Kritzerland is proud to present the first ever CD release of the Original Cast Recording of Illya Darling, with a score by Manos Hadjidakis and Joe Darion.
Illya Darling opened on Broadway at the Mark Hellinger Theater on April 11, 1967. It was based on the wildly popular Greek film Never On Sunday, which made an International star of Melina Mercouri. The film was written and directed by American Jules Dassin, who also played the male lead. Illya Darling would have many of the same players, including Miss Mercouri, writer/director Dassin, the film’s costume designer, Theoni V. Aldredge, and film cast members Titos Vandis and Despo. The film’s composer, the Oscar-winning Manos Hadjidakis (Oscar for Best Song – Never On Sunday), would write the score, with lyrics by Man Of La Mancha’s Joe Darion.
The show had a difficult birth during its out-of-town tryouts, and it opened on Broadway to tepid reviews – but those tepid reviews also were love letters to Miss Mercouri. The show received six Tony nominations, winning none. Because of Miss Mercouri’s reviews and star power, the show ran almost a year, and then toured with Cyd Charisse. The original cast album was issued by United Artists, who had funded the show in full. That LP put the songs in a completely different order than they were in the show.
For this first-ever CD release, we have put the songs back in show order and have given the proper titles to any that were renamed for the LP. In going through the session tapes, we made the incredible discovery that two songs were recorded but not used on the LP – the show’s opening number “Po, Po, Po” and a number called “Birthday Song.” Both songs were transferred and mixed from the four-track session tapes and put where they belong in the show’s song order. Hearing the show with those two numbers and everything in show order is something of a revelation.
The colorful cast includes an incandescent Melina Mercouri, Orson Bean, Titos Vandis, Nikos Kourkoulos, Rudy Bond, Hal Linden, and Joe E. Marks. The CD has been mastered from the original album master tapes (and for the two added songs, from the original four-track session tapes).
The CD is a Limited Edition of 1000 copies only.