Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer are leaving the costumes and wigs at home but will still play the music of their cinematic alter egos Spinal Tap, as well as the Folksmen from “A Mighty Wind” on a 30-date concert tour this spring.
The six-week theater trek, dubbed Unwigged & Unplugged: An Evening with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, kicks off April 17 in Vancouver and runs through May 31 in Milwaukee. Tickets go on sale starting Friday (March 6).
“We’ve never gone out as ourselves,” Shearer said Monday during a webcast teleconference at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. “It’s interesting; after playing characters all these years, we’re having meetings trying to figure out who WE are…We have to ask ourselves, ‘What would WE do?'”
McKean, meanwhile, referred to outing as “a non-pony dog show,” while Guest said the trio had started planning the tour “a couple years ago.”
The shows’ repertoire will be drawn from the two Spinal Tap albums — “This is Spinal Tap” and “Break Like the Wind” — as well as the soundtrack to the Guest-directed “A Mighty Wind.” At the press conference Guest, McKean and Shearer played a short set that included Spinal Tap’s “Hell Hole” and “Sex Farm” and “Old Joe’s Place” from “A Mighty Wind.”
The trio is also in the midst of recording a new Spinal Tap album that will be released May 26 and feature the “original studio versions” of the live songs on “This is Spinal Tap” and some new songs — including the ironically titled “Short and Sweet,” a 20-minute epic to which they’re “adding stellar guitar player (guest) as we speak,” according to McKean.
Some bonus material will likely be available for digital download only.
McKean said the partners are “trying to figure out a way to do (Spinal Tap’s bass opus) ‘Big Bottom’ on three acoustic guitars” and said some incarnation of “Stonehenge” “is possible.”
Tour information is available at www.unwigged.com, while www.spinaltap.com is also being reactivated.
Here are the Unwigged & Unplugged tour dates:
April 17: Vancouver, B.C. (Center for the Performing Arts)
April 19: Portland, Ore. (Keller Auditorium)
April 20: Seattle (Paramount Theatre)
April 22: Oakland, Calif. (Paramount Theatre)
April 23: Santa Barbara, Calif. (Santa Barbara County Bowl)
April 26: Los Angeles (The Wiltern)
April 27: Phoenix, Ariz. (Dodge Theatre)
April 29: Denver (Paramount Theatre)
May 1: Houston, Texas (Jesse H, Jones Hall)
May 2: Dallas (Nokia Theatre)
May 4: Jacksonville, Fla. Florida Theatre)
May 5: Miami (The Fillmore)
May 6: Orlando, Fla, (Hard Rock Live)
May 8: St. Petersburg, Fla. (Mahaffey Theatre)
May 9: Atlanta (Fox Theatre)
May 10: Nashville (Ryman Auditorium)
May 12: Baltimore (Lyric Opera House)
May 13: Washington, D.C. (Warner Theatre)
May 14: Philadelphia (Keswick Theatre)
May 17: Columbus, Ohio (Palace Theatre)
May 19: Cleveland, Ohio (State Theatre)
May 21: Toronto (Massey Hall)
May 22: Mashantucket, Conn. (MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods)
May 23: Boston (The Wilbur Theatre)
May 24: Atlantic City, N.J. (Music Box at The Borgata)
May 26: New York (Beacon Theatre)
May 27: New York (Beacon Theatre)
May 29: Detroit (Fox Theatre)
May 30: Chicago (Chicago Theatre)
May 31: Milwaukee, Wis. (Riverside Theatre)