Modofac Productions presents the world premiere of CCX. Two Chicago police officers are working on a murder investigation. They have the suspect in custody. They have the witness in the next room. What could possibly go wrong? Everything! In just 90 minutes, everything and everybody unravels. This is no longer an open and shut case. It goes CCX. The police code CCX (Clear, Closed, Exceptional) is used to label unconventional means for law enforcement resolution. CCX startles as a police drama where the truth has multiple versions.
Playwright Jim Lynch penned a siren wailing ride in a cop car. Lynch uses his 16-year career in the State’s Attorney office to illustrate the inner workings and dealings at a district police station. The play is honest in its dishonesty. This is not a nice and neat detective story. It’s real-to-life-messy. Just when I think I have a handle on what’s going on, another implosion sends the case spiraling in a different direction. Lynch doesn’t just throw-the-book-at-them, he clobbers them with it. Everyone is put under the interrogation light creating a complex puzzle to piece together. Under the direction of Patrick Thornton, the interactions get intense. In particular, partners Michael Hahalyak (Tommy) and Henri Watkins (Sam) pull us completely into their entanglement. Hahalyak and Watkins forcefully confront the suspect, the witness, each other. Their passionate convictions are an engaging mix of admirable and despicable. At one point, Watkins has me gaping in disbelief. Powerful stuff!
Full disclosure prior to seeing the show, I interviewed Jim Lynch on Chicago Theatre Off Book. Listening to him describe his intent for the play, I already started formulating my own ideas. Jim emphasized the action takes place in *real time* so I imagined something like “24.” Thornton misses an opportunity to build on the urgency by utilizing more the-ever-present-characters, specifically Elizabeth Hope Williams (Rita) and David Lawrence Hamilton (Lacroix). When they are interacting with Hahalyak and/or Watkins, Williams and Hamilton are fierce in those moments. Then the door closes on their scene and they become more like props. The split-screen on “24” showcases what is going on in actual time and at the same time in all the different realms. Seeing Williams and Hamilton reacting to their confinement when they are not in the spotlight would escalate the pressure cooker environment. This play is all about behind-closed-doors so let’s see it!
CCX is a Cop Corruption Expose. Get a ticket because this is as close to a police district as you ever want to be.
Running Time: Ninety-five minutes with no intermission
At Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge
Written by Jim Lynch
Directed by Patrick Thornton
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 5pm
Thru March 31st
Buy Tickets at www.ccxplay.com