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Revisiting a Legendary Sondheim Flop

In seventh grade, I became completely obsessed with the 1981 musical “Merrily We Roll Along,” by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth. It was my introduction to cynicism, set to a brassy Broadway score. While other, cooler kids picked up lessons in jadedness from “Reality Bites,” Nirvana, or “The Catcher in the Rye,” I learned everything I needed to know about the phoniness of the adult world from the weathered LP cast album that I borrowed from my school library, which I renewed so often that the librarians finally just let me keep it, along with five other Sondheim albums.
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