The Warlock Speaks, but Doesn’t Dazzle

Manhattan, NY – The warlock arrived at 7:30 p.m. in a black SUV just outside the stage door of Radio City Music Hall. I had been in contact with the warlock’s publicist, Larry Solters, which is to say that Solters had denied my request for an interview with his client, a.k.a. Charlie Sheen.

Undeterred, I told the security guard prior to Sheen’s arrival that I was supposed to meet Solters at 7 p.m. by the stage door. It’s a trick that has worked to get me backstage in the past, but New Yorkers are savvier when it comes to such hijinks. Still, the security guard graciously let us stand near where Sheen’s truck would pull up, while keeping the throngs of paparazzi and wannabe goddesses on the sidelines.

As Sheen’s entourage pulled onto 51st Street, New York police took over and pushed everyone, including yours truly, onto the sidewalk, creating a “safe area” for the actor to make his way into the building. I protested this loudly, but the police weren’t buying my story and basically told me to fuck off.

Sheen exited the vehicle to great cheers and the clamor of camera flashes. Wearing a NY Yankees cap and tortoiseshell glasses, the actor warlock took a moment to wave to his fans. He’s shorter than the 5’10” he’s said to be. I’m 5’11” and he is well shorter than me. But within moments his handlers ushered him inside the hall and we made our way to our seats.

Sheen, who was basically booed offstage during the inaugural performance of his 20-city My Violent Torpedo of Truth tour, has since tweaked the show in the week since, trading his pulpit and incoherent psychobabble for an In the Actor’s Studio Q&A-type format.

The packed house erupted with applause as Sheen and his unidentified interviewer took the stage a half hour later than scheduled. “How many people want to know the truth?” Sheen bellowed, to even greater cheers. “Hello New York!”

He began the night by talking about Big Apple hotels he’s stayed in and the trouble he had this week finding one that would accommodate him. “I’m not staying at the fucking Plaza hotel,” he quipped, referring to the night last October when police, responding to a disturbance call, found a naked and drugged-up Sheen in his hotel room with frightened porn star Capri Anderson. “What a night that was. I’m still paying for that one.”

He referred to Anderson as a “gorgeous, overpriced hoebag who drank $20,000” worth of expensive wine. “She followed me up to my room… Next thing I know I’m naked, taking Ambien – the devil’s aspirin – and fighting the cops.”

“Here’s the worst part,” he said, “is that I didn’t even fuck her.

“Not winning.”

He accused the 19-year-old of stealing his $173,000 watch. “It’s somewhere in this town.”

He refrained from badmouthing his ex-wife Denise Richards, if only because he received a court order to that effect earlier in the day. “Sorry,” he said. “I can’t talk about Denise.”

As you’d expect, there were hecklers in the crowd, one of whom hurled repeated insults at the actor. “Can people around the loser shame him into silence?” Sheen asked.

Sheen did offer some juicy stories from his life, often centering around drugs and prostitutes. He and his brother Emilio once visited a whore house in Tijuana, where he “hit on a fine-ass Mexican prostitute.”

Allegedly, Keifer Sutherland once left Sheen with a $96,000 tab at an Austrian whorehouse while filming 1993s The Three Muskateers.

Perhaps the funniest story involved a flight he and actor Nic Cage took to San Fran in the early 90s. Upon discovering federal agents were on the plane, Sheen, who was carrying an ounce of cocaine, went to the bathroom to crotch the powder. While in there, Nic Cage’s voice came over the loudspeaker, warning that the plane was crashing.

When they landed, additional federal agents awaited them on the ground.

“My balls were sweating like a gerbil at a Richard Gere convention,” Sheen said.

Luckily, Sheen said, the agents were fans of Platoon and Raising Arizona.

He seemed in awe that he was actually performing at the legendary Radio City Music Hall. “How do you get here?” he wondered aloud. “In my case, you get here by telling your bosses to fuck off.”

But then he laid down the gauntlet to his former boss and Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre.

“I didn’t quit,” he said. “I didn’t breach my contract. I was just having too much fucking fun. What did they think I was going to do with all that cash – save it?”

Sheen earned $2 million an episode.

He then offered Lorre an open invitation to Sunday night’s performance “to work things out,” saying he wanted to return to the show next season. “You’re tired of the fucking reruns aren’t you?”

(Full disclosure: I’ve never seen the show.)

About halfway through the 55-minute performance, Sheen took a break. When he returned, he was even less focused than before, his stories more meandering and he seemed fidgety. Cocaine will do that. When he began talking about his children, the crowd, which for much of the night seemed on the fence, booed loudly. The interviewer, who was incapable of crafting an interesting question, likewise failed to steer Sheen toward more interesting topics, leaving Sheen to falter.

People began booing and leaving.

We knew when we bought tickets that it wasn’t going to be a great show. When he bombed in Detroit, we worried that the show might not make it to New York. True to the show’s tagline, Defeat is not an option, Sheen – an actor, not a performer – has steadily improved his schtick, providing his audience with a glimpse of the excesses his wealth and fame have afforded him. Still, the show isn’t much more than the trivial gripes of a privileged brat.

One thing I will give Sheen credit for is that despite his father, Martin Sheen, and brother, Emilio Estevez, having publicly expressed their concern over his mental state, Sheen still speaks fondly of them. His father, who “was always surrounded by chicks and had cash in his pockets,” inspired Sheen to take up acting.

But in speaking of his father, one can’t help but wonder if Sheen has broken from reality completely. “He’s great,” said Sheen, referring to his father’s epic coolness. “I mean, he fucking killed Col. Kurtz in a typhoon.”

Does he really think Apocalypse Now was real?

By then end, the audience had grown bored and restless. On the way out, people complained about what a waste of money it was.

My question is: what did they expect? An actual warlock?

From the sound of it, the audience left not winning.

 

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