We can haz fame? Meet the Acro-Cats, an all-feline variety show

ENTB_AcroCats_0724

As anyone in the industry will tell you, making sure a group of musicians are all on the same page can be like herding cats. Meanwhile, getting The Rock Cats to work together is herding cats.

Because the three members of the Rock Cats are all…cats. They’re the headlining act of The Acro-Cats variety show, which also includes — as the name implies — a group of acrobatically-inclined kittehs. And unruliness isn’t the only thing the Rock Cats have in common with most human bands. They spend a significant amount of their lives in a crowded, malfunctioning, sometimes smelly bus — and it’s not unheard of for the furry trio to let their snooty rock star attitudes get out of control.

“If Dakota, our drummer, drifts over to Nue, our keyboard player, Nue will swat her,” explains Acro and Rock Cats ringleader Samantha Martin via phone, on her way to a tour stop in Salem, Pa. “If Oz, our guitar player, drifts over to where Dakota is, Dakota will swat at him. The band definitely has their share of drama, but as long as they stay in their respective spaces, they play really calmly.”

Arguably, what Dakota, Nue and Oz do isn’t what we traditionally consider playing rock ‘n roll — it’s more like batting at miniature instruments in order to earn delicious kitty treats. However, that, plus the astounding feats of kitty gymnastics displayed by the 13-member Acro-Cat troupe, should more than satisfy those who spend their days trolling for cat videos on YouTube.

Having trouble wrapping your head around the notion of disciplined, athletic and (mostly) obedient cats? You’re greatly underestimating an animal trainer with a quarter-century of professional experience, including seven years marshalling The Acro-Cats. Originally specializing in rat direction, Martin can take credit for wrangling the adorable rodents scurrying about in Megadeth’s otherwise menacing video for “Go To Hell,” among several non-human performances in films and advertisements. She believes virtually any animal can be trained with the “clicker” method of positive reinforcement.

Martin insists that, through proper cat training, our feline companions may eventually shake their unfortunate stigma of “Man’s Second-Best Friend.”

“When you adopt a puppy, you go to dog obedience courses. You go for walks. You have a feeding hour. You don’t just leave a big bowl of food out all the time. With cats, sometimes it becomes a latchkey relationship,” the Second City resident explains. “By training your cat, you’ll strengthen your bond [with the cat], and if your cat’s doing a bunch of cute tricks, you’ll be a lot less likely to leave that cat behind when you go apartment searching.”

If Martin’s cats can jaunt across a kitty-sized balance beam, leap from scaffold to scaffold, and sort of play the guitar, what will cats in the future be capable of? Will they don adorable kitty-sized business suits and scamper off to 9-to-5 jobs on weekday mornings? Will kitty scientists and engineers herald in the next wave of technological breakthroughs? Will cats overthrow their tyrannical human oppressors, and rule us with an iron paw? If so, cheering and clapping when Martin rolls her 35-foot touring bus full of kitty stars into Somerville for three shows this week might be a good opportunity to score brownie points with our future overlords.

If you go

July 24 @ 7 p.m
July 25 @ 7 p.m. + 9 p.m.
The Center for Arts at the Armory
191 Highland Ave., Somerville
$20
circuscats.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…