Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Savor wine, get ‘Berzerk’

Feast for the eyes and bellies reward for supporting Sun Valley Center for the Arts

Express Staff Writer

Must have great music while sipping fine wine, so the Sun Valley Center for the Arts has lined up Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds bring the funk and soul to the Wine Auction Grand Tasting and Picnic, Saturday, July 20. Courtesy photo

    It’s been called the greatest new show on earth, creepy, sexy and astounding. And, for the first time, Cirque Berzerk is coming to town guaranteed to boldly and bawdily entertain patrons of the 2013 Wine Auction Weekend, the primary fundraising event for the Ketchum-based Sun Valley Center for the Arts.
    The notorious weekend, which is capped off this year with a picnic and a performance by Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, ensures that The Center continues its diverse and cutting-edge programming, from musical guests to writers in residence, lectures and art education throughout the year.
    Event chairs Andria Friesen and Robert DeGennaro brought with their new roles a determination to liven up the 32-year-old event to ensure the highest quality of entertainment sidled up with the healthiest dose of intrigue and fun.
    “We are both excited about the changes we made and can’t wait to see the smiles on the faces of the patrons, vintners, community, staff and volunteers,” DeGennaro said.
    The Wine Auction events kick off on Thursday, July 18, with dinners with winemakers in locations around the Ketchum area, including private homes. Dinners are prepared by local and nationally recognized chefs and are paired with wines from some of the most prestigious wineries from California, Oregon and Washington. The Junior Patron’s Circle is hosting a special night of tapas and tastings as well. (See the information box for more details.)
    Friday evening, July 19, is when it gets bizarre. That’s when the second oldest charity wine auction in the United States meets the latest example of misspent youth and undaunted creativity.
    Amid and above the winemakers, donors and arts patrons—while raising money that also serves as scholarship funding for art students and educators—will appear the members of Los Angeles-based Cirque Berzerk, a Goth-influenced variety act of incredible incarnations that entwine ballet, athleticism, freakishness and delightfully demented proportions. Get an enticement by visiting
    In a continuing twist on the event, the closing festivities will be a bit different this year, with the Grand Tasting and Picnic Concert being combined into one event. It will feature music by Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds. Critics compare the fiery brass and gospel-infused funk band from Brooklyn as a combination of grit and down-home sweetness spiced with Americana. Glamour magazine said they are a blend of Amy Winehouse, Tina Turner, Mick Jagger and the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Lead singer Arleigh Kincheloe is tiny but mighty posted out front of the eight-piece, all-male band in her leather and sequins.
    At the picnic, guests can enjoy wines from the Northwest and California. Food is provided and prepared by more than 20 local restaurants and food purveyors, including Enoteca, Dashi and Cava Cava.
     For complete details on how to get berserk, visit or call 726-9491.

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