Reprinted from yesterday's late editions

Dorothy Collins used to be America's kid sister. In the 1950s, Collins was the "Lucky Strike girl" on NBC's "Your Hit Parade," and with lacy blouse and bow tie, Collins charmed her audience with endless renditions of "They Try To Tell Us We're Too Young" and "Teach Me Tonight."

A generation later, Collins is on the cabaret circuit, opening a two-week stand Tuesday night at the Waaay Off Broadway Cabaret. Snooky Lanson's co-star has now run the gamut as an entertainer - bandsinger, TV star, Broadway belter, Las Vegas act and finally, a nostalgia's cult figure.

Though Tuesday night's crowd had come to hear her old tunes, Collins fed the audience a steady diet of Steven Sondheim and Peter Allen numbers, tossing in a medley from "Your Hit Parade." Songs such as "The Way We Were" and "Send in the Clowns" were written for aging chanteuses like Collins, and with real emotion and clearheaded phrasing, she gets through them nicely.

America's kid sister has grown up and grown older. After her time at the top, with "Your Hit Parade" and on Broadway in "Follies," Collins never envisioned herself as a saloon singer. It shows.