Based on the Greek film "Never On Sunday," actress Melina Mercouri starred in both the screen and musical adaptation that told of the unlikely romance between a Greek prostitute and an American academic. Jules Dassin directed and penned the screenplay and stage incarnations of the work.
Composer Manos Hadjidakis, who earned an Academy Award for the title song for the 1960 film of "Never On Sunday," interpolated the tune into the score for Illya Darling, which features lyrics by Tony winner Joe Darion (Man of La Mancha).
The remastered Kritzerland release of Illya Darling promises to represent the songs as they were originally ordered in the Broadway production of the musical. The original United Artists LP release of the Broadway cast recording changed the order and titles of several numbers.
In addition, the new CD release includes the never-before-released songs "Po, Po, Po," which served as the opening number, and "Birthday Song." Both songs were discovered on the sessions from the cast recording and have been mixed from the four-track tapes and inserted into the proper order for the Kritzerland release.
While Illya Darling opened to mixed reviews in 1967, most critics praised the performance of Mercouri, who earned a Tony nomination for her turn in the musical. The recording captures her performance, as well as cast members Orson Bean, Titos Vandis, Nikos Kourkoulos, Rudy Bond, Hal Linden and Joe E. Marks. The remastered CD release of Illya Darling is a limited pressing of 1,000 copies. Priced $19.95, the recording is available by visiting Kritzerland.