Charlie Sheen stage show slammed by audience and critics

Charlie Sheen was heckled, booed and eventually abandoned by the crowd at his inaugural stage show, with many of the audience members chanting "refund" and heading for the exits even before the show abruptly ended.

The first stop on Sheen's "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option" 20-city variety show started Saturday night with thunderous applause but ended 70 minutes later. In between, Sheen tried to appease his audience with rants, a rapper and a question and answer session, ultimately concluding the first show was "an experiment."



The former "Two and a Half Men" star learned firsthand at Detroit's 5,100-seat Fox Theatre that show business still requires a show. The debacle called into question the fate of the nascent tour. Some fans already predicted a premature end for the monthlong trek, which was scheduled to resume Sunday in Chicago.



"No way" the show makes it through all the dates, said Bob Orlowski, a lawyer from Plymouth, Michigan, who watched with six clients in a suite.



"He's not suited for this," said Orlowski, 46. "It wasn't funny."



Sheen's publicist, Larry Solters, declined to comment after the show. Sheen, 45, reappeared after the house lights went up to thank the hundreds who remained.



It wasn't clear when Sheen lost the audience, but there were many awkward moments.



Sheen, known for his wild partying and rampant drug use, said he thought Detroit would be a good place to tell some stories about crack cocaine. The remark prompted loud, immediate boos.



At another point, Sheen showed a short film he wrote, directed and produced years ago called "RPG." He sat in the front row to watch the flick, which starred a much younger Johnny Depp. Again, more boos.



The show actually started off with a bang.



After a video montage of movie clips — Sheen in "Wall Street" and "Platoon" set to a guitar solo from Sheen friend Rob Patterson — the star emerged to raucous applause and a standing ovation. The cheering increased as the women he calls his "goddesses" took the stage.



The two women, a former porn star and an actress who live with him, carried placards with the words "War" and "Lock," a reference to Sheen's recent description of himself.



When the goddesses locked lips in front of him, Sheen smirked. He had the crowd in the palm of his hand.



"I don't see a single empty seat," he said.



That quickly changed.



As the showed bogged down, an audience member booed, prompting Sheen to reply, "I've already got your money, dude."



Things only got worse.



"Tonight's an experiment," he said.



For some, it was an expensive experiment.



Linda Fugate, who paid $150 for two seats, left the theater and walked up the street, yelling, "I want my money back!"



"I was hoping for something. I didn't think it would be this bad," said Fugate, a 47-year-old from Lincoln Park, Michigan.



Fans who arrived at the theater — some flying in for the show — said they were hoping to see the increasingly eccentric actor deliver some of the colorful rants that have made him an Internet star since his ugly falling out with CBS and the producers of "Two and a Half Men."



They got the ranting. It just wasn't funny.



"Brutal. I expected him to at least entertain a little bit," said Rodney Gagnon, 34, of Windsor, Ontario.



Some saw something between victory and defeat.



Geoff Rezek, 69, a computer consultant from Darien, Connecticut, who met Sheen after the concert and received a poster, said the show needed work, but was salvageable. He believes Sheen is a consummate showman who took a risk.



"I wouldn't miss the first show. Who knows if there's going to be a second show?" Rezek said, perhaps prophetically. He also bought a ticket for Sheen's performance next week in Connecticut.



Sheen has made headlines in recent years as much for his drug use, failed marriages, custody disputes and run-ins with the police as for his acting. Martin Sheen has compared his son's struggle with addiction to a cancer patient's struggle for survival.



In August, the wayward star pleaded guilty in Aspen, Colorado, to misdemeanor third-degree assault after a Christmas Day altercation with his third wife, Brooke Mueller. The couple have since finalized their divorce.



Charlie Sheen's behavior, which included lashing out at "Two and a Half Men" producer Chuck Lorre, finally became too much for Warner Bros. Television, which fired him March 7.



Sheen fired back with a $100 million lawsuit and all-out media assault in which he informed the world about his standing as a "rock star from Mars" with "Adonis DNA."



After one of the sustained booing moments, Sheen tried to calm the crowd.



"Come on, guys. You paid to see me," he said. "... You gave me your hard-earned money without knowing what this (expletive) show was about. I'm here now ... and I'm willing to open up."

Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>

film
Arts and Entertainment

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book

books
Arts and Entertainment
Panic! In The Disco's Brendon Urie performs on stage

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride