

This weekend was slow to begin with, and it became even slower when the men's hockey team ran into unforeseen difficulties in Linda Eder's home state.

The Tigers flew to Minnesota Thursday and then bussed an hour from Minneapolis to Mankato to take on the third-ranked team in the country, Minnesota State-Mankato, Friday and Saturday. Only it turned out to be only Friday, as the home team would not field a team for Saturday's scheduled game due to a sudden outbreak of the flu.

As a result, Princeton instead found itself in Minnesota with nothing to do on its Saturday night. It ranks up there with a fall water polo game in the indoor pool that was postponed due to lightning as the most unlikely cancellations of the year, TB supposes.

One team that wasn't stopped was the women's basketball team, who defeated Binghamton 96-58 to become the first Princeton men's or women's team to get to 10-0 in a basketball season, as well as the first Ivy women's team ever - and first Ivy team of either gender since the 1970-71 Penn Quakers went 28-0 to start the year.

Next up? At Delaware tomorrow night.

There are 15 events - assuming they all get played - remaining on the athletic calendar for 2014. Of those 15, 11 are away from Princeton.

The only remaining home games are a basketball doubleheader Friday (women's vs. Portland State, men's vs. Lipscomb) beginning at 5:30. There is also a home men's basketball game against Liberty a week from today and then home men's hockey against Quinnipiac on the 28th.

If you're heading to New York Sunday to see the tree and do some Christmas shopping, you can see Princeton wrestling at Madison Square Garden. Anything called "Grapple in the Garden" has to be pretty cool.

In the meantime, Linda Eder's version of "Do You Hear What I Hear" just came onto TB's iTunes.

And so TB will end today where he began, with Linda Eder.

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