"I Want Candy"! Zak Resnick Is Legendary Songwriter Bert Berns in Off-Broadway's Piece of My Heart
Featuring a book by Daniel Goldfarb and direction and choreography by Denis Jones, Piece of My Heart — one of Berns' most well-known songs — began previews June 25.
The cast includes Resnick (Mamma Mia!) as Bert Berns; Drama Desk nominee Leslie Kritzer (Elf) as Jessie, the fictional daughter of Berns who is determined to uncover her father's past; Theatre World Award winner Linda Hart (Catch Me If You Can) as Berns' wife, Ilene; Joseph Siravo (The Light in the Piazza) as Wazzel; Bryan Fenkart (Memphis) as Young Wazzel; Tony Award nominee de'Adre Aziza (Passing Strange) as Candace; Derrick Baskin (Memphis) as Hoagy; and Teal Wicks (Jekyll & Hyde) as Young Ilene.
The ensemble includes Carleigh Bettiol, Teresa Gattison, Shonica Gooden, Sydney James Harcourt, Harris Milgrim, Michael Millan, Gabrielle Ruiz, Amos Wolff, Jessica McRoberts, Ralph Meitzler, Heather Parcells and Mark Zeisler. Berns was born in New York in 1929 and died of a heart attack at 38 years old. He made 51 pop-chart singles in seven years and became one of the most successful songwriters of the 1960s.
Piece of My Heart, according to press notes, "tells his remarkable story, once dubbed by Rolling Stone 'one of the great untold stories of rock and roll,' through his hit songs, which include 'Twist and Shout,' 'Tell Him,' 'I Want Candy,' 'Hang On Sloopy,' 'Cry, Baby' and many more."
Featuring a cast of sixteen and a band of eight, the musical's creative team also includes Alexander Dodge (scenic design), David C. Woolard (costume design), Ben Stanton (lighting design), Carl Casella (sound design), Charles G. LaPointe (hair and wig Design), Garry Sherman (music supervision and orchestrations), Lon Hoyt (music direction) and Telsey + Co. (casting).
Merged Work Productions and executive producer Jack Thomas produce.