Zak Resnick, Drama Desk nominee Leslie Kritzer, Teal Wicks and Tony Award nominee de'Adre Aziza are among the cast of Piece of My Heart, a new musical based on the life and songs of legendary songwriter Bert Berns that will open Off-Broadway July 21, lead producers Merged Work Productions and executive producer Jack Thomas announced April 28.
Featuring a book by Daniel Goldfarb and direction and choreography by Denis Jones, Piece of My Heart — one of Berns' most well-known songs — will begin previews June 25 at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center.
The cast includes Resnick (Mamma Mia!) as Bert Berns, Kritzer (Elf) as Jessie, Theatre World Award winner Linda Hart (Catch Me If You Can) as Mom, Joseph Siravo (The Light in the Piazza) as Wazzel, Aziza (Passing Strange) as Candace, Derrick Baskin (Memphis) as Hoagy and Wicks (Jekyll & Hyde) as Ilene.
The ensemble includes Carleigh Bettiol, Teresa Gattison, Shonica Gooden, Sydney James Harcourt, Harris Milgrim, Michael Millan, Gabrielle Ruiz, Amos Wolff 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), Garry Sherman (music supervision and orchestrations) and Lon Hoyt (music direction).
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