Traveling Troupe Gives Second Chance to Shelter Cats

Performance showcases the amazing talents of 14 cats and eight dogs.

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Gregory Popovich's Comedy and Pet Theatre troupe

The curtains parted slightly bringing a series of ramps into view. A red tabby cat hurried down the ramp, while overhead speakers filled the auditorium with the sound of stage equipment being moved backstage. A longhaired calico ran up another ramp, followed by a gray tabby. As the cats scurried back and forth on the ramps, the audience's anticipation grew. Gregory Popovichs Comedy & Pet Theatre was about to begin!         

Comedy & Pet Theatre is the brainchild of Gregory Popovich, a Moscow Circus star and award-winning master juggler. His troupes recent performance at the Barclay Theater in Irvine, Calif., featured his juggling skills and showcased the amazing talents of 14 cats and eight dogs, all which had been rescued from animal shelters.

I do not really train cats. They are very independent animals, Popovich intones as his cats take the stage. I look for what they want to do, and I simply encourage them to do it in my show.

Mischa, a shorthaired red tabby, emphasizes Popovichs point by leaping from stool to stool, onto Popovichs back, and back onto a stool. Mischa likes to jump at home, Popovich says.

Dogs play along with the pranks while cats act like catsThroughout the show, Popovich interjects humor and fun, involving the animals in good-natured jokes at his expense. The dogs playfully abscond with props and pull pranks, while the cats act like, well, cats, supposedly ignoring commands and acting in ways seemingly contrary to Popovichs wishes.

The engaging performance also includes feats of juggling and humorous skits, pleasing viewers of all ages. Popovichs Comedy & Pet Theatre tours the country part of the year and performs many shows in Branson, Mo., near Popovichs home.

To learn more, visit the Comedy & Pet Theatre website.

Posted: Dec. 1, 2005, 5a.m. EST

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