National Dog Show

“THE PERFECT DOG” children’s musical casts 12 Delaware Valley Thespians

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BERWYN, PA. (November 2, 2017)— A dozen Delaware Valley actors, including five children under the age of 13, will perform in the Footlighters Theater presentation of The Perfect Dog, a children’s musical adapted from the book written by actor and TV personality John O’Hurley.

The four-show run in November is part of National Dog Show Month in Philadelphia, leading up to the annual National Dog Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks. The Perfect Dog performances are set for Friday, Nov. 10 (7 p.m.), Saturday, Nov. 11 (7 p.m.) and Sunday, Nov. 12 (2 p.m.), with a special encore performance Thursday, Nov. 16 (7 p.m.). The encore performance will include a talk-back following the performance with O’Hurley, who will be at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center for the Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show that weekend.

O’Hurley is the Seinfeld ensemble actor (Elaine’s boss, J. Peterman) and the author of three books about dogs and their unique place in our lives. O’Hurley has become a fixture in American TV homes as host of The National Dog Show Presented by Purina, which is taped at the Expo Center in Oaks for broadcast nationally on NBC Thanksgiving Day.

Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.footlighterstheater.com.  Advance purchase is recommended to avoid disappointment.  Further information about tickets for individuals or groups can be obtained by contacting Sue Scott at sue@footlighterstheater.com or 484.802.4505.

The storyline entails Sam, a twelve-year old perfectionist, searching for a flawless dog to enter in the town’s dog contest. Unable to find a canine that measures up, Sam must resort to training the family dog, Max, who is less than eager to obey commands. In the end, Sam and Max learn that there is no such thing as perfect, but there is such a thing as being perfect for each other. Music is by David Abbinanti (Ghost, Saturday Night Fever, Ring of Fire) and the script is by Jill Abbinanti (Law & Order, CSI-SVU, Pan-Am).

The cast for the production is as follows…

Role Cast Member Hometown Area Kids’ Age
Sam Brown Aly Brisbois Gilbertsville 11
Max John Keefrider Skippack
Charlie Drew Kampf Paoli/Main Line 12
Mr. Brown John D’Alonzo Ardmore
Mrs. Brown Sandy Yozviak Penn Wynne
Ideal Ida/Mrs. Hayes Lisa d’Annunzio Malvern
Party Friend Reagan Vining Boyertown 10
Alex/Party Friend Joey Casey Boyertown 11
French Poodle Lisa Bassett Collegeville
Yorkie Zofia Mecca Malvern 8
British Bulldog Pete Rolston Berwyn
German Shepherd Mark Sborini King of Prussia
Director Teri Leahy Ardmore
Producer Sue Scott Exton
Music Director Gina Diorio Wayne
Asst to director Alysse Cooper King of Prussia 15
Stage Manager Emily Sturz King of Prussia

 

Footlighters Theater is the Main Line’s oldest community theater providing premier theater arts productions for the region since 1929. They produce a six-show season of plays including at least two musicals in an intimate 110-seat historical converted church dating back to 1888. “The Perfect Dog” is one of two fundraising productions in the current season; the 4th annual “Broadway Sings” cabaret will return March 2-4, 2018.  A 501c3 non-profit entity, the all-volunteer theater is committed to producing outstanding productions and to providing the involvement and education of our community in the theatrical arts.

National Dog Show Month in Philadelphia also included its fourth annual National Dog Show Charity Walk on Saturday, October 15 in Wayne. Upcoming events are The National Dog Show Art Exhibit at Exhibit B Gallery in Souderton, Pa (Oct. 27-29), The National Dog Show Press Preview and The National Dog Show Gala.

The Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show is set for Saturday and Sunday, Nov.18-19, at the Expo Center in Oaks with tickets available at www.NationalDogShow.com.

Kooiker-huh? An intro to Westminster dog show’s new breeds

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NEW YORK (AP) Two new breeds. Sixteen new syllables.

The grand basset griffon Vendeen and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje make their debuts at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show next month, each getting a nationally televised turn among the more than 190 breeds on the purple carpet at the nation’s premier canine contest.

But Buzz Lightyear, for one, seems to be taking his breed’s big moment in stride. The 4-year-old grand basset griffon Vendeen (pronounced: grahnd bah-SAY’ grih-FAHN’ vahn-DAY’-ahn) glanced out Tuesday at the cameras at a Westminster-preview news conference, looked up at owner Brielly Cipriotti, and then lay down on rostrum to do a couple of the things his breed does best: sniff around and induce smiles.

“They’re extremely sweet, and they have a big, goofy attitude,” Cipriotti, of Bealeton, Virginia, said later. She’s excited about the exposure that the low-slung, long-eared, hardy French rabbit-hunting hound breed stands to gain from Westminster.

About 3,200 dogs, ranging from wee Malteses to strapping mastiffs, are entered to compete at next month’s show, which includes agility and obedience competitions along with the breed judging that leads to the signature Best in Show trophy. It will be awarded Feb. 12 at Madison Square Garden and live on FS1.

The relatively new agility and obedience contests are open to mixed-breed dogs.

Dobby, a corgi-terrier mix, is making his fourth try at the agility title. But even if he wins, it won’t be the most eventful thing that has happened at Westminster for owner Stefanie Kappus.

Her husband, Toby, proposed to her as she came out of the agility ring last year.

“He keeps saying, `What am I going to do to top that this year?”‘ joked Kappus, of Milford, New Jersey.

New breeds appear at Westminster after getting recognized by the American Kennel Club. The process takes years and includes setting standards and having hundreds of dogs spread around the country.

The merry, clever Nederlandse kooikerhondje (pronounced NAY’-dehr-lahn-seh KOY’-kehr-hahnd-jeh) was initially trained to help Dutch duck hunters by attracting the birds’ interest and then luring them into net-covered canals.

“It’s the Pied Piper of the dog world,” said owner Rod Beckstead, of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, as he showed off 2+-year-old Bandit on Tuesday.

The breed remains versatile and easy to teach to do dog sports and other things; some even serve as cadaver dogs, he said.

Westminster is regularly protested by animal-rights activists who deplore dog breeding as appearance-focused and detrimental to mixed-breed dogs that need homes. The club portrays the show as a tribute to all canines.

The Westminster Kennel Club show spans events on Feb. 9, 11 and 12, with parts broadcast on Fox Sports and Nat Geo WILD. A “Meet the Breeds” event, featuring both dogs and cats, unfolds alongside Westminster on Feb. 9.

Whippet wins Best in Show at the 2018 National Dog Show

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The Whippet has won Best in Show at the 2018 National Dog Show.

Whiskey the Whippet won the Hound Group first, and then beat the Doberman Pinscher for the top honor.

“I think [he’s] an outstanding example of what the ideal Whippet would look like,” Whiskey’s handler Justin Smithey said of the dog he raised himself. “This is our companion, our pet. He was born by my bed.”

The Doberman Pinscher won the Working Group, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever won the Sporting Group, the Wire Fox Terrier won the Terrier Group, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi won the Herding Group, the Lhasa Apso won the Non-Sporting Group and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel won the Toy Group.

Hear more from Smithey below: