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de’Adre Aziza Gives A Piece Of Her Heart On & Off The Stage

You may remember the Tony nominated actress de’Adre Aziza, for her role in Passing Strange  or more recently in A Night With Janis Joplin. If you’re a Broadway Black veteran you may also remember her from the wildly popular Detroit ’67 at the National Black Theatre. Either way, once you’ve seen her you’ll never forget her and she’s making sure of that with a new work titled Piece of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story, at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center.

Aziza portrays legendary songwriter  Bert Berns’ first love Candace Carmichael — an older, wiser and more sophisticated seductress who sweeps him off of his feet. The couple’s racial differences are what initially bring them together, but  ultimately tears them apart. This show will run until August 31st Sept 14th (extended) at the Signature. Bert Berns wrote the song “Piece of My Heart” which eventually became a Janis Joplin staple.

Ironically, even though Aziza has been involved with the development of Piece of My Heart for a few years, its comes after the closing of the Broadway show A Night With Janis Joplin,  which was suppose to head Off-Broadway shortly after but in a shocking twist (right…) the powers that be pulled the plug and scrapped the revival two days before it was due to open. Everyone was out of work unexpectedly. Aziza was not apart of the revival but knew several people who were and she just couldn’t take it. She took to her Facebook, in her frustration and replied:

“I know a stankin’ rotten fish when I taste one, I don’t care how much you bathe it in OldBay,”

“In whose accounting meeting was it decided that a show that lost so much money on Broadway would be just fine off-OFF-east-off Broadway in a day and age where BROADWAY SHOWS that pull in $800,000 a week or less are sometimes seen as failures? Please explain.”

In a recent interview with Playbill she talks about weather she was worried about the backlash for speaking her heart:

“Ummm, I did not really care. Because here’s the thing with my life: It’s kind of like the Frank Sinatra song ‘That’s Life’ when he runs through everything he’s been. I can’t be concerned with what other people think whether they are producers or whether they are other actors. When something is heavy on my spirit, I have to express that whether it’s art or whether it’s something controversial. I really do not care… But I say, if this is the end of this career, then so be it. “

She had a lot more to say check out the entire interview HERE and get a good look at her new show A Piece of My Heart below.

**Photo Credit

Written By

Drew Shade is a theatre artist and enthusiast who fosters artistic diversity and excellence for the love of Black theatre artists. He is the Founder/Creative Director of Broadway Black, Off-Book Podcast & The Antonyo Awards. “Have a belief in yourself that is bigger than anyone’s disbelief.” – August Wilson


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