Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Wednesday, April 17

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« River North Dance Company: A Valentine's Weekend Engagement Hacking Toys for Fun and Profit: An Interview with Nick Black »

Review Mon Feb 15 2010

Cupid Cats at Gorilla Tango Theatre

tips for acrocats copy.jpg

Photo by Andrea Porth

Among the animals featured in Saturday's performance of Cupid Cats were: several tightrope-walking rats; a chicken who can bowl better than me; a ferret; something that looked like a lemur; a groundhog; and about a dozen cats. Samantha Martin is a foster animal caretaker who takes in animals from shelters, and her mission is both to train animals for her circus and to educate the public on how to train their own animals.

As a lifelong pet owner and a supporter of animal shelters, I had to check out Martin's latest performance at Gorilla Tango Theatre. The house was packed with children and adults, many wearing "cat ears," headbands with felt ears glued to them that were made by Martin and her assistants and were available for purchase. The show opened with smaller animals, starting with rats, causing one young audience member to exclaim "that's not a cat!"

Once the house had been warmed up, Martin brought us to a segment she called "lowering of audience expectations," in which animals still in training were presented; sometimes they performed, sometimes they didn't. When the cats successfully performed their tricks the audience went wild, and when they didn't quite make it the audience applauded anyway, knowing full well that most of us don't have what it takes to get a cat to do much beyond eat at mealtimes.

catdrummer copy.jpg

Photo by Andrea Porth

The best tricks were saved for the end of the show. Tuna, a cat who has been trained to alternately ring a concierge desk bell and reach for a jar labeled "Tips for Acro-Cats" was the star, but it was Dakota, the drummer of the three piece group The Rock Cats, who stole the show by wowing the audience with her skills. My circus-going companion collapsed into such forceful belly laughs at the sight of it that she had to dry her tears and compose herself before the lights went up.

Samantha Martin and her cats will be performing next month in Skokie, for information and tickets visit The Acro-Cats or The Skokie Theatre Music Foundation.

GB store
GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store



A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15