Piece of My Heart, Bert Berns' Untold Rock 'n' Roll Story, Begins Off-Broadway Tonight; Zak Resnick Stars

By Michael Gioia
25 Jun 2014

Teal Wicks
Teal Wicks

Piece of My Heart, a new musical based on the life and songs of legendary songwriter Bert Berns, begins Off-Broadway previews June 25 at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Zak Resnick stars.

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 open July 21.

The cast includes Zak Resnick (Mamma Mia!) as Bert Berns, Drama Desk nominee Leslie Kritzer (Elf) as Jessie, Theatre World Award winner Linda Hart (Catch Me If You Can) as 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.

Tickets for the production are on sale via TicketCentral.com. For more information, visit PieceOfMyHeartMusical.com.

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Teal Wicks and Zak Resnick
Photo by Jenny Anderson/O & M