Theater: Gloomy Sunday

Illya Darling is a 15-watt musical with one trace of Greek fire—Melina Mercouri. She plays furiously across the footlights to keep audiences from realizing that there is nothing behind them. Flaccidly adapted by Jules Dassin from his film Never on Sunday, the stage version lacks the three elements that gave the movie a certain credibility as a holiday of the senses, the Greek sea, sky and sun.

The plot is as silly as ever: Puritan bore meets Piraeus whore. Object: education. He gives her a three-week refresher course in the classics which leaves her very sad. She gives him a glimpse of...

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