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  Yank! A WWII Love Story Reviews
Yank! A WWII Love Story
Yank! A WWII Love Story

Yank! A WWII Love Story
Pride Arts Center - The Broadway
Thru - Mar 18, 2018

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Show Information

Pride Arts Center - The Broadway

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Recommended

"...The Pride Arts Center - formerly known as both the Profiles Theatre and the National Pastime Theatre - is the right, retro space for this show, an easy joint wherein to summon the era and its ghosts. You could imagine a much darker or more melancholy production of this material. (I did not see either New York production, but they were reportedly more of that vein.) In Chicago, you can anticipate the trouble ahead, but the production goes light on the forces of intolerance. There is more interest here in the celebration of the resistance. Which is fair enough and clearly what pleases the audience. Pride Films and Plays will be able to run this one as long as they wish to do so."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...An ironic, knowing laugh rippled through the audience Thursday night as the immensely engaging musical "Yank! A WW II Love Story," received its Chicago premiere by Pride Films and Plays. And that laughter instantly suggested the long, painful history of homosexuals in the U.S. military."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...The lead’s gay awakening manifests as a tap-dancing number with a colleague at Yank magazine (John Marshall Jr.), and the sweaty, stirring scene is the closest this musical comes to true passion."
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Oliver Sava

Windy City Times- Recommended

"...Veteran director David Zak's energetic production of Yank! A World War II Love Story offers a talented ensemble cast, swift action and upbeat music played by an exemplary six-piece orchestra under gifted musical director Robert Ollis. But, I may be the only Chicagoan who saw the original Off-Broadway Yank! at the York Theatre in 2010 ( and wrote about it in the Windy City Times ), and I think the revisions made since then have fundamentally changed the show without improving it."
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Jonathan Abarbanel

BroadwayWorld- Highly Recommended

"...David Zak's direction finds a nice balance between a realistic portrayal of two soldiers falling in love along side some lighter and more fantastical moments. The end result is a production that very much feels like a movie musical. Romantic and nostalgic, it also never feels corny or untrue."
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Misha Davenport

Theatre By Numbers- Recommended

"...“Yank!” will stick with you because of the heart displayed in the script and by the performers. What seems simple at the start becomes complex, and the tunes are worth whistling on the way out the door, only for the music’s true meaning, and the story’s true resonance, to land later in surprising ways."
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Sarah Bowden

Stage and Cinema- Highly Recommended

"...A rollicking remembrance that opens both closets and hearts, Yank! lives up to its exclamation point. With the rainbow flag now planted over Iwo Jima, revisionism was never such fun."
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Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine- Highly Recommended

"...Yank! is a musical that never quite made it to Broadway, but we’re certainly lucky that it’s come to Chicago. This historic love story is perfect for contemporary audiences."
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Jessie Bond

NewCity Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"...I understand the plot progression of expressing that Stu feels left out of toxic-masculine-heteronormativity but it seems as though that could have been achieved in a brief moment of dialogue rather than the four minutes of sexism that all the women in the audience have to sit through. Perhaps future iterations of this show could consider making an agreement with the writers to cut that song."
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Emma Couling

Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...The show's hardworking ensemble of GI Joes make it easy to love a man in uniform. They include Xavier Euzarraga as Italian lover Rotelli, Raymond Goodall and Parker Guidry as an hilarious India and Melanie, Will Kazda as comic Czechowski, Brian Kulaga as both Cohen and Speedy, Marc Prince as the strict Sarge, Nate Strain as trouble-making Tennessee and Tommy Thurston as scholarly Professor. All these handsome, young triple-threats bring joy and rhythm to this extraordinary production. Collectively and individually they make "Yank!" sing, croon and boogie-woogie with style, energy and heart. This is a lovingly-produced love story that Chicago musical theatre aficionados and Boystown boys won't want to miss."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Musical Theatre- Highly Recommended

"...This is the kind of musical that will ruin you for other musicals. It’s a well-written love story with witty and heartwarming lyrics and music, and every performer in the cast is great or exceptional, no half-hearted performances. This is a beautiful romance, a story about unrequited gay male love that is sweet and passionate. And they have a show on Valentine’s Day, a great date night!"
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Sheri and Josh Flanders

Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...Zak’s strong direction weaves all the elements together. Roger Wykes’ scenic design makes good use of the small performance space, adding a narrow second-level stage. Lighting design is by Cassandra Bierman and costumes by Uriel Gomez. Musical director Robert Ollis (on piano) leads the musicians on a slightly raised stage to the right. The band, made up of percussion, keys and horns, plays Zellnik’s 1940s-style songs—swing, big band and boogie-woogie—with style and energy."
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Nancy Bishop

Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...In the end, this ensemble just entertains the heck out of its audience. Performances are passionate, funny, and powerful, and the sincerity of Huston’s performance is completely winning. In fact, the entire ensemble is completely winning: this is a show that Pride Arts Center should be proud of, and it’s easily one of the finest musicals in Chicago right now."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post- Recommended

"...While the upbeat numbers are a joy, the cast also masters the slower, more somber pieces. “Remembr’ing You,” as both the opening number and closer, acts as a theme for the musical as a whole. When S finds the diary, he first notices the lyrics from the song, and as he reads them, William Dwyer as Mitch enters and sings to Stu. His lovely baritone voice rings through the theater, and the emotion of the song shines through."
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Lauren Katz