Sunday, October 21, 2007
Yank! is a new musical, but this WWII-era score pays such respectful homage to the past that it almost feels like a revival. (A very topical revival, one that looks at gay life in the military long before Don't Ask Don't Tell.) David Zellnick's script is as smart as his brother's score is sweet: it parodies the classic camaraderie of, say, M*A*S*H, but doesn't get lost in caricature. As a result, the chorus supports the script with more than cheap laughs, and their songs all add to the mood, even if they don't always further the plot. As for the leads, Bobby Steggert (straight out of 110 in the Shade) has a quiet reservation that allows him to grow dramatically when placed in contrast with the strong, confident "Hollywood" Mitch (Maxime de Toledo), their neat little affair is well-balanced by the lively, gay-and-loving it Artie (Jeffry Denman, a scene stealer), and the whole play is given a nice slice of femininity (and occasional masculinity) by Nancy Anderson, who exhaustively plays all the female roles. Color me charmed.