Twenty years or so ago, the cabaret community was treated to the debut of Eadie Scott (then known as Eadie Cohen), in the show Are Ya Havin' Any Fun? Directed by Daisy Prince, all who attended agreed unanimously that Scott was headed for greatness in the arena. It was but two short seasons later, with her new act Wished on the Moon helmed by director Collette Black, that Scott copped major notices all over the city,
made an appearance at that season's Cabaret Convention at Town Hall and received an award or two, including a '94 CaB Magazine Award for Best New Artist.
The aforementioned Ms. Black, already a celebrated director for the medium before and since (notably and recently with the Hector Coris revue What's the Point? at Dillon's in '08), has once again knocked it out of the proverbial park with her handling of A Girl You Should Know, the debut offering of newcomer Jackie Kristel at Don't Tell Mama. And if this show is any indication, cabaret will have a new potential "Bright Young Thing" before long, if this sumptuous evening is any indication of what's coming next for her.
A buoyant brunette with a dazzling presence, Kristel proves a crowd pleaser by the end of the first sentence of the show's title number, penned by Matlby & Shire. She follows brilliantly with "Joshua Noveck," by Douglas Bernstein and Denis Markell, and causes the first showstopper moment of the night with Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler's "The Morning After." Her patter is no less brilliant, touching on all manner of subjects from working in casting to being a teacher, as well as a generous smattering of tales of woe about single womanhood. By the time she wraps it up with Frank Wildhorn's "This Time Around," and then encores with "For Good" by Stephen Schwartz, it's clear that if Kristel wants to find success in the cabaret sphere, she can have it for the taking. And Tracy Stark couldn't have served more perfectly as Musical Director.
If Jackie Kristel has any obstacle at all ahead of her, it will be following up A Girl You Should Know with an even finer production. But, one is sure she and her team are up to the task. All in all, it adds up to a delightful evening. And one is thrilled by the end of the show, to have gotten to know her. 'Nuf said.