The news that Charlie Sheen's live show in Detroit was a debacle mixed with a fiasco came as sweet, sweet relief to all of those praying for an end to this whole ... thing. But then, like a Phoenix rising from the cigarette ashes, Sheen rebounded — as is his wont! — thanks to, of all people, a marketing executive from Live Nation. (So the company is now personally intervening to stain the concert industry rather than just doing it quietly through pricing?) Sheen's second outing, this time in Chicago, was met with applause, a standing ovation, and generally positive reviews, and gave the clear — if very alarming and sad — signal that Sheen's following is not so easily diminished.
It turns out Sheen's rants and rambles seem frightening and nonsensical when he's all by his lonesome onstage; however, when the show is in a Q&A format, with a helpful (or ... something) host asking the audience, "Who here has seen Platoon?!" things go a lot better. Presumably Joey Scoleri, the tour's co-producer, will keep his new gig as the show's "moderator/straight man," as he described it. And who better to bring out the best in Sheen than the man who said, before the tour, "I don’t think it’s a script, as much as he is going to ‘riff like an artist’ He will probably do most of it from memory, he’s that talented."
Scoleri gently lobbed questions at Sheen, who then launched into the meandering rants, gravel-voiced complaints, and occasionally coherent memories that have become his trademark. "Do you guys admire the way [Sheen] took on the establishment?" Scoleri wondered. "Woooo," cheered the audience. "You walked away from corporate America," Scoleri said to Sheen. "I didn't walk away from shit, man, I got fucking fired," Sheen zinged, to more "wooos" and chanting. Woooooo.
The Sheen loyalists weren't confined to the Chicago Theatre, either. Twitter-inclined fans descended on Patton Oswalt, who dared retweet bad reviews of of the Detroit show, and called the comic "jealous," a "homobiker," and "Kevinjames nuts shiner [sic]." Naturally, Juliette Lewis came to Oswalt's defense: "Just really respect Poswalt's actual talent. Rather than som guy riding a wave of our culture's bla bla," she wrote, proving once and for all that Twitter makes everything seem weird and connected, even though there's no real link (cough, Illuminati, cough) between Sheen, Oswalt, and Lewis.
And now the tour continues, even as residual questions remain. Why is tour member Simon Rex — who will always be the guy who deflowered Felicity — a rapper now? Why would a Chicago "club patron" send allegedly self-rehabbed Charlie Sheen a 15-liter bottle of champagne at a nightclub after the show? Why everything? If every generation gets the hero it deserves, what could we possibly have done to deserve this?
Charlie Sheen Turns Things Around in Chicago [NYT]
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