Force Continuum | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Maurice Demus and LaNora Terrae Hayden

Maurice Demus and LaNora Terrae Hayden

Scott Dray

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 21 2017
Price: $35, $25 students, seniors, and children
Kia Corthron’s painstakingly unsuccessful 2001 drama focuses on Dece, a third-generation African-American New York City cop caught between supporting the brotherhood and betraying his race. Given the current tattered relations between police and minority communities, it might have ripped-from-the-headline urgency like Ike Holter’s recent marvel The Wolf at the End of the Block. But Corthron rips mostly from sociological treatises and Law & Order, cobbling together faux street-smart disquisitions (“With cops, societal attitudes get codified,” says one officer) and overorchestrated violence. With a broad scope but little attention to narrative cohesion or psychological development, it’s a nearly two-hour pile of important issues that haven’t been sorted into a play. First-time director Michael Aaron Pogue understandably struggles to keep the action moving, and the jumble of questionable New York accents appreciably diminishes intelligibility. —Justin Hayford



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