YANK!  A New Musical Reviews

Reviews from Off-Broadway Production, '10

The York Theatre production of YANK! received 7 Drama Desk nominations (including Best Musical as well as best music, book and lyrics) as well as nominations for Best Musical from the Outer Critics' Circle, and Lucille Lortel Foundation.

"Yank!" is the most intriguing new American musical to reach New York in several seasons. … a bright and enjoyable score that pays homage to the Rodgers & Hammerstein sound. … Sensitive material is enhanced by a fine cast. Steggert’s singing and dramatic talents (are) heightened by an almost crushing vulnerability. Hernandez… looks something like a non-neurotic Montgomery Clift and sings like a dream. Denman provides comedy relief and a touch of maturity as Artie, along with supplying the show's enlivening choreography. The assorted women are cannily written for one actress, and Nancy Anderson is extremely good….The rest are equally strong, especially Tally Sessions and Andrew Durand as the Brooklyn and Tennessee members of the squad, respectively, and Todd Faulkner as Sarge and other roles. Show seems a likely prospect for transfer to a larger Off Broadway or possibly a small Broadway venue… "Yank!" is a bright, original and moving winner of a musical that earns its exclamation point.

- Steven Suskin, Variety

They just don't make old-fashioned musicals anymore, do they? …. Actually, they still do. YANK! is solidly in the Rodgers and Hammerstein tradition. Only difference: it's about two male soldiers in love. Director Igor Goldin pulls it all together with a fluid staging that even includes a dream ballet. ….Most impressive is the Zellniks' jazzy, swoony score…. And while the musical conventions are familiar, it's new to see a retro-style tuner treat this potentially controversial topic with such humor and humanity. Now the season isn't over yet, but I'd go so far as to say that YANK! could be the best original musical so far. If there's any justice it will have a life beyond the run at the York Theatre. I'm not asking, I'm telling you: go see YANK!

- David Cote, NY1

At a time when "don't ask, don't tell" is again in the headlines, along comes an affecting little show called "Yank!" to give the topic of gays in the military a potent musical-theater platform….It's also supremely entertaining. Often unabashedly romantic and quite funny, this sweetly old-fashioned show never slips into a soupiness that might lessen the effectiveness of its emotional message…. The Zellnik brothers' pastiche score …should make for an atmospheric cast recording….Bobby Steggert has… a winning stage presence that allows him to expertly negotiate the emotional roller-coaster of a plot. Director Igor Goldin and choreographer Jeffry Denman have made the tiny St. Peter's stage work to the show's advantage. …There is strong support from Ivan Hernandez as Stu's conflicted lover and from the hardworking Nancy Anderson, who plays all the women in the musical…Special mention should be made of the four actors — Andrew Durand, David Perlman, Christopher Ruth and Tally Sessions — who serve as Stu's military buddies.

- Michael Kuchwara, The Associated Press

The York Theater Company...has assembled a solid cast led by Bobby Steggert as Stu,...“Yank!,” with music by Joseph Zellnik and book and lyrics by David Zellnik, his brother, of course has an added resonance because of the current debate over whether to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. But this is hardly a political show. Its subtitle, “A WWII Love Story,” encapsulates its main aspiration: to depict a same-sex couple as so many heterosexual couples have been shown over the years, struggling to capture the elusive thing called love against a backdrop of grand events. ... The cast’s lone woman, the versatile Nancy Anderson in an absurdity of multiple roles, sings the kind of slow number that many screen and stage heterosexual couples have kissed to. Here, it’s Stu and Mitch doing the kissing; the effect is sublime.

- Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

For a refreshing new musical minus the typical Disneyfication, check out Yank!, a World War II love story musical with a twist, and I don’t mean Oliver. …Don’t ask but do tell your friends to see this gem of a musical.

- Stewart Lewis, WCBS Radio

With its inspiration firmly in the Rodgers & Hammerstein handbook, the abundantly charming Yank! is a delight….The score, by out brothers Joseph and David Zellnik, is a surprisingly tuneful collection of 1940s pastiche delivered by a top-notch cast starring Bobby Steggert and Ivan Hernandez as Stu and Mitch, soldiers who meet and fall in love….There’s real chemistry between Steggert and Hernandez, particularly the scene when they first kiss on a train that’s as palpable and heartbreaking as anything on stage in New York. Their army buddies are robustly brought to life by a superb supporting cast including Jeffry Denman as a toe-tapping reporter who takes Stu under his proverbial wing, and the indefatigable Nancy Anderson, who plays all the women in the show with real verve style…. Don’t miss it!

- David Hurst, Next Magazine

Yank! …offers plentiful food for thought, a rarity in musicals…. This is surely the only musical in history to use tap dancing as a metaphor for clandestine sex. When the lovers do finally sing their hearts out, it's in the late-'40s "Broadway-opera" idiom. Their yearning even gets visualized in a '40s-style dream ballet….This ingenuity keeps Yank! constantly interesting, especially in its big dance numbers, choreographed with dazzle and inventiveness by super-tapmeister Jeffry Denman, who also plays a key secondary role. … Igor Goldin's swift, tautly drilled production, energized by Ray Klausen's ingenious sliding-panel set and Denman's spiffy musical staging, carries conviction. …Nancy Anderson—imbuing all the female roles with her ineffable combination of musicality, beauty, magnetism, and unfailing comic sense—deserves at least a dozen medals.

- Michael Feingold, Village Voice

Twelve engaging actors and a small band are making some kind of history in the grotto theater at Saint Peter's Church in Midtown. A romantic love story set during World War II, "Yank!" is in most ways a traditional musical. Joseph and David Zellnik's affectionately nostalgic pastiche score could have come from Rodgers and Hammerstein or Sigmund Romberg. … What separates "Yank!" from the rest is that the romance concerns two earnest young men who wish merely to survive the war and live the American dream. As one poignantly sings, "What we have is special; what we are is not." On the tiny stage and with minimal trappings, a polished company led by Bobby Steggert and Ivan Hernandez as the lovers works with puppyish charms to get into our good graces, and they will not be denied.

- Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg

Yank! is defiantly conventional. Subtitled A WWII Love Story, Joseph and David Zellnik’s gay-themed musical is a 1940s tuner in sound and in spirit. … There are two exuberant tap numbers, and even a dream ballet. The score is clever, melodic period pastiche….. Its heart never gets too purple, and its sincerity is a part of its power. Hernandez is believable as the sinking dreamboat; Jeffry Denman contributes flair and fancy footwork as a military reporter adept at camouflaging his dalliances, and Nancy Anderson is sharp and well-styled in a sequence of cameos. But it is Steggert’s limpid vulnerability that best captures the essence of the show, whose subversion of the closet consists of playing it straight.

- Adam Feldman, Time Out New York

This cast could play South Pacific and its book has the same integrity that Oscar Hammerstein and Joshua Logan brought to that master work....Some twenty musical numbers illuminate, enliven, drive the story. They are inventively staged by Igor Goldin and choreographer Jeffrey Denman, who also plays Artie. ….Bobby Steggert, as Stu, the central character, is a revelation. …Steggert is totally committed to showing us all the colors of the character – his vulnerability, his great inner strength, his charm, his intelligence, his hunger for love and for understanding from others and from himself. l… Hernandez is so willing to allow us to see the conflict in his Mitch, so open in revealing all to us (literally; there is some nudity in this play, but it’s entirely right and non-exploitative). Denman has all the right colors in his portrait of what used to be called “the song and dance man” (who happens to be gay) that is Artie. And Nancy Anderson, playing all the women in this army’s world (mothers, girl friends, cabaret singers, WACS, the works) with as many varied choices as she has marvelous wigs. Ms. Anderson is an all-star cast all by herself. Yank! gives renewed hope for the future of our beleagured musical theatre. It is most welcome. There should be banners around town – “See Yank! at the York!”

- Richard Seff, DC Theatre Scene

An insightful view into the still-illegal existence facing gay American soldiers, Yank! is a timely, funny, and deeply moving knockout. The story of two closeted men facing the complexity of falling in love while shipping off to fight in the Pacific, the show nearly matches the quality of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein shows that it's modeled on, from the choreography to the singing to the ballet sequence. Bobby Steggert's lead performance as Stu, a photographer for Yank! magazine coming to terms with his sexuality and mortality, is a flawless mixture of emotion and courage.

- John Peacock, Flavorpill.com

Yank is a snappy WWII salute to musicals…. Even more compelling than the uneasy romance depicted between two gay servicemen is the passion creators Joseph Zellnik (music) and his brother David Zellnik (book and lyrics) display for Rodgers and Hammerstein-style musicals, like, say, "South Pacific." Director Igor Goldin makes the most of the material and stages the production with economy and low-tech grace. He shows that all you need to make theatrical magic is four sliding panels….Steggert … is thoroughly winning…. Hernandez is exactly the kind of leading man the musical theater needs — tall, dark and talented. Seasoned stage pro Nancy Anderson is great in several girl roles… Jeffry Denman nicely handles his dual duties as choreographer and as Artie….The ensemble, as Stu's Army buds, possess exactly the right beefcake and charisma their roles require.

- Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News

The score does a marvelous job in evoking the time period and demonstrates the influences of such songsmiths as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and the Gershwins without ever coming across as derivative. The opening number, "Rememb'ring You," gorgeously sung by Hernandez in his sexy baritone, sounds as if it could have been a popular radio hit of the time… “Click” is…a phenomenal tap number, performed by Steggert with the production's choreographer Jeffry Denman. Steggert… gives a rich, emotionally charged performance that believably charts the transformation of Stu from insecure teenager to a man who knows exactly who he is and who is able to fight for what (and who) he loves. Hernandez also does good work, and has a dynamic onstage chemistry with Steggert, which makes several of their scenes together smolder….Nancy Anderson …is a fine singer with a magnetic presence.

- Dan Bacalzo, Theatremania

The Zellniks take movie and music clichés of the period and turn them inside out, simultaneously paying tribute to and ribbing the popcorn fantasies that supplied the troops and the home front with wholesome heterosexual fantasies. …Bobby Steggert…emerges as a major talent. …Ivan Hernandez boldly charts Mitch's battle between his love for Stu and his fear of societal censure. Jeffrey Denman gives Artie a wicked spin and also devised the snappy choreography. Nancy Anderson, playing all the female parts, offers a small galaxy of contrasting types….Todd Faulkner skillfully doubles as a macho sergeant and a prissy stenographer nicknamed Scarlett. Andrew Durand, Tally Sessions, David Perlman, and Christopher Ruth make the Warner Bros.–inspired squad members more than Hollywood clichés. Denis Lambert and Joseph Medeiros dance the dream sequence with just the right combination of power and delicacy. Director Igor Goldin …puts the sweet and painful story of Stu and Mitch center stage and keeps it real.

- David Sheward, Backstage

Directed by Igor Goldin, with music by Joseph Zellnik and book and lyrics by Zellnick's brother, David, "Yank!'' is intelligent, entertaining and touching, full of some tender moments, good laughs.

- Bill Canacci, Asbury Park Press

Bobby Steggert is adorably affecting as Stu....It’s got everything you want in an old-fashioned tuner.

- Brandon Voss, The Advocate

You know, they just don't make musicals like Yank! anymore. And that's a real shame, because Yank! succeeds on just about every level that a musical can.….In the grand tradition of old-school musicals like South Pacific, boot camp is the perfect place for a bunch of green soldiers to burst into cleverly choreographed song and dance. And that's really what's so refreshing about Yank!. In an era of ironic, self-aware musicals, where much of the comedy seems to stem from characters knowing they're in a musical and winking about it to the audience, Stu and his fellow young soldiers are blissfully unaware that they're singing and stepping in time. How many new musicals have you seen in the past decade that have the audacity to include not one, but two exuberant tap numbers?.…Stu is played with polished perfection by Bobby Steggert, a fresh-faced and boyish actor with a thoroughly modern appeal. He’s also a true triple-threat: when the first tap number begins, he sits and watches as gay serviceman Artie (a fantastic Jeffrey Denmam, also serving as choreographer) clicks away….To a man, Stu’s army brothers are wonderfully played, with Tally Sessions and Andrew Durand, as the love-hate buddies Czechowski and Tennessee, the stand-outs. …As far as the writing goes, you can't ask for a better team. Joseph Zellnik's score is lush and retro…David Zellnik's book is tight, funny, and touching, and his lyrics are wonderful…. If we had a star rating here at AfterElton.com, Yank! would get all of them. It’s the best show I’ve seen in a good long while.

- Tim OLeary, Afterelton.com

Reviews from San Diego Production, '08
Both the musical and the production are delightful: engaging, funny, and heartrending. Though the production values are simple, Goldin’s direction is inventive and lively. The Zellniks’ songs have lilting, evocative melodies and witty lyrics. If you don’t find humor and poignancy here, if this show doesn’t evoke a laugh and a tear, your heart is, like the Grinch’s, a few sizes too small.

- Pat Launer, SDTheatreScene.com

You have to be a little mad to stage a musical: all those moving parts, all those dancing feet, all those actors breaking into sudden song. … By that clinical measure, here's the word on “Yank!”: It's just about crazy good. Except in the broadest terms of tolerance and acceptance, though, this is not a message show. With its snappy humor, period dialogue and perfectly diverse assemblage of characters, it takes after those old war movies that reveled in throwing together ragtag bands of guys to bond in battle. Joseph Zellnik's score is dotted with winning ensemble numbers that showcase a knockout blend of voices. Writer David Zellnik, who also penned the lyrics, opens and closes with a framing device that elegantly captures the poignance of the story and is an effective way to connect our time with that long-ago wartime. Diversionary doesn't do a lot of musicals, but this was a smart pick… a polished piece… and a coup for the theater.

- James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune

Diversionary’s fun Yank! is as good a show as it is an idea… David Zellnik’s script keeps things light amid his portrayals of all things masculine and feminine; he makes sure that lots of sexual tendencies dot his script, from those of the down-home, prickly Tennessee to the prissy India. The tunes evoke the genres of the ’40s rather than copy them. Yank! wins on virtually all counts, putting a fun and human face on gender identity at a time this culture couldn’t begin to fathom its import.    

- Martin Jones Westlin, San Diego CityBeat

The tight, flashy, and moving Diversionary Theatre production is outstanding. The design's so simple - screens, like upright trampolines, move and change locales - it's eloquent. Director Igor Goldin has staged the musical before, and it shows in the precision of scenes, in his choreography, and in the confidence of his ensemble cast.  They break into rousing, WWII buddy numbers in Act one, and more plaintive, torch-like songs (like the haunting "Blue Twilight") in Act two.

- Jeff Smith, San Diego Reader

A terrific new musical by brothers David and Joseph Zellnik. The camaraderie, fear and loneliness of war go down pretty easily with the great songs, terrific acting and some fine hoofing… Every element of this show works. Long may it play!

- Jefan Lowerison, GLT (Gay & Lesbian Times) San Diego

You absolutely have to see Yank! at Diversionary before it closes on August 17!  It is a beautifully written, beautifully directed and choreographed show, filled with beautiful talent. A very fitting production in this time of war, to remember our gay service members who can end up fighting two battles. Igor Goldin has directed with a heartfelt touch; the ensemble pitch perfect.  I loved this show!

- Jenni Prisk, Behind the Scenes

Yank! is (at one level) pure enjoyment and (at another level) a look at the homophobic history of the U.S. and especially that of the military. The entertainment is high and the message is subtle. Diversionary has another winner in Yank!

- Hitch, sdtheatrescene.com

Atten-hut! Listen up, you guys! There’s a new musical in town, and this is an order. See it. On the double. I guarantee you’ll get caught up in this heart-rending show, with its funny, poignant book and clever lyrics. The music is lively and evocative, and I left feeling touched and moved. There’s also plenty of laughter and fun to be had. Director Igor Goldin, who’s been with the show since its inception, keeps the action sharp and comical. All right, you guys. If you’re not at Diversionary Theatre by 1900 hours, it’s latrine duty for a month. Got it? Get going. Company dismissed.

- CenterStage, on KSDS Jazz 88.3 FM

Reviews from Brooklyn Production, '07
Though Yank! is a new 1940s musical, you needn't worry about its being a reanimation of a long-embalmed form. Instead, it's a contemporary show using the wisdom of the past to unconver timeless truths about what makes, and has always made, men who they are. Masculinity, or the lack thereof, assumes many forms David and composer Joseph realize the couple's troubles with a lilting score of supple accomplishment that combines pastiche and the urgency of the heart to often searing effect. Director Igor Goldin's staging bursts with quiet sensitivity.

- Matthew Murray, Talkin' Broadway

What a delightful surprise ... this show deserves a future life. The title song "Yank" is a highlight, as is "Click" where tap-dancing becomes a metaphor for realizing you're gay (or rather, celebrating it), and "Your Squad is Your Squad" uses the full ensemble to terrific effect. It's far better than any new musical I've seen since "Spring Awakening."

- Michel Giltz, popsurfing.com

David and Joseph Zellnik’s new musical, “Yank!,” is one of the most heartening theatrical experiences in years… this is a unique coming-of-age story that pulls no punches and honestly depicts how gays lived during  World War II. The songs seamlessly dovetailed with the unfolding action and the Zellniks’ unforced sincerity makes the lyrics potent, and each song touches on an aspect of the human condition. The choreography of this show is brilliant. Musical veteran Denman serves as top-notch choreographer here. His dance routines are urgent and sinewy, packed with muscular power and graceful precision.

- Deirdre Donovan, The Brooklyn Paper

David & Joseph Zellnik learned a lot about Yank!, their gay, musical love story set in WWII, at NYMF two years ago which they've put to good use in its current incarnation at The Gallery Players in Brooklyn, making a good show a great one in the process. Igor Goldin again directs with fluidity and ingenuity, while the Zellniks’ score remains an impressive collection of period love songs worthy of the 1940's Hit Parade. If you're looking for a well-crafted musical that's sexy and heartfelt, you'll have to look long and far to find anything as terrific as Yank!

- David Hurst, NEXT Magazine

With their engaging new musical Yank!, the Zellnik brothers have crafted an old-fashioned musical with a contemporary, socially conscious sensibility. The terrific score manages the difficult feat of invoking the musical styles of the era without sounding derivative. The haunting "Remembering You" could easily have gotten radio play in the 1940s.

- Dan Bacalzo, TheaterMania

Joseph and David Zellnik serve up a beautifully composed, entertaining slice of our secret history. But because they tell this coming out story with such rich historical and psychological detail, Yank! engages fundamental questions of love, citizenship and cultural belonging. The Zellniks trust their chosen form, rooting us in the period, but never allowing the nostalgic impulse to distract from the characters. Joseph Zellnik's beautiful pastiche score consistently sets the perfect mood, and in "Just True" breaks into a more contemporary idiom, reflecting Stu's more progressive dreams. Even more striking are David Zellnik's book scenes. Models of musical theater efficiency, the love scenes contain real poetry. Under the intelligent direction of Igor Goldin, the cast serves the piece up with great confidence. His precise staging of the ensemble emphasizes the excellence of the material, and Jeffry Denman's choreography rises to the sterling standards. Yank! is poised to become a musical of real stature.

- Scott Mendelsohn, nytheatre.com

It’s surprising in this day and age to see a new musical set in WWII that isn’t a send-up of WWII musicals. No self-referential jokes about the sappy love songs. No eye-rolling at corny dance numbers. A real, honest-to-goodness homage, based on a love of the genre. Joseph Zellnik’s music evokes the feel of the period and David Zellnik’s lyrics are well suited to them, both in the  the sentimental numbers (‘Remembering You,’ ‘Blue Twilight,’ and ‘A Couple of Regular Guys’) and the comic ones (‘Saddest Gal What Am,’ ‘Your Squad Is Your Squad,’ and ‘Click’ -- which brings the house down!) Tender, touching and funny, Yank! is a delightful musical, well produced by the Gallery Players.

- Bryne Harrison, Off Off Broadway Review (oobr.com)

"Yank!" (2005), a musical by Zellnik brothers composer Joseph and book writer and lyricist David, richly deserves wider note, a recording, and a much longer life. A story of love, romantic and frustrated; gay and lesbian identity; courage and cowardice, under 'friendly' fire from the American armed forces themselves, told in a tuneful, spanking new, 1940s-style musical, "Yank!" is moving, heartbreaking, funny, lyrical, endearing and painful. Do yourself a favor and catch it-now!

- Bruce Michael Gelbert, qonstage.com

A gay love story meets big showy musical, Yank! is both innovative and familiar, and lots and lots of fun. Yank! lovingly sends up the clichés of the genre while embracing its joy and energy. As a musical, it delivers; the score sounds as if it’s been lifted right from an MGM movie musical: five part harmonies, company-wide dance numbers, gorgeous jazzy ballads, pitch-perfect swing. Yank! provides some truly delightful, transcendent moments - - the musical cacophony of the foul-mouthed men in the steno pool and a thrilling tap dance duet between Stu and the Yank! Magazine reporter who introduces him into the secret world of gays in the military. Denman’s choreography is dynamic and innovative; the cast move with grace and fluidity.

- Kate Dailey, The Culture Report

I fell in love with the musical Yank! at NYMF two years ago and ever since it's been high on my Deserves Another Production wishlist. Now it's back (at Gallery Players) with some judicious changes in a production that is even more effective and moving than the one I saw in 2005. The story, of the gay romance between two enlisted men during WW2, could not have been told in popular culture at the time it is set, and a good deal of the show's poignancy and power comes from telling it now in the style of old-fashioned music theatre. The score is dazzling: it has the feeling of the music of the era but it never sounds second-hand. "Remembering You", has the kind of haunting melody that you can't get out of your head for days. The show's book is also accomplished and impressive: it convincingly renders the dynamics between the lovers while also depicting the pervasiveness of homophobia and honoring the gravity of war that is the story's backdrop.

- Patrick Lee, Just Shows to Go You

If an audience member is outraged and offended enough to pick up and leave in the middle of Act 1, something interesting is probably happening on stage.  In the case of Yank!, the Gallery Players' ambitious new musical, Stu (Bobby Steggert), the tortured and conflicted World War II private, and Mitch (Maxime de Toledo), his seemingly more confident and macho fellow soldier, had finally let their long-festering homoerotic defenses down, found a secluded moment, and kissed. That did it — out the well-dressed spectator bolted. The kiss, by the way, was pretty hot. Yank!, written by the brothers David and Joseph Zellnik, overlays a modern gay sensibility on a typical wartime crew to illustrate the sheer hell, internal and external, gay soldiers endured. As a tribute to their bravery, it's frequently touching and sometimes perceptive - the principal ballad, "A Couple of Regular Guys," is a honey.

- Marc Miller, Backstage

A respectful, carefully paced, sensitively acted, gay romance with equal parts of unrequited love, shame and intermittent explosions of passion… a funny and heart-wrenching, old-school style, big musical about seldom explored stories of gays in the military during WW2. Thanks to Igor Goldin's tight, smart direction and a well cast company of actor soldiers, this is one hell of a good production.

- David Bell, Shows Showdown

Reviews from the NYMF Production
“Yank!” is brilliant! The best new musical I've seen in a long time. Fabulous work-- rich, complex, multi-layered, gorgeous, with a memorable score. I loved the way virtually all of the songs were working on several levels at the same time. Wow. And "Click" is the best new song I've heard in ages. A masterpiece!

- David Savran, author of "Breaking the Rules: The Wooster Group"
and "A Queer Sort of Materialism: Recontextualizing American Theater"

The whole world is upended,” one of the GIs says facetiously in this appealing musical about being gay during World War II. The good news is that with a salute to its WWII setting, the score is melodious, with lyrics that are either witty or unashamedly romantic. The group number “Betty,” an ode to pinups, is a gem, while “Rememb’ring You” and “Just True” speak for romance. It also helps that  there is a first-rate cast, under Igor Goldin’s crisp direction, to deliver these and other star-spangled tunes. And applause for those Zellniks, whose current presentation promises a smiling future.

- Karl Levett, BackStage

“Yank!” is a winning and sobering new musical. The issue it tackles, homosexuality in the World War II military has an innately sharp edge, which comes through in the show, but is so tempered by good humor and traditional musical-theatre know-how that it's not easily detected at first glance. David's book finds more ways to work in lighthearted comedy than you might expect. The score bounces and swings with all the verve of a spirited USO show ... "Click" is a terrific tap number that charts Artie and Stu's relationship, burgeoning Yank careers, and illicit homosexual activity. That it so easily morphs from a song about relationships into a song about photography only underscores that when the Zellniks are inspired, they do superb work. Igor Goldin's direction keeps the show moving with cinematic fluidity, with scenic consultant Ray Klausen's sliding panels allowing lightning-quick set changes.

- Matthew Murray, TalkinBroadway

“Yank!” is an original work featuring a pleasant score and something that is missing from too many musicals this day: heart. As directed by Igor Goldin, the evening moved along at a remarkable pace. The simple sets provided by Ray Klausen suggested numerous locations and never once slowed the proceedings. The tasteful costumes by Wade Laboissonnaire were modest but appropriate and colorful when called to be so. This NY Musical Theater Festival production is a gem… it provides the audience with good entertainment and is served up with great professionalism. It is hoped that this handful of performances will not be the last that audiences see of Yank! The show is too good to lose track of!

- Joesph F. Panarello, BroadwayWorld,com

The songs by David and Joseph Zellnik, which are bulls-eye pastiches of swing, big-band, and ballad styles of the time, are first-rate. A running musical gag in the second-act involves the interweaving of musical themes from Max Steiner’s film score for Gone With the Wind into Yank!’s dance music; it’s indicative of the cleverness of the minds and talents at work here. One of the most enjoyable and impressive elements of  Yank! is the skillful staging by Igor Goldin. Yank! has some astute and meaningful things to say about being gay in the homophobic military (one memorable line spoken by a military officer: “the crime isn’t doing it, lots of guys do it, the crime is wanting it”), but Yank!’s real accomplishment is the poignant contrast of the romantic world of movies and music with the frightening reality of fighting on the front lines in a bloody war.

- Matt Schicker, NYTheatre.com

“Yank!” is a World War II buddy musical with a terrific, toe-tapping score and a touching story full of humor and heart.

- Wayman Wong, playbill.com

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