TODAY   |  April 04, 2011

Sheen gets standing ovation in Chicago

One night after Charlie Sheen's one-man stage show debuted to boos in Detroit, a Chicago audience welcomed his rants on ex-wife Brooke Mueller and his drunken NYC meltdown with applause and better reviews. NBC's Jeff Rossen reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> about charlie sheen not winning. his live one-man stage show debuts in detroit and critics called it a disaster. did he do better in chicago ? jeff rossen was there and has more. good morning.

>> reporter: hey, ann. he actually got a standing ovation here in chicago . boy, did charlie sheen need it. as you mentioned opening night in detroit was a mess. by charlie 's own admission most likely it would be a bomb based on my conversations with him. i was inside and i watched fans leave early, about 30 minutes in. charlie was booed off stage. outside fans said they wanted their money back. after that charlie said, this is an evolving experiment. i'm rewriting the show. he tried again last night in chicago . [ cheers and applause ]

>> reporter: at the chicago theater sunday night, charlie sheen finally got some cheers. he set it up like a talk show , sheen as the guest, his close friend the interviewer. charlie let loose about drugs.

>> i discovered the internet and crack on the same night.

>> reporter: on his estranged wife brooke mueller who got a court order to remove their twin boys from their house.

>> she sent 9,000 cops to my house.

>> reporter: he opened up about the drunken meltdown at the plaza hotel saying this about the porn star with him.

>> she's all weepy on these shows and i'm like, wow, boo [ bleep ] hoo.

>> reporter: for the first time sheen apologized for calling his "two and a half men" costar jon cryer a troll. sheen said again he wants back on the sit com . when it was over in chicago , mixed reviews outside the theater.

>> it was boring.

>> all in all i thought he did pretty good.

>> reporter: but in detroit , just one night earlier.

>> you suck!

>> reporter: charlie was dying up there.

>> i don't do crack anymore, but i'm just saying.

>> reporter: there were cheers like when sheen 's live-in lovers made an appearance. [ cheers ]

>> reporter: yeah, the crowd liked that. sheen pulled out one of his signature bowling shirts from "two and a half men" to have the goddesses burn it.

>> boom.

>> reporter: minutes later, sheen lost the crowd with a bizarre warlock routine.

>> i am delivered here in the form of my perfect flesh.

>> reporter: some fans got up and left early. [ booing ]

>> reporter: and then so did charlie , less than one hour into his routine.

>> i'll come back to this once you guys are awake.

>> reporter: he seemed frustrated and got off stage. suddenly a rapper showed up. that was it. charlie never came back.

>> don't go.

>> save your money.

>> worst show we have seen.

>> reporter: what do you think?

>> awful.

>> a waste of two hours of my life.

>> reporter: the critics were brutal, too, ripping sheen apart. a dud, disastrous, sheen bombs on opening night . two shows down, 20 to go, zig zagging all over north america . clearly still tweaking with every new show. the show was actually very graphic at times. i found the range in age of the crowd interesting. in fact, at the show in chicago the woman sitting behind me was in her mid 60s. the woman to my left was in her 20s. very interesting on that. sheen told the crowd last night, ann, that he's not on drugs telling them, i'm quoting here, i make my urine and blood available to anyone. sheen 's headed out of town. he's in cleveland tuesday night.