Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff

'The National Dog Show' treat on NBC, Wynonna Judd on tour, 'Star Trek' prequel on DVD, and more.

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Canine capers

The Irish red and white setter, Norwegian buhund, and Pyrenean shepherd – those are the three new canine breeds making their debuts this year in the 125-year-old Kennel Club of Philadelphia dog show. The event itself takes place on Nov. 14 and 15, but "The National Dog Show" will air in high-definition on NBC at noon on Thanksgiving Day – right after the Macy's Parade.

Tragedy with a happy ending

The heroism on view in the documentary "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" (just out on DVD) is breathtaking. It's about a band of women in Liberia who, unarmed, stood up to tyrants and won. And it's all true. These women, both Christian and Muslim, stopped the bloodshed and engineered the exile of dictator Charles Taylor, who was subsequently put on trial for crimes against humanity. The result was the election of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa's first female head of state.

Wynonna tour

Country singer Wynonna Judd takes her Christmas show on the road for the third time, featuring traditional favorites as well as an original, "It's The Messiah." The Palmetto State Quartet joins Wynonna – for background vocals. The quartet, a well-known gospel group, is led by Wynonna's pop, Larry Strickland, a former backup singer for Elvis Presley. The show launches on Nov. 28 in Hershey, Pa., and will travel to 15 cities, concluding on Dec. 20. Can't make the show? Pick up the 2006 album on which it is based, "A Classic Christmas."

Trekkers' delight

Director J.J. Abrams's wildly successful prequel to the "Star Trek" franchise took in $375 million at the worldwide box office, but it also won the admiration and support of the notoriously picky fan base that the films and TV show have racked up over the decades. "Star Trek" arrives on Blu-ray and DVD in multi- and single-disc formats Nov. 17.

Cribbing Picasso

Mr. Picasso head is a fun online app that lets your inner artist dabble in Picassoesque line drawings. For a brief doodle, visit

An unconventional love story

HBO's quirky "The Jazz Baroness" tells the unlikely tale of a midcentury love story between Pannonica Rothschild, "Nica" for short, and the jazz bebop legend Thelonious Monk. They met in Paris during the 1950s and were inseparable for nearly three decades. Along the way, this wealthy heiress to a legendary banking fortune and the son of Southern tenant farmers were at the center of the flowering of American music. The film was directed by Nica's grand-niece, Hannah Rothschild, and Nica is voiced by actress Helen Mirren. Airs Nov. 25, 8 p.m.

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