"G–damn Bitch Set Me Up!" exclaims the congressman, echoing Marion Barry's famous line from 1990. He has just learned that the woman who has ostensibly funnelled him $100,000 for bribing a high jefferson, william.jpegranking Nigerian official is actually an FBI informant. And that the FBI has it all on tape. And that the FBI has raided his house and found the cash in his freezer back home.

The play of the same name, "G–damn Bitch Set Me Up!," opened at the Uptown Theatre in New Orleans yesterday. William Jefferson (D) plays the lead role of the star-crossed New Orleans congressman, who is actually the victim of a Republican plot to divert attention from the lobbying and corruption scandals threatening to derail their re-election efforts.

Although mildly entertaining at times, the play leaves much to be desired. Its tired portrayal of a Louisiana Democrat falsely accused of accepting bribes in exchange for his official duties has worn thin with audiences, especially coming so soon after "Is that $20,000 in your Pocket or are you Just Happy to See Me?" starring Sen. Cleo Fields (D) and Gov. Edwin Edwards (D). The dialogue, which includes implausible lines like Jefferson's "All these damn notes we're writing to each other as if we're talking, as if the FBI is watching," to the wire-wearing FBI informant, is simply too corny for sophisticated tastes.

Yet the supporting cast is stellar, with Paul J. McNulty playing the overzealous federal prosecutor (below) and Lori Mody as the wealthy business woman-turned-mcnulty.jpegpawn of thelori mody.jpegbrett pfeffer.jpeg Republican establishment (believed to be pictured near left). Nice performances are also given by the zany duo of former Jefferson aide Brett Pfeffer (believed to be pictured right, on right) and telecommunications CEO Vernon Jackson (far right), who perplexingly copvernon jackson.jpeg plea deals with federal prosecutors, as well atiku.jpgas Robert Trout rtrout.jpg(left) and Abubakar Atiku (right), who are hilarious in their portrayals of Jefferson's overwhelmed defense lawyer and Nigeria's gregarious vice-president, respectively.

"G–damn Bitch Set Me Up!" is set to run through this fall, when Louisiana's Second District could, but probably will not, elect a new representative to Congress.