YANK! A WWII LOVE STORY is the story of a midwestern boy who joins the Army during World War II, falls in love with another soldier and is introduced to the gay underground of the Armed Services through a journalist for the Army magazine YANK. David Zak is directing the musical, with Robert Ollis providing musical direction and Jenna Schoppe choreography.
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 also falls in love with a fellow Private, a handsome All-American guy named Mitch. When Stu strikes a friendship with Artie – an unapologetically queer 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 1940.