12-04 pet theater

Gregory Popovich and his trained animals in the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater will bring their family-friendly show from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the Alger Theater on Friday, Dec. 13. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Lake County residents will be treated to a family-friendly, entertaining comedy show straight from the bright lights of Las Vegas when the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater comes to town.

Taking place on Friday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., the show is the latest in live entertainment presented at Lakeview’s venerable 1940s-era movie theater. The show features the comedy stylings of Gregory Popovich and his cavalcade of trained canines and cats, providing a show that will make attendees both laugh and revel in the amazing skills of the animals on display.

Popovich was born in the Soviet Union and is a fourth generation circus performer, getting his start with juggling acts after becoming a member of the Moscow Circus at 17 years old. Around 30 years ago he came to the United States as part of a show and decided to stay. In the time since Popovich has wowed crowds around the country with his skills, and even more so with the talents of his animals.

Popovich created the show when he came to Las Vegas as a juggler in a circus act approximately 20 years ago. Wanting to do something different that would draw a crowd, he started off with just one cat and trained it to do tricks, and after that started adding more cats and dogs to the show.

“To train cats is different from dogs, with cats it is positive reinforcement, finding out what they like to do,” said Popovich.

All the animals in the show have been rescued from shelters by Popovich. Sometimes it takes a few days to begin training, other times it can take close to a year before an animal trusts him enough to begin training.

“It can be difficult to gain the trust of a dog, or cat, from a shelter as they have often been abused,” said Popovich. “I work on our relationships when I get a new animal.”

While the show is meant to be funny, Popovich also wants to show the audience that animals are just like us. The show features skits, sketches, and acrobatic tricks. Some of the acts will feature dogs in a classroom setting answering questions from a teacher, and animals will be boarding a train with their tickets.

Popovich has been performing the show as a residency in Las Vegas in the V Theater at the Planet Hollywood Resort/Casino five days a week for approximately 15 years. Every year Popovich spends time touring the western part of the United States, taking the act on the road.

The performance is expected to last 90 minutes long, with no intermission. Tickets are $20 and can be bought online at www.algertheaterlakeview.org or at the Alger Theater box office the night of the show.

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