Piece of My Heart, Bert Berns' Untold Rock 'n' Roll Story, Begins Off-Broadway Tonight; Zak Resnick Stars
25 Jun 2014
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.
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.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.