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Monday Review: Six by Sondheim

America Ferrera, James Lapine

Few love words as passionately as Broadway's master composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, but there's one word that makes him cringe: "Hummable," a quality some (erroneously) find lacking in his challenging, rewarding scores. "Drives me up the wall," he growls.

Which is why it's such an ironic delight when Sondheim performs as part of a new staging of his autobiographical "Opening Doors" production number (from the initially flop musical Merrily We Roll Along), playing a producer who bullies a team of young songwriters to conjure a "humm-umm-able melody."

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