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A Russian circus clown with a weakness for abandoned animals? No, this is not a new Saturday morning cartoon series, rather it's the story of Gregory Popovich (pictured above) and his traveling animal circus. Gregory Popovich's Comedy Pet Theatre is composed of 16 trained housecats, eight dogs and a sampling of mice and birds--all of which Popovich himself rescued from animal shelters and trained. An animal adoption advocate, graduate of the Moscow Circus School and a decorated Russian juggler, Popovich was the first Russian artist to perform with Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth. His former show, Cat Skills, was named the top family attraction in Las Vegas, and he now travels across the United States performing for the likes of Jay Leno and David Letterman (Leno called the Comedy Pet Theatre the funniest circus he's ever witnessed). So pack the kids up and bring them down to Durham's Carolina Theatre--but you might want to leave Sparky at home, for fear that he might develop a complex. Check it out Friday, March 7, 4:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. (Kid's Fun Activities begin 45 minutes prior to each show). Call 560-3030 or visit

www.carolinatheatre.org for ticket information; tickets are $12.50-$15.50 for adults, $8.50-$10.50 for children. --Martina Navratil

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