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Piece Of My Heart

iluvtheatertrash Profile Photo
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Piece Of My Heart
Posted: 7/3/14 at 11:28pm
Caught PIECE OF MY HEART, a guest production at Signature tonight. No one can deny that the cast isn't working hard - especially the always wonderful Leslie Kritzer - but there just isn't much of a show there. But there could be.

Unfortunately, they're so desperate to cram in songs (which I suppose is the point of the show - to remind us about the man who wrote all these massive hits) that they often let the plot fall to the side. In fact, the last 15 minutes are so puzzling that I walked out only half-understanding what exactly happened. A lot should go. First and foremost, the very long (and frankly cheesey) Havana section.

Resnick has a beautiful voice, but he's sadly not giving his castmates, or the audience for that matter, much to work off. Granted, the character is pretty repulsive. (And while his music is wonderful, it certainly doesn't REDEEM the man - which I'm assuming the family and authors are banking on.) But he often seems rather bored and for someone who doesn't have much time to live, he doesn't look awfully glad to be alive. But there's those eyes.... and that golden voice....

Some nice arrangements and a hard-working featured cast. Kritzer plays his daughter and is burdened with a great deal of unnecessary watching. But she's 150% committed and always present. It's wonderful to see her back on stage with Linda Hart, who knocks her big number out of the park. Teal WIcks is in tremendous voice.

Worth seeing to hear the songs sung so well by the cast, though!
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
lic11101
Swing
joined:4/4/07
Piece Of My Heart
Posted: 7/4/14 at 12:13am
Agreed, Resnik is dead in the face. There was no life in him onstage, though he sounds good. He has very little stage presence and seemed happy to be along for the ride, it was baffling how ill-suited he is for the role. He isn't helped by a script that renders him passive and reactionary. The book feels like someone saw Beautiful and thought," I can write that!" Well, they can't. I left not knowing why I was supposed to care about this man, why he cared about writing music, or anything about him besides cliche dialogue. The daughter storyline was equally forced with the guy cut from Jersey Boys. Even when (spoiler alert) he dies- the show meanders on for another 15 minutes as characters suddenly see the dead and sing with them for no clear reason. My favorite was Kritzer having to attack her mom for destroying her dream to manage her fathers catalogue, which she didn't even care about 24 hours ago. The opening number is confusing, with the ensemble wandering out to sing backup. I fear that we are in store for a flood of bad songwriter jukebox musicals. Hopefully next time the subject of the musical will be a little more interesting.

By the way, were they massive hits? I counted two massive hits.

Updated On: 7/4/14 at 12:13 AM
iluvtheatertrash Profile Photo
iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
Piece Of My Heart
Posted: 7/4/14 at 08:46am
I don't think they know who's story they're telling. They're TRYING to tell his, but he's so pitiful and gross a character that the only one you can care about is the daughter.

Glad to hear I'm not crazy about Resnick. I don't think it's JUST the awful book, though. I started to think he wasn't even trying...
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
lic11101
Swing
joined:4/4/07
Piece Of My Heart
Posted: 7/4/14 at 09:56am
I didn't care for any of the central characters. Bert Berns whines about having a bad heart, he is utterly bland and passionless, we never understand why he loves writing music, passionless, and he is reactionary. The most climatic moment of the show (arguably) is getting the rights to the company... and his friend does that when Bert gives him a nod... it required virtually no effort and then he is mad at his friend for you using a gun. The daughter is an aimless bitter singer, who suddenly finds her passion in life after a Jersey Boys extra tells her that her father slept with a bunch of women (with little effort), went to Cuba (leaving a man who inspired him as he was being dragged off to prison), and became a successful songwriter who whines that nobody knows who he was. She begs her mom not to sell, but it turns out she simply didn't have to sign the contract and there would be no sale. I mean, who cares? If this is Bert Berns legacy- I have to believe he'd prefer it be left untold. I am not sure why Resnik is so bad. He is bland onstage, lacking in passion, purpose and drive. Thank God he has a nice voice, otherwise what would there be?
RippedMan Profile Photo
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
Piece Of My Heart
Posted: 7/4/14 at 12:21pm
Ouch for Resnick. I've always wondered why he hasn't done more. I guess this is why. He does have a great voice. And I love some Kritzer.
Pammylicious Profile Photo
Pammylicious
Broadway Star
joined:9/13/10
Piece Of My Heart
Posted: 7/6/14 at 03:04pm
I am going on Tuesday for one reason, the music. I don't know much about Bert Berns and would love to hear a bit about him.

Updated On: 7/6/14 at 03:04 PM
theeatah Profile Photo
theeatah
Featured Actor
joined:1/31/10
Piece Of My Heart
Posted: 7/6/14 at 07:01pm
Is "Here Comes the Night" in the show? Are Lulu and Van Morrison/Them featured?

Updated On: 7/6/14 at 07:01 PM
ClydeBarrow Profile Photo
ClydeBarrow
Broadway Legend
joined:6/20/12
Piece Of My Heart
Posted: 8/10/14 at 05:22pm
I saw this show and thought it was decent. Just your typical jukebox biographic musical. I didn't really find Berns to be the monster that every other poster does. I honestly gained zero knowledge of his life other than he went to Havana once and wrote some songs when he wasn't whining about his bad heart.

The cast is pretty good but I found the trio of women who sang "Cry Baby" at the end.

To the person who asked if these songs were massive hits I would say there were quite a few including "Twist & Shout," "Cry Baby," "I Want Candy," "Hang On Sloopy" and "Piece of My Heart."
"Pardon my prior Mcfee slip. I know how to spell her name. I just don't know how to type it." -Talulah

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