Jillian Louis: You Don’t Know Me

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Jillian Louis

You Don’t Know Me

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, August 17,2018

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Jillian Louis
Photo: Maryann Lopinto

Jillian Louis is a promising young vocalist with a unique sound and an engaging personality. Her facial expressions vary nicely depending on the type of song she sings.

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Her excellent enunciation makes her especially adept at performing comedic material. The show was a nice mix of songs that dealt with Louis’ difficulty with self awareness.

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She opened with “I Gotta Be Me” followed by “You Don’t Know Me,” which ended with her singing “you don’t know me” three times. Then, in a humorous manner, she said, “I hardly know who I am.” She drew laughter with her performance of “Queens” (Francesca Blumenthal) which reflected her life growing up and still living in that mundane borough, the place where “potholes turn into ravines.” Accompanying herself on guitar she built to a big finish on “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” Once again she displayed her flair for comedy with the Stephen Sondheim/Mary Rodgers parody “The Boy from….” The audience sang along with “This Land Is Your Land.” She belted “I (Who Have Nothing)” with confidence. Her finale, “Maybe This Time,” ended with a big finish. The encore was a bright and breezy “Getting to Know You.”

I believe that Louis has a promising future as a cabaret artist. With more experience, I think that she will master the art of making eye contact with the audience, which was lacking, perhaps due to her being nervous.

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.