PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Off-Broadway's Piece of My Heart Cast Members Pick Favorite Songs by Bert Berns

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24 Jul 2014

Zak Resnick
Zak Resnick
Photo by Jenny Anderson/O & M

Piece of My Heart, a new musical based on the life and songs of legendary songwriter Bert Berns, opened Off-Broadway July 21 at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Members of the cast pick their favorite songs by Berns as part of this week's Playbill Playlist.

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 Zak 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. Read the feature that examines the life and legacy of pop songwriter Bert Berns.

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."



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