Gregory Popovich's Disappointing Pet Theater
Center Strip at Planet Hollywood
This large mall in the center of the Strip is where the V Theater is located and where Gregory Popovich's Comedy Pet Theater is performed.
What is Gregory Popovich's Comedy Pet Theater?
In the Miracle Mile Shops at the Planet Hollywood lies the V Theater, one of the smaller theaters in the area that has nightly performances of some of the lesser quality Las Vegas shows. This is where Gregory Popovich's Comedy Pet Theater has been performed almost nightly for a couple of years. The show seemed promising as Popovich's act consists of 30 rescued animals he has trained, and his acts have received national praise as he has appeared in various news and media sources. The Comedy Pet Theater tells the story of a man, played by Popovich, who quit his job and joined the circus before becoming a famous pet circus director in Las Vegas. The opening act consists of a group of firefighter dogs saving cats and other animals out of a "burning" building. After this and another small act with the pets, the next 2/3 of the show revolve around Popovich and three other circus performers with little to no pets involved. Finally, once Popovich starts his own circus the pets return for the final few acts before a rather anti-climatic finale ends the show.
The Performers - The First Dissapointment
As advertised one would think that the show revolves around the pets, however, the show actually revolves around Popovich and his story of quitting his job, joining the circus, being fired and finally starting his own circus. This is where I was first disappointed. While the show is about an hour long, it seems like the pets are only on stage for maybe a total of twenty minutes. The other forty minutes consist of small circus tricks performed by either Popovich or the other three circus performers. While this would not lose very many points with me at first, the real disappointment was that the performers, including Popovich, could not even do some of the acts they were attempting! They dropped the things they were juggling, they fell during the balancing acts, they couldn't jump rope consistently, and when the pets were performing the human actors seemed frustrated with the pets.
Here is the main disappointment of the show. As previously mentioned the pets were not the center of the show as advertised, and when they did come out to perform something seemed off. In the first act especially, some of the pets seemed drugged or exhausted as they just slugged along and needed a push to continue. This caused some obvious frustration with the performers including Popovich who seemed to be rough with them and pushing them to hurry up. Later in the show, about eight cats are brought out, each on their own stand. While the majority of the cats seemed well trained and waited patiently for their turn, some couldn't sit still and began fighting with others or had to constantly be placed back on their stand. This is understandable when working with animals, however, some of the cats were obviously angry and even attempted to scratch and bite Popovich, and some other cats were rolling around like they just had a bunch of catnip. The biggest upset the show happened about halfway through when the pets are being students in a class. During this act, Popovich throws a chair off stage, however when he did this he did not look where he was throwing and hit one of the dogs in the face. Popovich must have noticed this, however, he did nothing and showed a lack of concern.
While the show ultimately was a disappointment, I really wanted to like it as it did have some interesting and exciting acts. Despite the disappointments, it's almost impossible to not love the animals. Most of their acts and performances were done flawlessly and amazingly, and even the acts that were not as smooth as could be was understandable considering what was being acts of the pets. Watching cute kitties jump through rings and climb light poles or puppies sitting in a class or rescuing other pets from a fire was irresistible cute and entertaining.
A Lack of Caring
I really wanted to enjoy this show and I was excited to see it throughout my entire vacation, however, the show overall looked like Popovich is tired of performing. The lack of concern and effort is what killed the performance. The performers made simple mistakes that showed how much they care about the show, and the pets seemed to simply endure another night. I feel bad for Popovich because it truly looks like he cared tremendously about his work and his animals, however, throughout the show it looked like the light has faded from his eyes. For about ten minutes in the middle of the show there are no performers on stage and the audience is left to watch news clips of Popovich's previous performances and praises, but there was a noticeable distinction in the amount of effort and care he had in those clips and his performance on stage. Overall it looked like Popovich had given up on his Comedy Pet Theater and is taking his pets with him.