I paid American money to see Charlie Sheen Live at the Chicago Theatre.
And I enjoyed it.
First, I came without a ticket. Almost NO ONE was selling tickets outside, especially singles. i finally got one and ran inside right as he was starting. Photos of the scene here.
I read about the format of the Detroit show and this one seemed different/better. It was essentially 30ish mins of Q&A with an interviewer. A break. And the 45 more mins of Q&A. There was a place on the website for fans to ask Charlie questions, but I highly doubt the questions came from there. They were extremely basic and adulatory. Things like “What’s up with the goddesses?” “Would you go back to 2.5 Men?” “Doesn’t everybody love 2.5 Men?!” Most of the questions covered similar ground as the interviews, and there were historical questions about his acting work, focusing mostly on Major League. I find this weird, but I guess it is baseball season and perhaps Eight Men Out is off limits? At one point Charlie took off his pants, to reveal a second set of pants underneath. The second pair was camo and he announced he has to wear camo if they’re going to talk about Platoon. Which they never got around to.
Why did they never get around to it? The audience. Early in the night I compared it to “Showtime at the Apollo” for whiteys. The entire evening people were yelling things at the stage. It kept sidetracking Charlie, sometimes in a funny way and other times not. I can honestly say I think nothing that was specifically asked got answered, but much was said. Most audience stuff was either random Charlie Sheen quotes (“WINNING!”), slutty cougars trying to hook up with Sheen (Including a girl with a sign that said “Take me to your closet” which even Sheen said was fucked up), or random shouting (“Take off your shirt!”).
Towards the beginning of the evening Charlie DID take off his shirt. It revealed a weird bandage on his right bicep that was not explained. A man in the audience also took off his shirt and they traded and it was an ongoing joke during the evening. I am sure that shirt will show up on ebay.
In an odd twist, Charlie Sheen seemed really pissed about these shouting people. He repeatedly said they had no class, told them to shut up, told them they were classless, etc.. He said as an aside, “Can’t the people around the yellers shame them into silence?” The evening ended with him reading a lengthy letter by Natty, one of the goddesses, and he required everyone to be silent to read it.
Speaking of the goddesses, they came on stage for half a minute. One very dressed up, one in jeans. Said nothing, left.
The only complaint I heard walking out was someone who said, “I could have learned all that stuff in interviews he’s done.” which is mostly true. Sure, I’d actually love to hear Charlie Sheen talk about Wall Street or Platoon, or his 9/11 theories. But the crowd definitely cared more about whores and crack. Which I can’t say I totally disagree with but the answers about that were definitely facetious and self-aggrandizing. But that’s what people want from rockstars.
So first, there was a lot of dissing the entire evening on Detroit. The audience LOVED this. Frequent shouting of “Fuck Detroit!” was heard all night through.
I was live twittering this whole thing, and about 10-15 mins in, I was seeing a lot of tweets about how he was bombing and people were walking out. That was WHOLLY untrue. It was a packed house the whole evening.
Charlie Sheen talked about his love of baseball because it’s the only sport not beholden to time. There was a poll, and more of the audience seemed to be White Sox fans. As a Cub fan, I’ll leave that without comment.
Charlie was VERY pro-Chicago the whole evening. At one point he started talking about the intricacies of Malibu traffic to a point that no one who hasn’t been through Malibu traffic would care. He stopped himself and said, “Wait, I am in Chicago, fuck Malibu.”
Here’s a general run down of topics:
Charlie likes them. These days there isn’t much difference between whores and prostitutes. He paid for sex in a world where he does not have to because he has jillions of dollars and he ran out of shit to buy. He asked if anyone in the room had paid for sex and a surprisingly large number of people responded. The whore in the plaza hotel: stole his watch and he never had sex with her. She never gave the watch back, so he just bought another one because that’s how CS ROLLS.
Charlie Sheen did drugs for 20 years because they are fun. He doesn’t do things repeatedly if they are not fun. He discovered the internet and crack in the same night and blames Al Gore for both.
In one night both Eddie VanHalen & Mick Jagger “fetched” him beers (direct quote).
The audience, according to CS, were bitchin rockstars (see above) who won when they came in the door–when they bought the ticket! My assessment might be different. Do you ever wonder who watches Two & A Half Men? I do. I do all the time. Well everyone there tonight is the answer. That included:
- cougar women who looked like they slutted it up at a Whitesnake show back in the day.
- frat boys with backwards baseball caps
- people who buy Big Dog apparel
- men over 30 who still wear a backwards baseball cap and/or a jersey with a gold chain to a theatre performance
- lotsa heels & makeup & manicures & uggs & skinny jeans & hair straighteners
- ironic hipsters in plaid shirts
There were lots of big groups of guys, lots of couples. I left with everyone else and there was almost NO ONE taking the red line home which leads me to believe there was a LOT of suburbanites.
CS has a lot of advice to give, most of it pretty reasonable. Be prepared. Have a plan. Order things on the internet, it’s more convenient. Have a backup of everything. Don’t run out. This culminated in him showing us what he puts in his warrior bag. Contents include: lighters, butane for lighters, knife (not for threatening, he specified), some pain relieving bactine looking spray (possibly for arm injury?), flashlight, cigarettes, ketchup and Tabasco, because people don’t flavor things enough. I agree with all of these things. In the spirit of two of everything, he feels two is the right number of goddesses. And he wears two pairs of sweatpants, one over another. That cannot be comfortable.
Addiction sucks, says CS. It is losing. He got tired of losing and started winning by stopping drugs. AA is a bunch of losers who want his money/stuff? That last bit was a little unclear to me.
His ex is a crazy whore. Ginger Lynn was cool. He won’t get married again because being married four times is the “Golden Sombrero” which he can say because everyone thinks he is Mexican. He is in fact Spanish & Irish. He loves his kids, talks about them a lot.
Is a great show. He loves it and everyone in the cast. He previously called Jon Cryer a troll but that was wrong and he apologized. Jon Cryer is a total fucking rockstar. He complained that they had no problem raking in the dough when he was hitting rock bottom on drugs. Many dudes in the audience were wearing the type of shirt that CS wears in 2.5 Men and he refused to wear one during the shirt trading part of the show. Because that shirt was like jail and he wasn’t appreciated for wearing it. “That shirt is like the straight jacket that killed Houdini. That shirt murdered Houdini!” (ed. note FYI, Houdini did not die in a straight jacket escape.)
I wish there had been more of this since CS’ comments on Alex Jones are what started this whole thing. He wants Obama to answer his phone calls. He started in a direction that was going to hardline attack Obama and then said, “oh he’s from here. I’m sure he’s a good guy!” but that he wasn’t very reachable. There was also a weird metaphorical “I’m thinking out of the box now! And I can’t go back in the box! The truth is out there” line of thought. Sadly it was at the end.
is awesome, though was cooler before he was religious. Best quote ever: “He’s still my dad. He still killed captain fucking kurtz.” CS talked about Apocalypse now A LOT. Clearly has some mental thing about that.
My read on CS’ health. He was sweating a LOT but it was INSANELY hot in there. He looks like someone who did drugs for 20 years. An attractive person with good health care who did drugs for 20 years, but still, someone who did drugs for 20 years. He definitely seems unable to stay on topic. And excitable. He stressed he is not on drugs, and I don’t get why he has any impetus to lie about this. I am not a professional. Clearly CS is an egotistical guy who has a weird Jesus complex. But if you are raised in a movie family and have a career where Mick Jagger gives you beer, I don’t see how you could avoid that.
HOW IT ENDED
Everyone I walked out with was pretty upbeat about it. No one really left until the end. The end was EXTREMELY strange. The interviewer asked if everyone had a good time. Cheers followed. He asked if Charlie had a good time and he said yes, definitely but it wasn’t over yet. Clearly the interviewer was attempting to wrap up against Charlie’s will. Charlie would not leave the stage. They threw some tshirts into the front row and CS said he needed to clean up his stuff because he didn’t like to leave a mess. The house lights came up and CS was still on stage. Everyone had been standing up and clapping so no one knew what to do. CS said, “No one’s leaving!” hopefully, like maybe we could do more time. We did not.
Did I learn a lot of new things? No. Did I expect to? No. Was I entertained? Yes. If you found Charlie Sheen interviews entertaining, you would find this entertaining. If you were looking for a comedy show, this was not it, but it wasn’t billed as one in anything I saw. Were the ticket prices outrageously expensive? Definitely, but it’s the Chicago Theatre so I expect that. Did I learn more about people than Charlie Sheen? ABSOLUTELY. I’d also say I really agreed with most of the stuff he said. Except I like Detroit!
Another surprising thing, to me was how eager people were for this to fail. Both civilians and local media were out in force saying this was failing before it even started. On twitter, the Sun Times, Richard Roeper, Roe Caan, etc all tweeted about how much it sucked. I am 100% cool with them having that opinion–this was totally not for everyone. But the Sun Times reporting everyone hated it while it was not apparent in the theater seems a little shady to me.
BEST QUOTES OF THE EVENING:
“I discovered the Internet and crack on the same night. I want to credit al gore for both.”
“George Clooney is a robot. He has like four moves and all of them work. Damn him!”
“I’ve had the best time of my life [tonight, in Chicago] unlike the death sentence that was Detroit”
“The three parts of your heart: blood, valves, tiger blood”
“Every day is Christmas when you live online”
“He’s still my dad. He still killed Captain Fucking Kurtz.”