Charlie Sheen’s “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option” tour opened in Detroit on Saturday night with a boom. By the time he stepped off the stage a little after 10 p.m., it was an official bomb.
Wearing a Detroit Tigers jersey with “Warlock” emblazoned on the back, Sheen delivered a monologue, played videos, sat in the front row and talked loosely with the audience. But it didn’t result in much of his famed catchphrase: “winning.”
In front of a rowdy, often-dissatisfied sold-out Fox Theatre audience of 4,700 people, the embattled sitcom actor ranted and raved about anything and everything.
Trust me, “this is going somewhere,” Sheen said as the crowd pondered his self-declared “radical” opening monologue. The 20-minute speech included many of his catchphrases, along with sayings like, “one giant heartbeat and one conscious thought.”
But about 30 minutes into the show, the usual Sheen-isms started to sound old and tired. From the men’s restroom to the expensive seats in front, it was a restless crowd, delivering plenty of jeers and only a few cheers.
The show had video montages throughout, including a “20/20″ outtake reel that showed off his self-deprecating sense of humor. His so-called goddesses helped him burn a “Two and a Half Men” bowling shirt. Before it was all over, he asked the crowd if the goddesses should come out again. And then he asked them: How many goddesses do you have?
The show was a reminder that the pop culture phenomenon is serious about his beliefs, but most of the crowd wasn’t entertained by the loose and disorganized attempt.
Valerie Piascik, 23, of Harrison Township said the videos were better than Sheen’s live performance. “Wow, I am not sure what that was,” she said from outside the Fox as Sheen was still on stage.
Bryan Gill, 53, of West Bloomfield said he was hoping for the best but saw the worst. “It was absolutely disappointing,” he said. “Truly, it sucked.”
Sheen, visibly worried that he was losing the audience, at times appeared close to becoming abrasive. He never completely fell apart, but at one point, he did tell a heckler, “Sorry dude, already got your money.”
Near the end of the evening, with the booing intensifying, the 45-year-old Sheen slipped off stage in favor rapper Dirt Nasty. And then at about 10:10 p.m. – roughly 70 minutes after Sheen’s portion had started – the houselights came on and most of the disappointed crowd headed for the exits, shell-shocked or angry.
For those who hung around, his “true, die-hard” fans, Sheen returned to the stage for about 15 minutes for meet-and-greets and the like.
WRIF-FM (101.1) host Drew Lane said if the tour continues like this, Sheen’s career will be in jeopardy.
“It was bad,” Lane said. “People were upset, but I don’t think they knew what to expect. He’s a movie star, not a stand-up comic.”