By Dennis Spair
(Rachel Howe, Jackson Smith and Rachel Berman)
We’re first introduced to goddess and muse Minerva through her parents Jupiter and Juno, both deities themselves. They enlighten us to the many times Minerva has inspired various lyricists and music composers throughout America’s history to write wonderful songs about what makes our country so special. It’s a very patriotic, creative experience.
The cast keeps spirits moving as it plays on our heartstrings with an interesting mix of timeless mythology within our contemporary world.
Seeing Rachel Berman’s Minerva try her parents’ patience by texting on her smartphone or the way her subjects react to her unexpected presence is funny and engaging. We see the origins of classic songs such as “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” “My Mammy,” “The House I Live In,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You,” “America the Beautiful,” and others.
The cast members are all very talented. Rachel Berman as Minerva, John McCool Bowers as Jupiter, and Julia Shear Kushner as Juno deliver witty, warm lines. Alan Stillson’s original music and words highlight for us songs that played an important part in our country’s development along lines of civil rights, during wartimes, the contribution of immigrants, and the importance of our elders. All are tied together and inspired by Minerva.
Director and Choreographer Alissa-Nicole Koblentz keeps the historical transitions throughout the times moving steadily and creatively.
Everyone’s voices blend perfectly together as each scene culminates.
Thank You, Minerva is playing through Aug. 18 at the Secret Rose Theater located at 11246 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood. For tickets call (818) 762-2272.