book and lyrics by David Zellnik
music by Joseph Zellnik
“The old-fashioned musical is neither dying nor in need of savingâ€¦if you love Golden Age-style musical romances, you can still find them – if you know where to look. Right now, that place is Brooklyn, where The Gallery Players….[Yank! is] a touching and oh-so-tuneful look at a side of World War II we seldom see…”
â€œAn old-fashioned musical with a contemporary, socially conscious sensibility.â€
“Yank! overlays a modern gay sensibility on a typical wartime crew to illustrate the sheer hell, internal and external, gay soldiers endured….More-complex emotions than many musicals allow are present.”
- Back Stage
“If you’re looking for a well-crafted, gay-positive musical that’s sexy and heartfelt, you’ll have to look long and far to find anything as terrific as Yank!”
- NEXT Magazine
â€œYank! is one of the most heartening theatrical experiences in years….The choreography of this show is brilliant….The show never apologizes for its honesty…at the end of Yank! the audience (including me) was on its feet.”
- The Brooklyn Paper
Read the entire Brooklyn Paper review.
“Yank! is moving, heartbreaking, funny, lyrical, endearing, and painful….The show boasts a tour-de-force by Nancy Anderson.”
- Q Onstage
Read the entire Q Onstage review.
“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, beyond the obvious audience of lesbians and gay men….Yank! is poised to become a musical of real stature.”
Read the full nytheatre.com review.
“It would be a pity to miss a show as lovely as David and Joseph Zellnikâ€™s Yank!….Tender, touching and funny…Yank! is a delightful musical.”
- Off-Off Broadway Review
Read the full Off-Off Broadway Review review.
(l to r) Maxime de Toledo as Mitch and Bobby Steggert as Stu in The Gallery Players production of Yank! A New Musical. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais Kelly
Producer: Matt Schicker/The Gallery Players
Director: Igor Goldin
Choreographer: Jeffry Denman
Musical Director: Daniel Feyer
Scenic Consultant: Ray Klausen
Lighting Design: Ken Lapham
Costume Design: Tricia Barsamian
Associate Costume Design/Military Consultant: Crystal Fergusson
Scenic Carpenter/Technical Director: Jennifer Bernstein
Casting Director: Kerry Watterson
Orchestrations: Joe Zellnik, Daniel Feyer, Josh Clayton, and Rob Berman
Production Stage Manager: Kathleen Munroe
Assistant Stage Managers: Kayla Shriner-Cahn, Kati Foy
Publicist: Paul Siebold
Featuring: Nancy Anderson*, Chris Carfizzi*, Jonathan Day*, Maxime de Toledo*, Jeffry Denman*, Todd Faulkner*, Chad Harlow*, Tyson Kaup*, Matthew Marks*, Brian Mulay, Daniel Shevlin*, Bobby Steggert*, and James Stover.
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association
Photo by Jennifer Maufrais Kelly
EXTENDED! Updated Performance Schedule:
***SOLD OUT*** Saturday, October 20 at 8PM (Opening Night)
Sunday, October 21 at 3PM
Thursday, October 25 at 8PM
Friday, October 26 at 8PM
***SOLD OUT*** Saturday, October 27 at 8PM
***SOLD OUT*** Sunday, October 28 at 3PM
Thursday, November 1 at 8PM
***SOLD OUT*** Friday, November 2 at 8PM
Saturday, November 3 at 2PM
Saturday, November 3 at 8PM
***SOLD OUT***Sunday, November 4 at 3PM
***SOLD OUT*** Added Performance: Thursday, November 8 at 8PM
***SOLD OUT*** Added Performance: Friday, November 9 at 8PM
***SOLD OUT*** Added Performance: Saturday, November 10 at 2PM
***SOLD OUT*** Added Performance: Sunday, November 11 at 3PM
***SOLD OUT*** Added Performance: Sunday, November 11 at 8PM
Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes (including one 15-minute intermission)
(l to r) Bobby Steggert as Stu, Nancy Anderson as Louise, and Jeffry Denman as Artie in The Gallery Players production of Yank! A New Musical. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais Kelly
The Gallery Players, Brooklynâ€™s premier Off-Off Broadway theater, is proud to present a new musical work, Yank! as part of its 41st season! A universal love story that brings to light to a forgotten slice of history, Yank!, by brothers David and Joseph Zellnik, runs October 20-November 11, 2007.
(l to r) Tyson Kaup as Tennessee, James Stover as Czechowski, Maxime de Toledo as Mitch, Bobby Steggert as Stu, and Daniel Shevlin as Professor in The Gallery Players production of Yank! A New Musical. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais Kelly
Yank! gets its title from Yank Magazine, a World War II publication which grew to become the most widely-read and most popular magazine in the history of the U.S. Army. A love song to Hollywoodâ€™s â€œit takes one of every kindâ€ platoon flicks and to 1940s Broadway, Yank! tells the story of a war reporter named Stu and an army private named Mitch, who fall in love and struggle to survive in a time and place where the odds are stacked against them. Intelligent and impassioned, suffused with songs in swing, big band and boogie-woogie styles, the show explores the stories that donâ€™t get told in wartime, and how WWII became a great catalyst in bringing gay men and women together.
Nancy Anderson and Company in The Gallery Players production of Yank! A New Musical. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais Kelly
This is the first incarnation of Yank! since playing to rave reviews at its popular run at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2005, where it won an audience favorite award. About the Zellnik Brothers, Karl Levett of Back Stage wrote â€œâ€¦all indications are that this is a musical team that is tartly talented, with promise to burnâ€¦.The score [for Yank!] is melodious, with lyrics that are either witty or unashamedly romantic. Applause for those Zellniks, whose production promises a smiling future.â€
With the hot-button topics of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and gay marriage currently poised to be at the forefront of national politics for the November 2008 presidential election, The Gallery Players’ mounting of Yank! is timely indeed.
The Gallery Players production of Yank! A New Musical. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais Kelly
Igor Goldin directs a cast of 13, including Broadway talents Nancy Anderson (â€œWonderful Townâ€ â€œA Class Actâ€) and Jeffry Denman (â€œThe Producersâ€ â€œHow To Succeedâ€¦â€). IGOR GOLDIN (Director) first directed Yank! in a workshop production at the Arcadia Stage, Arden Theatre in Philadelphia and then again for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF 2005) with music director Rob Berman and choreographer Chase Brock. Most recently: Pailet and Penedoâ€™s The Chocolate Tree with music director Ben Cohn (NAMT â€“ w/Christopher Sieber and Cady Huffman), Gregor and Carner’s Unlockâ€™d (NYMF 2007), Acquisto and Buckâ€™s Like You Like It (Theatre Under The Stars/SHSU joint production), the all-star concert My First Time (New World Stages â€“ with Matthew Cavenaugh, Hunter Foster, Ann Harada, John Tartaglia and Mary Testa, to name a few.), Unlockâ€™d (The York Theatre Developmental Series) both with music director David Andrews Rogers, and Common Grounds (NYMF – 2006 Award for Excellence in Direction). Regional credits include: Violet, The Spitfire Grill, and The Full Monty (The Theater Barn), The Complete History of America (abridged) (Barnstormers). Igor is an on-going director of musical theater industry showcases at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
Rear, l to r: David Zellnik (book and lyrics), Nancy Anderson (Louise), Joe Zellnik (music). Front, l to r: Igor Goldin (director) and Jeffry Denman (choreographer/Artie). Photo by Mark Rupp for Broadwayworld.com.
Watch Nancy Anderson and cast members from Yank! sing “The Saddest Gal What Am” from the show!
Joe and David Zellnikâ€™s previous musicals include First in Flight: The Wright Brothers for Theatreworks USA, which toured the country in 2004, and City of Dreams which was produced at 2002â€™s Midtown International Theatre Festival and was selected for the first International Festival of Musical Theatre in Cardiff, Wales (2 songs from the show appear on Alison Fraserâ€™s 2000 album â€œMen In My Lifeâ€.) Davidâ€™s plays include Serendib, which was produced Off-Broadway by Ensemble Studio Theatre in Spring 2007, and Sharon/Herzl, which received its World Premiere this summer at D.C.â€™s Theatre J.
Yank! opens Saturday, October 20 and runs through Sunday, November 11, 2007 (16 performances only). Performances take place Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8PM (no Saturday 8PM show on November 10); Sundays at 3PM. Additionally, The Gallery Players is offering a Saturday matinee performance at 2PM on Saturday, November 3 and Saturday, November 10 only. The closing performance takes place on Sunday, November 11 at 8PM. A complete list of performance dates and times can be found above.
Bobby Steggert on Yank!:
“The character narrating Yank! says something that really resonates with
me in a very personal way: ‘I think, what has it cost me to be in
love? To be with anyone? And would I have been as brave as Stu was?’
When asking myself that question, I didn’t quite know the ultimate
answer. But I knew that I wanted the responsibility of portraying
someone who did. Yank! is unique in that it transcends the story of
a young man in love. It is about the courage to fight for a love that
in today’s relative freedom, we tend to take for granted. I am
excited and hopeful that Stu’s bravery, and the wonderful story of
Yank! created with such style and grace by the Zellnik brothers will
resonate with audiences as purely as it does me.”
Nancy Anderson on Yank!:
“Because Yank! is presented in a classic Broadway Musical setting, or even MGM movie musical setting, it creates a background for an every day American “war-time” love story. Seeing this love story as it glides on a bed of almost familiar Bing Crosby-style standards, the audience can’t avoid seeing the central relationship, which happens to be between two men, as normal, albeit heartbreaking – you don’t see it as gay or straight- it’s just love….I’m also interested in the shrewdly historical look the Zellniks take on homosexuality during and after World War II- the fact that there was thriving gay culture during war time, and that many gay veterans settled in San Francisco after the war, paving the way for the cultural revolution that ensued there.”
Jeffry Denman on Yank!:
“[Yank!] is a universal story about love between two people and how outside forces, like judgement, fear and in a larger sense, war can sometimes threaten to destroy that love. There are many wars in Yank! WWII being the most recognizable. But the wars that are waged between and inside the main characters are just as real and revealing.”
Nancy Anderson sings songs from Yank! at Birdland. Photo by Mark Rupp for Broadwayworld.com.
More about Yank Magazine:
By the end of WWII, twenty-three various editions of Yank Magazine had been published. At the height of the magazineâ€™s operations, there were printing presses in Honolulu, Cairo, Tokyo, Okinawa, Rob, Trinidad, Saipan and other places, and the weekly achieved a worldwide circulation of 2,600,000. It is thought to have been read by ten million. The magazine, which was staffed entirely by enlisted soldiers, printed its last issue in December 1945, realizing for the War Department a profit of $1,000,000.
Maxime de Toledo (foreground) and Nancy Anderson in The Gallery Players production of Yank! A New Musical. Photo by Jennifer Maufrais Kelly
From the Blogs:
“Give me a respectful, carefully paced, sensitively acted gay romance with equal parts of unrequited love, shame, and intermittent explosions of passion and you will have me bawling… which is exactly what I was doing at David and Joe Zellnik’s Yank!….Led by a stunningly charming Bobby Steggert and swoontastic Maxime de Toledo, we have here 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…this is one hell of a good production….”
“I fell in love with the musical Yank! at NYMF two years ago….Now it’s back (at The 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…The show’s book is also accomplished and impressive.”
“Yank! may be a new musical, but it’s deep in homage to the past, allowing it to feel like a revival, while still being topical (gays in the military before Don’t Ask Don’t Tell). There’s chemistry between Hollywood-cool Mitch (Maxime de Toledo) and bumbling farm boy Stu (Bobby Steggert), and even without the trappings of behind-the-scenes WWII reportage, these twin tales of self-discovery and the struggle for identity would still be winning.”
“[Yank! is] far better than any new musical I’ve seen since Spring Awakening.”
- Pop Surfing (Michael Giltz of The Advocate)