Unwigged & Unplugged at the Ryman 

The comic masterminds behind This Is Spinal Tap—debatably the greatest mockumentary of all time—are taking their show on the road, and they’re doing it sans the satire. Well, the “Big Bottoms,” “Hell Holes” and “Sex Farms” will all be present, but—as the show’s title indicates—Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest are ditching the metal mullets and impossibly tight trousers to deliver their clever quips and comical jams in a stripped-down fashion. A cynic might suggest that the aging funnymen can’t quite commit to their high-energy characters and “up to 11” amp settings the way they used to. But they’ve said that dropping the act allows them to jump in and out of non-Spinal Tap characters and songs—and allegedly keep ticket prices low. Regardless of whether or not the illusion of Spinal Tap remains, the minds that gave birth to the greatest rock ‘n’ roll parody in history will be there, and that alone is worth the price of admission.
Sun., May 10, 8 p.m., 2009

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