The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


April 18, 2013

Animal acts | Russian juggler's show at arts center will feature four-legged companions

JOHNSTOWN — Russian-born Gregory Popovich has proven that a pet doesn’t need to be a royal pedigree to be a star.

Popovich travels the country with a menagerie of animals that offer audiences a different performance experience.

Described as the perfect family show, the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater will take center stage at 7:30 p.m. May 2 at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, 450 Schoolhouse Road, Richland Township.

“We are like a traveling animal vaudeville show,” Popovich said from the road in Alabama.

“I have 14 house cats, 12 dogs, three geese, two parrots, five doves and other pets that entertain people of all ages.”

The performing pets have appeared on “The Tonight Show,” “Late Show With David Letterman” and “America’s Got Talent.”

The show is direct from Las Vegas, and is a mix of comedy and juggling skills that Popovich blended with European-style clowning and balancing acts.

“Our show is more involved than a circus act because just like your pets, my four-legged companions are very special to me,” he said.

“We do skits that incorporate our pets in place of humans.”

But the show does have a human element.

“We have eight humans who interact with the pets, and we let the audience decide through their applause the most-talented performers on the stage,” he said.

“Needless to say, the animals always win.”

Popovich has appeared in Johnstown before, but he is eager for the audience to see his new acts.

“My pets love to show off onstage and they will be doing a lot of new stunts and skits,” Popovich said.

Ironically, all Popovich’s cats and dogs are strays that have been saved from animal shelters.

“Just like your pets, my four-legged companions are very special to me,” he said.

That goes without saying.

Few pet owners transport their animals in a custom-built, 40-foot trailer complete with  self-contained heating and air conditioning systems as well as its own water supply.

“After all, they are the stars of the show and we treat them that way,” Popovich said.

“Pets are the main actors while the humans merely help out.”

Popovich doesn’t believe that he trains the animals to do certain tricks or stunts. Instead, he teaches the animals to perform onstage by allowing them to show off their individual personalities and talents.

“Just like people, every pet has a special quirky little thing they like to do,” he said.

“This thing, or trait, allows the pet to show a unique part of its personality to their owner.”

If a cat loves to jump, Popovich incorporates that into the show.

“My cat, Sugar, loves to climb, so I let him show off his climbing abilities onstage,” he said.

“By allowing my pets to perform the skills and stunts they naturally love to do, they enjoy performing as much as the audience loves watching."


What: Popovich Comedy Pet Theater.

Where: Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, 450 Schoolhouse Road, Richland Township.

When: 7:30 p.m. May 2.

Tickets: Available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the box office or by calling   269-7200, 800-846-2787 or visit

Cost: $25 and $15.


Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Boston doctors can now prescribe you a bike

    The City of Boston this week is rolling out a new program that's whimsically known as "Prescribe-a-Bike." Part medicine, part welfare, the initiative allows doctors at Boston Medical Center to write "prescriptions" for low-income patients to get yearlong memberships to Hubway, the city's bike-share system, for only $5.

    April 16, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • DayCareCosts.jpg Day care's cost can exceed college tuition in some states

    Most parents will deal with an even larger kid-related expense long before college, and it's a cost that very few of them are as prepared for: day care.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 13, 2014

  • Faithful to relive Christ’s journey to the cross, ending with Easter

    April 12, 2014

  • Orthodox Christians to commemorate Lord’s passion with ritual services

    April 12, 2014

  • 10 tips for surviving a severe allergy season

    My colleague Brady Dennis reported recently that the arrival of warmer weather will soon unleash a pollen tsunami in parts of the country where the winter has been especially long and cold. Here are some survival tips from Clifford W. Bassett, an allergy specialist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

    April 11, 2014

  • Is a paleo vegetarian diet possible?

    Research shows most people can follow a regimented eating plan for a short time. That's not the challenge. The challenge is finding a healthful eating plan you can follow day after day and achieve your long-term health goals. At this point, it doesn't appear that the paleo eating plan meets these objectives for most people.

    April 11, 2014

  • VIDEO | CBS taps Colbert as Letterman’s Late Show successor

    Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman reports that CBS has announced Stephen Colbert as its choice to replace the retiring David Letterman as host of “The Late Show” on Bloomberg Television’s “Lunch Money.”

    April 11, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results