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April 21, 2011

Review: Charlie Sheen did not self-destruct for your pleasure at DAR Constitution Hall

A review of Charlie Sheen's show at DAR Constitution Hall appears in today's paper. Here's the longer version, which was shortened for space:

DAR Constitution Hall was nearly sold out Tuesday night for Charlie Sheen’s “Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour. The traveling circus has raised many questions, but the most glaring of all has to be why hundreds of people would pay top-shelf prices – over $100 in some cases - to see the actor in person.

Towards the end of the show, Michael Moore, of all people, volunteered an answer. In a letter that was read out loud to the crowd, the filmmaker said that the public’s fascination with Sheen has to do with the actor’s candor, with his refusal to play a phony and walk the plank of self-punishment on the talk show circuit.

But in typical form, Moore misses the forest for the trees. We’ve had frank, self-destructive celebrities before. VH1’s entire programming depends on them. And yet, we haven’t had the Jeff Conoway Tour of Redemption.

The novelty with Sheen is that he’s the first to take the self-immolating act we’ve already seen on TV on the road, raising the possibility that we’ll see a multi-millionaire unravel before our very eyes.

If that’s what hundreds were expecting at DAR, they were sorely disappointed.

Sheen’s “Violtent Torpedo of Truth” tour might have more accurately been called, “A dull evening with Charlie Sheen,” as it was neither violent, explosive nor truthful. During the show, Sheen doesn't do much besides react, listen and gloat. He was neither self-destructive nor embarrassing. Howard Beale in sweat pants never showed up.

The evening was stubbornly uneventful. Just about the most eye-raising moment came when Sheen suggested Barack Obama’s birth certificate was “photoshopped.” But these days even presidential hopefuls are floating that idea around, usually uncorrected by reporters, so that the line felt less incendiary than pandering to a risible crowd.

What the crowd of 3,000 or so got was the kind of hammy Q&A presentation normally reserved for the network upfronts. The show, if it can be called that, was more of an egomaniac’s wet dream.

Usually, at a performance of any kind, there’s at least a cursory effort to entertain the audience. But at Sheen’s show the focus was strictly on pleasing the star himself.

Over the course of the hour-and-a-half show, Sheen took questions from the audience about his life, sparred with DJ Tommy Griffiths about his ex-wives, got roasted by comedian Jeff Ross, and finally showed his greatest YouTube moments. All were meant to show the star in a self-deprecating light, but instead celebrated his worst flaws.

Sheen took the stage shortly after 9 p.m., disproving critics – myself included – who bet he’d pull a Lauryn Hill and turn up at the last minute. He also didn’t forget the words to any of his material.

But that’s mainly because he didn’t have any to remember.

Griffiths joined him on stage to quiz him on the day’s current events. It was a meeting of minds worthy of “Charlie Rose.” What would you do about sleepy air traffic controllers, Charlie? “ Adderall.” What about a punishment for Qaddafi? Force him to marry Brooke and Denise, the actor said, an enormous smirk plastered on his face.

Accompanying Sheen and Griffiths on stage was a guitarist who was supposed to play to their punchlines, but sat idle for most of the show. There was little stagecraft: just a couple of arm chairs, and a stool for the tired musician. 

The rest of Griffiths’ Q&A was as probing as “Frost/Nixon.” Griffith asked Sheen to play word association - Mars? “Rock Star!” – and to recall his favorite movie set memory. (It was watching Marlon Brandon scarf down a bowl of spaghetti during the filming of “Apocalypse, Now.”) Sheen seemed forgetful at times. “Oh, we covered court already didn't we?”

It would be silly to suggest that the show lost whatever momentum it had as this Q&A went along because it never had any to begin with.

Jeff Ross, a regular on Comedy Central’s celebrity roasts, came out for the second half of the show and got the night’s first genuine, non-ironic laughs.

It was the first time all night that the crowd shut up to hear what a person on stage had to say. Throughout the night they had heckled Sheen and Griffiths, screaming non-sequiturs to each one of Griffiths’ what-would-you-do questions; “Cocaine!” was a popular answer.

It was the mood of a crowd that had gotten robbed of a meltdown in real time and instead got the kind of performance a crazy uncle delivers annually at Thanksgiving dinner. 

But for that expectation they have no one to blame but themselves.

When Ross Ross praised Sheen’s chutzpah for touring with no written material, Sheen countered, accurately, that he had never promised to do stand-up on tour, or to polemicize about the day’s events, and much less to self-destruct for people’s pleasure.

“I never said what this was,” Sheen acknowledged. He was simply offered money to tour, ran with it, and saw ticket sales go through the roof. Talk about winning.

Photo: Charlie Sheen at DAR Constitution Hall Tuesday (Washington Post/Mark Gail)


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Posted by Erik Maza at 7:00 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Concert reviews
        

Comments

Okay, so his bit is that he basically recommends a drug in answer to what he'd do about most problems that come up. Okay, fine, I guess, since that's his frame of reference. Next?

I know Sheen isn't exactly the optimal choice, per say, for a decade late 9/11 truth movement (SO 2005+/- jk ;) uproar...consider WHAT HIS MESSAGE IS...what his previous conduct TOWARDS slander (as WE ALL WOULD ACT, if we have a shred of dignity, whatever YOU consider as such) ADD IN HIS MULTI-MILLION dollar deal on a hit show and it's NOT a 'breakdown' OR whatever other brainwashed masses have been shamelessly taught BY THE MEDIA (JOURNALISM IS DEAD, EXCEPT ON THE NET...then you STILL have to find people DIY/Indie-style doing their OWN THING, GAINING NOTHING to PROVE EVERYTHING.) It's SHAMELESS for other "actors"/comedians, sorry but Russ is a joke-stealin, raunchy, shit for jokes even though he PAYS FOR WRITERS. THE JOKE IS ON US ALL. For PAYING ATTENTION to these clowns. Why does it ONLY BECOME A "REAL ISSUE" ONCE A CELEBRITY (false idol) DECIDES TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST WHAT THEY KNOW IS TRUE, BUT NOT A POPULAR PERSPECTIVE, so whatever they say MUST BE out of the result of a "breakdown"....WE CAN SEE THROUGH THIS CHARADE of Patronizing the 'HAVES' who are told to shut up and act/model/conduct business/pull in MONEY<<<<---follow that trail and YOU'LL INSTANTLY KNOW WHAT THESE CLOWNS with lined pockets by YOUKNOWHATNAUTI - HAVE VESTED INTERESTS IN...Honey, it's NOTHING TO DO WITH US. USUALLY. All of you the read this - TAKE THIS TO HEART. There is an OBVIOUS FARCE that is in control, which is SO ELABORATE, even I, with my predisposition to not give 2 s#its about this stuff, 'CELEBRITY' slander, etc BUT THIS IS FAR MORE THAN WHAT THEY ARE TRYING TO THROW YOU - yes, YOU- off of the SCENT OF THE TRUTH Mr. SHEEN has pulled out and said HERE DISPROVE IT....you can't...FURTHERMORE, I appreciate your article, fella. Your one of the last journalists left, buddy. SO-HERE'S YOUR SHOT. The biggest 'NEWS' though NOT NEW, it is STILL long SUPRESSED, unreported & those who speak of it - well they LAY IT ON THE LINE. Ok, I've personally had my bank account drained and all activity monitored, I'm just an artist trying to create an "Artist Ecosystem" SINCE before I went "down the rabbit hole" on 1/1/11. I have even CAUGHT FOOTAGE, fate? who knows? there's MORE ON YT...of AN ECLIPSE OF THE SUN BY AN UNKNOWN OBJECT. \\planetX....DO YOU really think SHEEN would just THROW AWAY his contract if there were any reason NOT TO? Yeah, he's a f*ckup, WE ALL ARE, we DEMONIZE the characteristic in which we despise within our SELVES, this is the TRUE NATURE OF ALL OF THIS MESS. JUST LOOK up the company's name after .com on the site part, ok? DIY RESEARCH, Why should you listen to me? By now, you've either lost interest or patience. WE'VE BEEN DUPED FROM BIRTH. We're the bastard children of the generation X syndrome of TERROR. All created ON PURPOSE, just as ALL POLITICS ARE NO DIFFERENT (with a FEW exceptions-far too few) THAN WHAT BIZ SHEEN IS IN? Think about it. Let that simmer. Do we REALLY have a 2 party system? LOOK UP THE AMERO....HAARP...FEDERAL RESERVE, get involved. BUT IF YOU KNOW YOU CANNOT HOLD THOSE WHO 'didn't know better' RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN STUPIDITY. No. IT is THE DUTY OF THE EDUCATED CLASS to INFORM those who do not have ACCESS/KNOWLEDGE/MEANS to GET THIS INFO. The MASS MEDIA has BEEN BOUGHT OUT-yet, these CORPORATE RAN well-spun FAKE 'lords of news' CAN BARELY CHOKE OUT THE WORDS, THEY KNOW ARE LIES. (watch an 'old schooler' NOTE: not many are left, WATCH NETWORK-the movie, look it up) ABOVE ALL
please
watch
ESOTERIC AGENDA...this is STUFF THAT SHOULD BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS BUT IS NOT SO THAT WE ARE KEPT IN THE DARK SO THOSE WE think we PUT IN OFFICE can carry on with their NWO/one world bank/imperialist MEGA-NEO-MARXIST fascist "GOVERNMENT" ok THE PTB(Powers That Be) ARE DESPERATE TO HOLD ONTO THE LITTLE POWER THAT THEY HAVE CONTROL OF...this is NOT MUCH, considering that OUR POLES ARE SHIFTING, PLANET X IS HERE/'Nemesis' star to the sun...see OPERATION GARDEN PLOT, PAPERCLIP, BLUE BEAM, it's all there....THIS IS WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN ORCHESTRATING behing the VEIL OF AN OMNIPOTENT TERRORIST THREAT. They are the terror-mongers, WE MUST LEARN THE ACTUAL NEWS-WORTHY EVENT OCCURING ON A NATIONAL/GLOBAL AND NOW UNIVERSAL LEVEL....They're already rewriting the books now....all of us are going through a MOLECULAR SHIFT due to the extraordinary GRAVITATIONAL PULL of what is in orbit between us and the sun, don't believe me, go to that site, the writing is on MY WALL dating back to when I was RESEARCHING TO DISPROVE AN EVENT could happen along the New MADRID Fault(now SEISMIC) Zone....MANMADE DISASTERS, weather control, UFO'S SHUTTING OFF NUKES GLOBALLY, at least 6+ countries are DEALING WITH THIS STUFF, and we are still...
WAKE THE HELL UP. I sure have, and it's a little scary at first, of COURSE we PREFER OTHERS TO HANDLE THIS JOB OF JOURNALISM, RESEARCH, but everyone has a DIFFERENT AGENDA. Well TRUTH HAS NO AGENDA. IT JUST IS
T R U T H <-----DISCOVER IT - prepare.
And yes, there is A LOT MORE PROOF OF AN EMMINET CATASTROPHE ALONG nmfz ....they've prepared long b4 now...TAKE THE CHANCE TO LEAD YOUR OWN EXISTENCE, IMPACT THE LIFE OF OTHERS, it's an EPIC TIME TO BE ALIVE, so may as well LIBERATE YOURSELF, before they try to DISARM AND take away that SAME LIBERTY under MARTIAL LAW. I'm not a "doom & gloom" person....but this is facts. I wouldn't have been researching it for so long, if it had no worth, thank GAWD for those who have been awake for a long time and trying to wake us up-EVER INCREASING IN NUMBER, I've watched this "truther" movement SKYROCKET this YEAR...It's a big deal..

Rock&Roll.
Great article. Sorry to rant, but this is shit that NEEDS COVERAGE maybe you can help. peace.

Learn the facts, FAST.

charlie sheen?

Ha ha ha Loser! Erik hatin on Charlie Sheen because he is able to get people to pay to see him without making an ass of himself. Ha ha ha. Fooled again! Thats what you get trying to predict the actions of one whose intelligence is greater than yours. People who paid ticket money to see Sheen looking for a breakdown and are disappointed because they didn't get one are the trolls that sheen often rants about. You, Erik should be ashamed of yourself for criticizing Sheen for not having a breakdown instead of criticizing the trolls for expecting one. But I know that not everyone who came to constitution hall is a blood thirsty vampire. I know it may be hard for jealous people like yourself to understand but some of us see Sheen as a man who has been done an injustice and it just may be that we see his tour as an act of SELF DETERMINATION, a respectable way of bouncing back, springing back on his feet after being sucker punched by the TV Show that fired him for a fake reason. Nobody who paid money to come to Constitution Hall should have been EXPECTING anything since nothing was promised except a celebrity appearance which is what they got. Some of those who came just wanted to see that Sheen was alright after hearing all of the hoopla that he had lost his mind and hearing a so called expert psychologist doctor claim that Sheens alleged condition had gotten so severe that he had the potential to harm himself or others. Such media hyped piles of fecees drew some of us closer to Sheen because many of us couldn't hide the fact that we understood and even agreed with the rantings of the so called mad man. It is my belief and conspiracy theory that Sheen was targeted by the gangsters that be after airing the 911 questions to the president and if I am correct I think
Sheen should be able to make his money with celebrity appearances without breaking a sweat. This is compensation for being unjustly drop kicked for speaking up like a man. The wise and grown up ones in the audience at constitution hall who paid their ticket money came out to see that man. Those are the few non trolls who were not disappointed.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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