A Service of Love
Fourth Annual Multifaith Pride Service: Love Wins
7 p.m., next Thursday, Oct. 11
Grace St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St.
Growing up in Tucson, Marc Paley felt a lack of inclusiveness in the faith community.
"It takes a lot of courage to be a spiritual person and be part of the LGBT community," said Paley, coordinator of the LGBT Jewish Inclusion Project.
A few years ago, he took a step toward solving the problem by creating the annual Multifaith Pride Service. This year, the service is the first event in the lineup for Tucson's Pride in the Desert celebration.
"The idea was to let the LGBT community know that there really are warm and welcoming places in the community and in the faith community that embrace them," Paley said.
Representatives from Jewish, Wiccan, Christian and spiritualist communities will speak at the service. Youths will read poetry, and choirs will fill the church with music.
New this year is a blessing of the LGBT community led by Mona Polacca. She is a member of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, whose mission is "prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth," according to the group's website. Polacca has done healing work around the world, Paley said.
Attendees will also be able to sign up for a mass commitment ceremony to show their dedication to marriage equality. That ceremony follows the Oct. 13 Pride festivities.
Paley said he looks forward to watching audience members react as they engage in the service and listen to the speakers. He describes the feeling he gets by using the Yiddish word naches.
"It just refers to being filled with something greater than self; that's how I interpret it," he said.
Admission is free, but donations for the Habitat for Humanity Rainbow Build will be collected at the service. —M.D.
KIDS & FAMILIES
Join the Quest!
The Monty Tale of King Arthur Python
7 and 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6
Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road
What is the air-speed velocity of an un-laden swallow?
Find the answer during an evening of quirky British humor at the Valley of the Moon's rendition of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The show was revamped during the summer by Travis Deyoe, a University of Arizona electrical-engineering student who moonlights as a director, actor and writer.
"It's the tale of King Arthur and his knights on the quest for the Holy Grail ... only funnier, because there's improv," Deyoe said.
The 40-minute show includes classic scenes from the movie, like the Knights of the Round Table musical number. But the more-risqué Castle Anthrax scene didn't make the cut; after all, Valley of the Moon is a place meant for kids.
The cast is a quirky band of 12 volunteers who take on 28 characters in the show. Deyoe does cameos as the infamous bridgekeeper and as Sir Galahad.
The show was originally set to run only during the summer, but this is its second encore performance, said Randy Van Nostrand, president of the Valley of the Moon volunteer board. The shows have raised about $1,300 for maintaining the park.
Attendees should wear their walking shoes. Each scene of the production takes place in a different part of Valley of the Moon, which was constructed by George Phar Legler in the 1920s.
"Every area of Valley of the Moon is different," Deyoe said. "You really have to work the scenes into each part of the valley."
Admission is $3; children 13 and younger admitted for free. —M.D.
Lady Footballers Sing and Dance
Moist Heat: A Drag Cabaret Fundraiser
9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5
Fluxx Studio and Gallery, 414 E. Ninth St.
The recent Tucson Monsoon Sunday practices have involved less running and throwing—and a lot more singing and dancing.
The Tucson women's tackle-football team has spent two months preparing for its first drag cabaret fundraiser, Moist Heat. The variety show will feature comedy, dancing, singing and gender-bending from the lady footballers.
"We're not performers. We entertain in a very different way—we play football," said running back Jacqueline Larriva. "We put pads on. We get sweaty; we get dirty. We're good sports, but this is something that is outside of some of our comfort zones."
The Monsoon team is starting its ninth season in 2013, and needs to raise money for player fees, travel costs and equipment. The team members and owner usually pay for these out of pocket, but league registration alone is $2,500.
The funds will also give the players a chance to dedicate more time to philanthropy, such as volunteering with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson.
"It's really important as a Tucson-based sports team to give back to the community we live in," Larriva said.
Larriva first suggested a drag show as a joke. But her partner, a founding member of Fluxx, saw potential in the idea. The team and Fluxx teamed up—and Moist Heat was born.
Though Larriva invited her mother to the show, she warned her that it was going to be a little risqué. "Just so you know, I'm going to be half-naked," she told her. Larriva's mom assured her she would be there, cheering.
Admission is $10 in advance, or $15 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at www.tucsonmonsoon.com. —M.D.
Time to Flutter
9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily, through April 30, 2013
Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way
For more than eight years, the Tucson Botanical Gardens has given locals the opportunity to observe some of the world's most exotic and rare butterflies—and now that it's fall, Butterfly Magic is back.
"Butterfly Magic is the only live tropical butterfly exhibit in Arizona," said Darlene Buhrow, director of marketing and communications at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. "We have butterflies from 11 countries."
The butterflies are kept inside a greenhouse. The temperature and humidity level are regulated to match their natural habitats. Buhrow said the space houses 100 to 400 butterflies at a time.
When the butterflies arrive, many of them are still in their cocoons. The cocoons are put in the Emergence Room, pinned near windows so visitors can watch the butterflies as they emerge.
About 120 volunteers staff the exhibit, rotating daily. They are prepared to tell visitors about the various species of butterflies, what countries they come from, and any other type of information visitors want. "We have volunteers who have written chapters of books entirely on butterflies," said Elizabeth Willott, the butterfly curator at the gardens. "So they have a huge expertise."
In the fall, winter and spring, the gardens host butterfly-related classes for people who want detailed information on the butterflies they will see.
"We want people to experience the magic of these butterflies," Willott said. "Nearly everyone who comes to the exhibit leaves more relaxed."
Admission is $13 for adults; $12 for students, seniors and military members; and $7.50 for children 4 to 12 years old. Tucson Botanical Gardens members and kids 3 and younger are admitted for free. —I.T.