It’s clear that Gregory Popovich never heard the old show business adage to never work with children or animals.
The fourth-generation Russian circus performer is bringing his amazing Las Vegas juggling, clown and pet tricks act to Victoria for a special presentation of Holiday Circus.
Voted the best family show in Vegas, the Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre Tour features a cast of house cats, dogs, parrots, even geese and mice. The unique blend of physical comedy, world-champion juggling and the extraordinary talents of more than 30 performing pets comes to UVic’s Farquhar Auditorium on Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee performance.
Popovich has rescued these animals from shelters all over the country and has transformed them into circus stars.
“A message of my show is that animals are people too,” said Popovich. “And I try to bring attention to homeless pets.”
Popovich customizes each onstage trick to match the animal’s natural skills and tendencies. He began working with them using a minimal amount of music and lights, repeating each trick and gradually increasing the intensity of sounds and lights, and once the animals were accustomed to the spectacle, transitioned from the living room to the stage.
“I don’t believe that I ‘train’ the animals to do a certain trick or stunt. Instead, I teach the animals to perform onstage by allowing them to show off their individual personalities and talents,” he said.
Popovich has performed in over 25 countries as has been featured on the Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman.
Tickets are $38 for adults, $28 for students and $18 for children, and are available through the University Centre Ticket Centre at 250-721-8480 or firstname.lastname@example.org.