Nearly a decade before San Francisco's mayor incited a bold uprising of gay marriage supporters, Sandi DuBowski, a soft-spoken director from Brooklyn, was flirting with the idea of making a film. Jewish and gay, DuBowski is no stranger to discrimination. Indeed, his life would make for a riveting documentary. But there was a facet of his community that he felt deserved more attention. It took DuBowski nearly six years to find the subjects of Trembling Before G-d, a documentary exploring the lives of gay and lesbian Hasidic and Orthodox Jews from around the world. Trembling tracks the lives of a handful of people, including the first openly gay rabbi. Some are out; some are closeted. All suffer the struggle to balance their faith and homosexuality.
"It's so tight the way these people live," DuBowski says of the strict Hasidic and Orthodox faiths. "If they come out, they don't just lose their family, they lose everything that world gives them -- their support, their jobs, their faith, their meaning in life."
Trembling has been shown in more than 700 cities worldwide since its premi're. DuBowski screens the film at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 11, at ASU's Gammage Auditorium, and follows with a Q&A session. The filmmaker says some cities have met his arrival with hostility, but that the film's positive effects have far outweighed the negatives. "We've been breaking down doors all over the place," he says. "We've not just done a movie, we've built a movement."
Call 480-965-3434 for tickets, $15; see www.tremblingbeforeg-d.com for more about the film. -- Ashlea Deahl
Sharing of the Green
The Phoenix St. Patrick's Day Parade marches on
For the 21st year, the Phoenix St. Patrick's Day Parade is prepared to rouse your inner leprechaun -- think Lucky Charms, not the laughable horror flick. The parade, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 13, from Central and Thomas, features floats, bagpipers, marching bands and Irish step dancers. It concludes at downtown's Margaret Hance Park with an Irish Faire from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. While a frothy Guinness is part of celebrating a bit o' the Irish tradition, Harry Carroll, president of the Phoenix St. Patrick's Day Parade and Irish Faire Committee, wants to clarify something: "We don't serve green beer." Faire admission is $5 for adults, free for folks 18 and under. See www.phxirish.com. -- Ashlea Deahl
Rock of Ages
Phoenix Symphony performs hits from all ages
"Long-hair music" can mean Brahms or Bon Jovi, and the harmonic coincidences don't stop there: Beethoven dished out fortissimo attitude long before Tommy Lee did (and we're still waiting for the Behind the Music). Travel through time -- "From Bach to Rock" -- at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday, March 11, as the Phoenix Symphony presents history's hits in ASU West's La Sala ballroom. Belying his formal bow tie, conductor Robert Moody strikes a friendly note, sharing audiovisual commentary during the interludes. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for students. ASU West is located at 4701 West Thunderbird. For information and tickets, call 602-543-ARTS (2787). -- Kim Toms
The butterflies are back
Social butterflies begin migrating to the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, this weekend for the opening of the Butterfly Pavilion. No net needed to catch glimpses of up to 1,000 of the colorful critters as they flit around faces and light on shoulders and outstretched fingers. The Giant Swallowtail is a flight risk, as are Painted Ladies. Coming-out parties will be held every Thursday at 1 p.m., as newly minted butterflies are released into the pavilion from the emergence chamber. Flutter by the pavilion between Saturday, March 13, and May 9. Cost of this colorful air fair is a buck fifty, plus admission to the garden. Kids under 3 fly free. For more information, call 480-941-1225 or see www.dbg.org. -- Susan Tully
Music of indigenous peoples fills the air
If Columbus can be awarded his own day for plowing into a bunch of rocks and "discovering" America, those of us who've benefited from his unintentional find can certainly take a day to honor not only those who were here first, but indigenous people everywhere. Celebrate in song at the Indigenous Peoples Day Music Festival at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 13, at the Nauacalli Building, 812 North Seventh Street. East L.A.'s Quetzal headlines a lineup that also includes Flagstaff's Yaiva and Blackfire, local reggae artist Casper, and L.A. rappers Victor*E and El Vuh. For details call 602-595-2466 or visit www.indigenouspeoplesday.org. - Craig Wallach
Phoenix Art Museum looks south for "Defining Moments"
Frida Kahlo is joined by Mexican revolutionary Zapata and an Indian woman carrying a boom box in the Phoenix Art Museum's new exhibition "Defining Moments: The Judy and Sidney Zuber Collection of Latin American Photography." The works span more than 80 years, bolstered by historic pieces such as Emmy Lou Packard's 1941 portrait of Kahlo, and updated by contemporary images like Luis González Palma's haunting portraits of Guatemala's civil war victims. (Palma also is included in the March exhibition at Scottsdale's Lisa Sette Gallery.) It's interesting to note the number of immigrants to Mexico who have contributed to that country's art history -- German Hugo Brehme and Italian Tina Modotti, among others -- by moving south for the "picturesque potential, low cost of living and support for the arts," says catalogue essayist Stella de Sá Rego. "Defining Moments " runs from Saturday, March 13, through July 5 in the Orme Lewis Gallery at the museum, 1625 North Central. Call 602-257-1222 or see www.phxart.org. -- Gina Cavallo Collins
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The Scottsdale Arts Festival gets underway
The Scottsdale Arts Festival, rolling for 34 years, is loaded with art, fantastic food, creative kids' activities and, for the first time, an online art auction. That said, the best stuff is the live music. Though the Fes Festival, a touring collection of spiritually inclined ensembles, was canceled, one of its key groups will still be on hand: the Anointed Jackson Sisters. The seven North Carolina singers and four-piece band -- gospel, jazz, soul -- are guaranteed to raise roofs and define roots. And there's much, much more: blues, Native music, pop and rock -- a terrific mix of talent.
Feed your face, feed your ears, feed your soul at the 34th annual Scottsdale Arts Festival, Friday, March 12, through Sunday, March 14, at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 East Second Street. Admission is $6, with children 12 and younger admitted free. Call 480-994-2787 or see www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org. -- Henry Cabot Beck