By all accounts, Charlie Sheen's traveling stage show, "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option," failed bigtime on its opening night. The sellout crowd at Detroit's Fox Theater on Saturday booed the erratic star, shouted for refunds, and walked out early, leading Sheen to curtail his appearance after an hour. His broadly reworked second show, in Chicago on Sunday, went better. But repercussions from his disastrous effort in Detroit are already souring ticket sales for the tour's remaining 20 or so stops. How bad was it? Commentators sound off:
Sheen went off the rails
People wondered whether Sheen's show "would be a train wreck or surprisingly entertaining," says Steve Johnson in the Chicago Tribune. "Clang, clang, clang." As the "stunned but probably also a little relieved" stragglers left the theater after Sheen's abrupt exit, "a young man shouted, 'Losing!' And there was, finally, laughter at the Charlie Sheen show."
He somehow made insanity boring
Sheen's "blatantly cynical attempt to cash in on his craziness" may have sounded fascinating, says David Rooney at Reuters, "but this anthropological study of the homo loco species wore very thin very fast."
The audience was warned
"It's hard to feel sympathy for the people who walked out," says Adrian Chen at Gawker. Sheen showed us on his webcast that he's "entertaining in small, distant doses, like a polar bear at the zoo. Just don't get in the cage."
Kudos to Detroit
"I have never been so proud of my native metro area," says James Poniewozik in TIME. If, a year from now, you can't remember why we ever cared about Sheen, "you can thank the good people of Detroit" for hastening an end to this sad saga.
Kudos to his former handlers
Seeing Sheen unfiltered like this "makes the studio and producer he's been trashing — Warner Bros. TV and Chuck Lorre — look awfully good in hindsight," says Brian Lowry in Variety. You have to think, "They got eight-plus profitable seasons out of this guy?"
Sheen 1, hecklers 0
Even Sheen "seemed perplexed by what he was doing, saying, 'Is anybody else as confused by this shit as I am?'" says Annie Yuan in The Hollywood Reporter. But eventually the "loud boos and shouts of 'You suck!'" proved too much, prompting Sheen's undeniably true "retort, 'Already got your f--king money, dude.'"