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Claudia Kelly's 500 Hats - Endearing Quirkiness


Much of this britches-offing charm is due to Bobbi Kotula as the title character--a spitfire vixen...

Claudia Kelly's 500 Hats --a former fringe favorite, written by Donna Rae Davidson and composed by Rob Jones--is the funkiest little two-act musical I've ever seen, and by God, it tickles me to bits. It's a vivid, rather disjointed and noisy piece that bustles manically yet delightfully between unbearable bravado, dangerous vibrato, and endearing quirkiness that somehow--somehow!--winds up charming one's britches off.
Much of this britches-offing charm is due to Bobbi Kotula as the title character--a spitfire vixen, a manic schemer, a "make a big entrance and throw a drink in the bastard's face" type you spend half the show wanting to slap and the other half wanting to be.
Kotula zips around the stage singing like a kamikaze pixie from some Juilliard in Hell: Her voice has more vibrato than a whole landfill of off-Broadway Annies with jackhammers stuck up their butts, and her high, drilling trill could cut diamonds (let's pray the military never gets hold of that voice box).  And John Bartley's Pearl is so gay it makes my Y-chromosome ache.

It's the spunk and spirit of the show that wins out and makes Claudia Kelly worth seeing.
 - Adrian Ryan, The Stranger





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