Broadway's powerhouse producer David Merrick may have seen his revival of George and Ira Gershwin's musical "Oh, Kay!" panned in the New York Times last week, but you wouldn't have known it to read a quote praising the show in his advertisement yesterday in the New York Post. Merrick, well known for producing some of Broadway's biggest hits, such as "Hello, Dolly!," "Gypsy" and "42nd Street," is also famous for his publicity stunts for troubled shows. In yesterday's New York Post, the ad for the musical included the rave quote: " 'The distinction of 'Oh, Kay!' is its excellent blending of all the creative arts of musical entertainment.' -- The New York Times 11/9/26." That's right, the quote was from 1926 when "Oh, Kay!" first opened on Broadway. New York Post Editor Jerry Nachman said that as far as he was concerned, Merrick's ad met everybody's standards. "It's full disclosure."

It was Merrick's second salvo in the battle he has been waging with the New York Times. On Monday he ran an advertisement in the Times that was pulled after the first edition, one making sport of the fact that the newspaper's critic Frank Rich, considered the most powerful man writing about New York theater, and his girlfriend, Times "On Stage" columnist Alex Witchel, have both written negatively about "Oh, Kay!" As to what Merrick plans next, his spokesman, Josh Ellis, said yesterday that the battle with the Times is not over. "This is war, as he said," Ellis added. "We wouldn't think of revealing our strategy of what we're going to do next."

Out and About

Hospital Report: Sen. Conrad Burns was treated and released from a Billings, Mont., hospital Sunday for minor wounds after a 14-year-old boy aiming his shotgun at a pheasant accidentally shot him. The Montana Republican was struck by 11 pellets that hit his forehead, left hand and shoulder. As for the pheasant, Yellowstone County Deputy Sheriff Bill Michaelis said, "I don't know if he got it, but he got Senator Burns" ...

"Dynasty" star Linda Evans and her much younger significant other, pianist Yanni, will be in town for Monday's sixth annual Lab School Learning Disabled Achiever Awards at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Yanni plans to perform a five-minute tribute to the Lab School, but insists that he must perform on a Boesendorfer piano. A number of phone calls were made around the country in the search for that brand of piano, and one was finally found at Gordon Keller Music here. Keller himself will be on hand as the standby tuner for the sensitive instrument and the sensitive musician ...

Academy Award-winning actress Eileen Heckart will replace Colleen Dewhurst beginning Tuesday in "Love Letters" at the National Theatre. She will perform for one week in the two-character show with E.G. Marshall, who will have performed for three weeks. Dewhurst had only been able to commit for two weeks. Other actors will be scheduled for the remaining three weeks of the show's run, in which they sit at a table, chronicling a lifelong relationship in letters to each other ...

Is there really such a thing as a funny lawyer? There is an annual contest at Garvins comedy club each year where they name one. Ned Stutman, an attorney at the Justice Department (another place where there isn't an abundance of funny people), won last weekend with such jokes as: "My psychotherapist wife gave me the book 'How to Be Your Own Best Friend.' That made an impression. Now I do what my best friend does. I call myself up and borrow money, I cancel lunch with myself, and I lie about my daughter's college boards" ...