Are Charlie Sheen's Live Shows Bombing?

After nearly being booed off stage in Detroit, the incendiary actor rebounds with a winning performance in Chicago

Is Charlie Sheen's "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not an Option" tour another winning chapter in the actor's unceasing media onslaught, or is it an epic misfire? Well, it depends who you ask and -- more importantly -- in which city they saw the show.

Sheen, 45, kicked off the national tour of his fast-selling live "comedy" show with a Saturday night performance in Detroit, and was nearly booed off stage within half an hour. But resilient guy that he is, Charlie bounced back just one night later with a generally well-received show in Chicago that prompted the actor to tweet: "TOOK ONE NIGHT BUT HE IS #winning. Yet again."

Indeed, according to Entertainment Weekly, which live-blogged the opening night in Motor City, that performance was an unmitigated disaster. Audience members -- many of them clad in Charlie Sheen slogan shirts -- mercilessly booed the actor and walked out en masse about 30 minutes into the show. Perhaps that's because the show was little more than a hastily slapped together montage of Sheen's nonsensical monologues and semi-related video clips, as well as some disjointed stunts that included the burning of one of Uncle Charlie's Two and a Half Men shirts, a makeout session between Sheen's "goddesses" on stage, and a mock presidential address, the "Manny-Fest-Oh," which the crowd began booing within 20 minutes.

Although Sheen promised the fans that he was "finally here to identify and train the Vatican assassin locked inside each and every one of you," his largely improvised monologues about "monkey-eyed sweat-eating whores" and "freedom from the dour and sour taste of malignant reproach" basically just confused and annoyed everyone. Instead of reinforcing his fans' admiration, he ended up shouting, "I already got your money, dude!" to the restless crowd. And the critics were even less kind, if that's possible.

But true to the name of the tour, defeat was not an option for Sheen. And just one night later, the actor hit Chicago with a revamped version of the act that received much better reviews from both fans and critics. Doing away with the video clips, audience ridicule and faux presidential addresses, the Chicago show assumed a talk-show format, with an unnamed pal asking Sheen questions. And so Charlie did what he does best, opining on subjects ranging from marriage ("marriage sucks") to his goddesses ("the definition of love is that they have not disallowed me everything that makes me happy") to Two and a Half Men ("If they ask me to go back, I will. I signed a contract.") and his costar Jon Cryer ("I said some s--- about him that was wrong. I love him. He's a rock star."), People.com reported.

Sheen himself seemed proud of his resiliency, telling E! that the new show is "f---ing working" and that he may still tinker with the format. "There's a couple things here I've got to f---ing work out," Sheen says. "I don't know if I start the show alone and it turns into (a Q&A format) or I just say with this 'cause it's f--king working and we'll f---ing return to it if I don't."

The actor went on to say that he may incorporate more of an audience Q&A into the show going forward, though that technique met with mixed results in Detroit. "We've already got (questions) submitted and we say, you know, so-and-so from f---ing Bakersfield or Loserville, F---ing Michigan, wants to know," he says. "Then it's like, 'Yeah, I don't feel like talking about that' (or) 'You know, that's a really good f---ing question, wow."

Either way, Sheen insists he's willing to do whatever it takes to make the show work. He tells E! that after bombing in Detroit he took the tour bus to his hotel in Chicago and stayed up to the wee hours revamping the show. Still, even Sheen isn't bulletproof; he admits that the reception in Detroit did get to him. "Yeah, so there was a moment on the bus when it was like, we can just keep going, we can drive home," he says. But he's quick to add: "I'm like, yeah, that's what losers do, man. F--- it, you know? Maybe I just, you know, needed a bigger challenge."

 

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