The O.J. Trial, Live! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The O.J. Trial, Live!


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The O.J. Trial, Live!, TurnAround Theatre. The premise seems inspired: take transcripts from the previous week's testimony in the Simpson-Goldman murder trial and distill from them 60 to 90 minutes of stage drama, leavened with occasional comic sketches. But you don't have to sit through much of this energetic but uneven production to realize that, thanks to the media, it's damn hard to come up with anything new to say about the trial. Most of the high spots in last week's show--a funny bit about Marcia Clark's new hairdo, a less funny take on a juror's complaint about racism among the sequestered jurors, defense attorney Barry Scheck's mind-bogglingly detailed cross-examination of LAPD criminologist Dennis Fung--were very old news by Saturday night.

The problem is that this show's staff of six writers do little more than repeat onstage what the electronic media do all week on-screen--give highlights with only the most cursory interpretation--when what's needed is a sense of history and a strong, nonconformist point of view.

The result is a show that takes 90 minutes to say little and that leans heavily on the novelty of seeing local actors like Tom Webb, Keong Sim, and Aimee Lynn Simpson impersonate F. Lee Bailey, Judge Lance Ito, and Marcia Clark.

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