Barbara Minkus is a senior in her glory days acts and looks more like a junior. In a most animated one woman show, directed by Susan Morgenstern, Barbara delights her audience at the Santa Monica Playhouse. Now in her prime, golden years, Barbara shares a musical journey of her full life that certainly many would admire and envy. In “The Road Not Taken,” Robert Frost writes “Two roads diverged…I could not travel both.” Yet Barbara Minkus manages to defy the odds, as it were, and take on two distinct roads, and many faceted characters in her fabulous performance.
She is the woman in this one woman show “I’m Not Famous,” and when she’s not speaking profound words of wisdom she’s either singing or dancing to communicate the incredible nature of her amazing life’s journey.
She started off as a frumpy girl on Chicago’s north side , frequently ridiculed as a ‘chubby scrappy nobody.’ But those harsh words and mean girls did not deter her from her dream to make it big as an actress or comedienne In show biz and in the end she managed to fulfill this dream among many other ones.
Her motto was constantly “run, don’t walk,”and run she did as a true go getter.
Resembling Bette midler in her youth she tried her hand at opera arias, yet was laughed at and encouraged to pursue the great white way on Broadway. She began her career in show business in NYC in Julius Monk’s Bits and Pieces, continuing on as the original Lucy in the recording of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
A lucky break was being discovered by Merv Griffin and obtaining an agent in Hollywood (Howard West) and through persistence and drive, she landed a coveted role as Fanny Brice In Funny Girl and as luck would have it … she’s been passionate about theatre ever since.
Her career took a curveball as it were and ended up in Hollywood , with cameo comedic bits in sitcoms like Love American Style and the Danny Kaye Show . Along the way she found true love on a blind date and built a happy life and family.
Most people would be happy enough with such accomplishments but she also fulfilled an ‘alter ego ‘ role as a therapist, a main revelation in her solo show. She relives how she studied acting by day and psychology by night.
And never the two would meet until graduation day when she belted “People who
Help people are the luckiest people in The world,” ala Barbra Streisand.
A memorable number, quite a standout in this show was Barbara’s rendition of Sinatra’s “That’s Life.”
Barbara Minkus has had more than 15 minutes of fame but rather a whole life of success and accomplishment
Her memoir onstage is s true tribute to her creativity and originality .
through July 22
Saturdays 7pm; Sundays 3pm
Santa Monica Playhouse 1211 4th St