What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Usually.
Las Vegas entertainer Gregory Popovich and his band of mostly four-legged co-stars will visit Tacoma’s Theatre on the Square on Friday.
And, yes, unlike some of what happens in Las Vegas, Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is family friendly.
Popovich’s company includes a dozen cats, 14 dogs, one miniature horse, an assortment of parrots, ducks, geese — and humans. Popovich has won international juggling competitions, and the show includes juggling and physical comedy as well as pet tricks.
“But, of course, the main attraction is house cats,” Popovich said in a phone interview. “This is more difficult because they are very independent animals.”
While it might surprise anyone who shares a home with one, cats can be trained, he said.
Well, sort of.
“To work with them, I try to find out their natural habits,” said Popovich, who grew up in a Russian circus family. “Each cat has some trick that is living inside their body.
“Based on their habits, I create tricks.”
In other words, the cats train him?
“Exactly,” he said. “The cats lead me.”
All of the animals in Popovich’s troupe are adopted from shelters, and all live with him and his wife. “We are pet lovers,” he said.
“My main message is that animals are people, too,” he added. “If after my show, someone visits an animal shelter and maybe adopts a puppy or kitty, I feel like my mission will be complete.”
The cats and dogs work together in the show, including in a popular trick where a dog gives a cat a piggyback ride.
But mixing that many cats and dogs wouldn’t work 24 hours a day, Popovich said. He has two extra buildings on his property so he can keep them separate.
Are the cats afraid of the dogs?
“My dogs sometimes are afraid of cats,” he said, “because cats feel like they are boss. They are star of the show.”