“Weird Al” unleashes his inner conductor for the symphonic Strings Attached tour | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

“Weird Al” unleashes his inner conductor for the symphonic Strings Attached tour 

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click to enlarge “Weird Al” Yankovic

“Weird Al” Yankovic

Courtesy the Artist

“Weird Al” Yankovic . . . with a symphony? That’s right—the paragon of parody has added orchestral accompaniment for his current Strings Attached tour. At each stop, local musicians will juxtapose their symphonic grandeur with Yankovic’s musical goofiness. It’s particularly apt for the highbrow vibes of Ravinia, but longtime Al fans shouldn’t fret; his set promises to include the nonsensical costume changes, props, and video projections that make his live show such a blast. Five years removed from his most recent album, Mandatory Fun (RCA), Yankovic has built a set list reflective of his career, full of big hits and fan favorites. Classic parodies such as “Amish Paradise” and “White & Nerdy” sit alongside Yankovic originals such as “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” and “Harvey the Wonder Hamster.” But this time around, the show will also have a special cinematic flair, including movie themes (during an orchestral warm-up) and a tribute to Star Wars (to close the night). Fans of Yankovic’s 1989 cult-classic movie UHF also will get a kick out of Stanley Spadowski’s “Fun Zone,” which starts the main program. You may not get a better chance this summer to see something so totally epic and wickedly funny—and with Ravinia breaking out its lawn video screen, folks in the cheap seats won’t miss out on a moment of the fun.   v

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