Friday, September 8, 2017
The Acro-Cats are in Brooklyn through this weekend, and if you're a cat lover, you can't miss them. Seriously. They perform through Sep 10 at the Brooklyn Music School, which is adjacent to BAM's stage door.
If you live with a cat, a lot of what the Acro-Cats do will look familiar. They jump on furniture, walk along narrow, high surfaces, and paw at stuff. But to see them do it on request, in an organized fashion, in front of a big crowd of strangers, is nothing short of miraculous. And hilariously cute! The cats are joined by a chicken, a groundhog, and two rats, who all have their own special tricks.
Samantha Martin, the ringmaster and the force behind the Acro-Cats, gives a running commentary throughout the show. She talks of having fostered more than 200 kitties along the way, and describes each cat's personality and theatrical skill. They push shopping carts, ring concierge bells, jump through hoops, climb vertical poles, clamber across a horizontal pole while hanging below it (and stop for a "just hang in there" photo op, hanging from her front paws). Between acts, each cat returns to its carrier upon the toot of a whistle.
The finale is The Rockcats, in which a number of cats (and a chicken on percussion) each take up an instrument, including keys, guitar, trumpet, chimes, and of course, cow bell. After the show, you can go onstage and visit with the kitties. It's a completely delightful theatrical experience, and so refreshing amid an abundance of great (but mostly serious) performance. And Martin's description of how she trains the cats gives us cat-servants hope, albeit distant, for channeling our own furry friends' tendencies!