WENATCHEE — When you are invited to perform with a cultural icon, that’s what you do — even if it’s a little weird.
Well, more than a little when “Weird Al” Yankovic is extending the invitation and you’re the 72-year-old Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra, whose performances typically run more toward Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” and creating the patriotic theme for the community’s July Fourth fireworks show.
The symphony orchestra is taking the stage Tuesday as part of “Weird Al’s” Strings Attached tour coming to the Town Toyota Center.
Yankovic is the biggest-selling comedy recording artist in history, with five Grammys — the fifth earned in February for his boxed set "Squeeze Box: The Complete Works of 'Weird Al' Yankovic. He is perhaps best known for hit parodies including “My Balogna," "Eat It,” “Like a Surgeon,” Smells like Nirvana” and “Word Crimes.” His 2014 album, Mandatory Fun, was the first comedy album to debut on top of the Billboard Top 200 chart.
His Strings Attached tour is a high-energy rock and comedy production featuring Yankovic’s classics — parodies and deep cuts — along with his original band, costumes, props, a video wall and, for the first time, background singers and a full symphony orchestra. The 67-show tour extending across the country started in June and runs through Sept. 1.
For Tuesday’s performance only, it includes members of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra.
“What an amazing opportunity for our community!” said Nikolas Caoile who has been the orchestra’s conductor since 2010. “Our orchestra has been praised for its versatility, and here is another chance for us to prove that we can do more than just classical hits.”
The musicians have their work cut out for them.
“We are given access to the music several weeks in advance,” Caoile said. “We have to assemble a specific roster of musicians and provide a specific type of technical needs (known as a rider). We will rehearse with the group once, and then put on the concert.”
The rehearsal is also when the musicians get a chance to meet Yankovic.
Typically, concerts require a bit more rehearsal time.
“The main difference is how fast it is to put together,” he said. “This event will be done in just one rehearsal.”
The musicians are up for the challenge, he said.
“(We are looking forward to) having fun and performing with a cultural icon,” he said. “Weird Al is a favorite artist for fans of all ages.”