The cold and blustery winter season is upon us, but it will be raining cats and dogs inside the Clark State Performing Arts Center when the cast of 30 rescued four-legged furry friends take the stage on January 31.
The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater will bring a unique blend of physical comedy, award-winning juggling and the extraordinary talents of more than 30 rescued performing pets.
Gregory Popovich, producer and star of the show, along with his entourage of four-legged performers, have traveled and performed throughout the United States and all over the world.
“This is truly an event for anybody who loves cats, dogs and comedy,” said Adele Adkins, executive director of the Clark State Performing Arts Center. “It is 90 minutes of sheer fun and laughs. Mr. Popovich gets all his animals from rescue shelters, gives them a home and a career.”
Comedy Pet Theater is a family-oriented theatrical circus blend of unique physical comedy, starring the extraordinary talents of Gregory’s rescued performing pets which he has saved from animal shelters across the country.
During the live show audiences will witness acts such as the Dog Classroom, the Amazing House-Cats, the Animal Train Station and other acts in the show that will treat audiences to surprise appearances from more animal performers, including trained doves, parrots, goats and even a miniature horse named Diamond, along with acrobats, mimes, contortionists and jaw dropping juggling.
Popovich is a lifelong advocate of animal rights. He has participated in fundraisers for animal shelters and neutering programs across the nation. Public service announcements promoting responsible pet adoption are staples of Popovich’s Comedy Pet Theater. All pets that perform in Comedy Pet Theater are rescues from shelters — and serve as furry ambassadors for animals seeking homes.
“When people see these amazing, healthy animals on stage and decide to adopt an animal from a shelter themselves, my main message has reached the audience,” says Popovich.
He bonded closely with the dogs and cats, learning to communicate via words, signals and body language — a skill he likens to that of Mowgli, the child character in Jungle Book. Today, the furry or feathered performers in Comedy Pet Theater live in comfortable quarters as members of Gregory and wife, Izolda’s, extended household in Las Vegas. Those who grow too old for the stage live in pampered retirement.
Popovich is a master animal trainer who employs positive-reinforcement techniques in his training — coaching individual animals to perform tasks based on their natural habits. He has shared his expertise for raising, training and living harmoniously with pets in two books: You CAN Train Your Cat: Secrets of a Master Cat Trainer and Doggy Gone Good: A Master’s Guide to Teaching Manners, Tricks and Healthy Habits.
Tickets for the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater are available at ticketmaster.com and range in price from $23 to $41 each. The show begins at 7 p.m. at the Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 South Limestone Street in Springfield.