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'Opus' hits telling notes at Olney

'Opus' hits telling notes at Olney

The easiest part of forming a string quartet may be finding four good musicians. Much trickier is finding players who can get along with one another, on- and offstage.

Michael Hollinger's absorbing and often funny 2006 play "Opus," which has been given a taut production at the Olney Theatre Center, examines a fictional ensemble from the inside out. The Lazara Quartet is in crisis mode as the work opens. The original violist, Dorian, has been fired by the other members, and there isn't much time to regroup before a televised concert at the White House.

In due course, we learn the complicated reasons for the vacancy, including Dorian's relationship with first...