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Moscow Cat Circus

Dates and Venue 9 June 2007 12 pm @ Vancouver Playhouse

Reviewer Heidi Hoff

If you’re looking for feline entertainment in a circus-like atmosphere, take in a performance of the Moscow Cats Theatre. Billed as the world’s only such show, the thirty cats, one dog and five clowns entertain and delight in a fast-paced hour of non-stop antics.

Instead of pushing the cats to perform stunts beyond their abilities, the clowns encourage them to work well within their physical limitations – no animal abuse here.

Cats bound in from stage left and stage right, they ride on remote control cars, pull wagons, climb poles and perch on the clowns’ shoulders. At times the stars of the show are mere props for the clowns who perform a myriad of standard circus tricks including juggling and spinning plates with help from young audience members.

Small vignettes are set up on different parts of the stage where the cats tell the story. One of the biggest laughs came from a cat jumping out of a supposed pot of soup and after he scampered off, more felines showed up at the table, taking licks out of the clown’s bowl.

Another scene featured a frustrated clown having to get out of bed every few seconds because a mischievous cat kept turning on a lamp. Thinking he’ll outsmart the cat, the clown unscrews the light bulb and puts it in a bucket, apparently tricking the cat into eating it. When the cat walks away a battery operated light shines from it’s behind.

The Moscow Cats are incredibly well-trained and respond lovingly to the patient clowns. Of course, it could also be the treats in their pockets! Though it’s true that travelling costs have increased in recent months, I fail to see the need for the much too high $80 ticket price. Perhaps if the price was more affordable, more bodies would have filled the seats.

© 2007 Heidi Hoff