I always thought my cats were useless, but apparently I’m the problem. My defects as an owner became obvious a couple of years ago when I caught The Amazing Acro-Cats at the Cell Theatre (700 First Street NW), where cat-wrangler-next-door Samantha Martin led a whole passel of fuzzy performers through a choreographed series of tricks and gags with self-deprecating aplomb. The fact that my own kitties do nothing all day but eat, sleep, vomit and destroy stuff isn’t a reflection of their feline natures, it seems, so much as my failure to spend any time on training. If I’d only tried harder, I could’ve had a cat like Tuna, Acro-Cats’ adorable key performer and band manager of the ridonkulous Rock Cats who close out the show. Starring everyday house cats who, shockingly, perform on cue (most of the time), the Acro-Cats spectacular is funny, weird, heartwarming and—as circuscats.com proudly proclaims—“mystifying.” Scope the return of the kitties at one of 10 performances through Sunday, Jan. 19. See liveatthecell.com or call 766-9412 for details and tickets ($19). This show’s crowning genius is that it’s just as side-splitting when the cats don’t do their tricks as when they do. (Lisa Barrow)
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A flesh-eating plant. A timid, woeful florist who's down on his luck. The object of his repressed affections … That pretty much sums up Little Shop of Horrors. But, seen onstage, it's a vibrant, funny, horrific trip through sci-fi madness with good music to boot. A new rendition of the famous musical (based on the book by Howard Ashman), containing music by Alan Menken and direction by Vernon Poitras, is now playing at the Aux Dog Theatre (3011 Monte Vista NE). Featuring actors Tim Macalpine, Jessica Osbourne, Phil Shortell and more, it's a terrifyingly rockin' good time. Continuing through Sunday, Feb. 2., shows run Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm. Advance tickets will run you $20 online, or you can pay $22 at the door. (Mark Lopez)
Most of us probably think of espionage as an abstract thing, something for trained professionals to do. Spies are people with strong convictions about right and wrong who will go to any lengths to support them. Right? Unless the spies are your neighbors, and your government asks you to keep an eye on that. Now you are in the counter-espionage business, and your neighbors’ business is your new job.
What a mortifying basis for fiction, you might think. Unfortunately, this is based on reality. 1983’s UK hit play Pack of Lies told exactly this story, and here in America in 2014, it’s still on our minds. Directed by Joann Danella, cast with people just like you and your neighbors.
Pack of Lies by Hugh Whitemore plays the Adobe Theater through Feb. 2, 8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 2pm Sundays. Adults $15, seniors and students $13. Group rates, SelecTickets, reservations: 898-9222 (M-F) or adobetheater.org (24/7). (Holly von Winckel)