I love a feel good musical and the Joseph and David Zellnik show Yank! is that and more with a style and grace as it pays an awesome homage to the musicals of the 1940s. Acutely Americana – and if Rogers and Hart were alive they would be applauding out loud. This is sensational stuff and the way the songs ebb and flow throughout made for a memorable night of musical theatre.
Yank tells the story of two American soldiers that full in love during WWII This has to be kept secret due to the fear of arrest and a prison sentence. Scott Hunter as Stu and Andy Coxon as Mitch are beautifully cast – and their story is beautifully told. The staging of the musical numbers is pure Hollywood especially the tap number Click which showcases to great effect the dance skills of Scott Hunter and Chris Kiely as Artie.
It’s clear that the composers have a love for Swing music as the musical direction by James Cleeve captures the mood of the period with stunning effect. Add into the mix Sarah-Louise Young as Louise (and also playing other female roles) and you have a songbird chanteuse of perfection. I have seldom heard torch songs sung with such panache and passion.
I cannot praise this show enough and for an emotional night out in the West End this is a show hard to beat. The performance pulls at your heartstrings – and to quote the promotional line on the poster ‘Some stories did not make it into the history books’. I’m now very grateful that it now has.