FROM Shaun D. Mullen, reporting for Knight-Ridder Newspapers:
"It started as a modest attempt at milking the rich mother lode of weirdness called the O.J. Simpson trial. Now 'O.J. Law: The Continuing Saga,' is the toast of L.A.
"The staged radio play, in which the cast plays characters from the trial, was booked into The Complex theater on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood after New Year's for a month. But the run has been extended several times, and 'O.J. Law' has been constantly rewritten to keep up with the latest in-court bizarreness. Sold-out performances will continue through April.
" 'O.J. Law' is a satirical smorgasbord of slapstick, sight gags and bad puns. In recent performances, F. Lee Bailey has pulled out a gun and shot Det. Mark Fuhrman. Judge Lance Ito gives Johnny Carson the mystery envelope to open on stage in Vegas.
"Marcia Clark and Robert Shapiro argue over what the 'woof, woof' testimony of Nicole's dog means. (Clark says two woofs indicate guilt; Shapiro argues the opposite.) And Rosa Lopez sings a stirring 'Man of La Mancha'-type love song in which she reveals she always loved O.J. and wanted to be his maid.
"Co-producers Gary Gordon and Ron Birnbach are a little stunned by the success, but in the best Hollywood tradition are moving their concept right along: They shot an 'O.J. Law' video Friday night in an L.A. courtroom rented for $50, and are planning to take their play beyond the modest confines of The Complex.
" 'What we've discovered is it's now OK to laugh in public about this instead of at home watching Jay Leno or David Letterman,' Gordon says. 'It isn't about the murder, it's about the trial and our culture.' "