YANK!, originally produced off-Broadway in 2010, is a love song to Hollywood’s “it takes one of every kind” platoon flicks and to 1940s Broadway. Suffused with songs (swing, big band, boogie-woogie), it explores what stories get told in wartime, and how WWII became the great catalyst in bringing gay men and women together.
It’s the story of Stu, a scared Midwestern kid who gets drafted in 1943, and who – like most guys – spends Basic Training wrestling with fears of whether he “has what it takes” to make it in the Army. But unlike most guys, Stu falls in love with a fellow Private in his squad, a handsome All-American guy named Mitch. When Stu later strikes up a friendship with Artie – a self-assured gay reporter for Yank Magazine, Artie shows Stu a glimpse of the gay world that thrived just beneath the surface of the US Army in the 1940s.