The arts in their varied and rich forms are in abundance this weekend, from the chance to get the jump on some of your holiday decorating to watching the grace and poise of championship dogs in competition. Music and theater round out our list of recommendations.

All weekend long, the Philadelphia Kennel Club National Dog Show Sponsored by Purina trots into the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center for two days of tail-wagging winners. A full program is unleashed November 15-16, including competition among seven breeds, demonstrations by performance dogs and tons of great shopping for the canine-crazy people on your holiday list. Over 2,000 dogs will be onsite and, if you ask, you are welcome to get up close and personal. Then take a seat ringside and watch the Best in Show winner rise to the top. Smile and clap loudly; the show is being taped for broadcast Thanksgiving Day on NBC.


The sublime silliness of Mel Brooks' The Producers is tackled by the Methacton Community Theater November 14-16. This musical, based on Brooks' 1968 film (and 2005 remake), spins the tale of a Broadway swindler and his accountant who set out to bilk theater investors by putting on the worst show known to humankind. How they handle their unexpected success leads to a night of broad comedy, daffy-but-deft dancing and twisted tunes. The curtain rises on the mayhem at the Shannondell Performing Arts Center.

The Wister Quartet concert at Glencairn Museum, part of the Bryn Athyn Historic District, is decidedly more serious than Methacton's presentation. For November 14, the program includes pieces by Charles Tomlinson Griffes and Antonín Dvorák. These Grammy-nominated musicians have earned high praise from critics and audiences alike for their superb musicianship. Memorable performances include those with guest artists Christoph Eschenbach, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Yo-Yo Ma.


If your goal is to deck the halls this December using natural materials, it's best to get started now. The November 15 programs at Green Lane Park - at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. - start with common outdoor resources and transform them into charming decorations. Crafters at the earlier session produce a wreath; while the afternoon session results in a centerpiece, both using rustic nuts, pods and cones. The instructions are complete, meaning that the only thing you need to bring is a dose of creativity and perhaps a hot glue gun.

Gyotaku is a Japanese art form whose translation is fish printing. It is an unusual art that dates back to the mid-1800s and produces stylized, captivating imagery. Norristown Farm Park is holding a class on the art of Gyotaku - "guh-yo-tah-koo" - November 16. The session will address the project both as a lesson in natural printing (the fish are pressed between sheets of paper) as well as art form. Supplies that include replica fish will be provided.

The November winds are predicted to whip quite briskly this weekend. An excellent escape from the coming chill is to partake of an overnight in a nearby hotel or B&B. Check our website for listings, book yourself a suite and share your pictures, updates and good times using #MakeItMontco.