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Beyond Glory–Oct. 28 w/ Stephen Lang of ‘Avatar’

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


Stephen Lang stars in Beyond Glory
Stephen Lang stars in Beyond Glory

10/23/2013 - Beyond Glory – Story of 8 American Heroes Oct. 28 Starring Stephen Lang of ‘Avatar’ at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, NWF State College-Niceville Campus

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center will feature the national tour of a stunning tribute to military heroes who have earned the Medal of Honor, “Beyond Glory”, on Monday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the mainstage theater of the performing arts complex, starring Stephen Lang, best known for his recent role in the hit film ‘Avatar’. The center is located on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College.

In “Beyond Glory” Stephen Lang, an award winning stage and screen star, presents the stories of eight veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam -- rendering firsthand accounts of incredible valor which resulted in the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor. The stirring one-man show was adapted by Lang from a book of the same title by journalist Larry Smith.

As a tribute to fallen soldiers, “Beyond Glory” had a celebrated run on Broadway and in Chicago’s Goodman Theater. Lang has also presented the show in a command performance on the floor of Congress and at military bases and major theatres across the nation. The oral histories of the eight men are brought to life through Lang’s commanding performance, with a backdrop of video screens which occasionally evoke the turmoil of combat. Lang subtly moves through each man’s story with a slight alteration of posture and vocal coloring to suggest each new personality – displaying an illusory magic the promises to make the show a truly unique and memorable presentation.

Lang is a Tony Award-nominated actor, well known for his 2009 roles as Colonel Miles Quaritch in "Avatar" and his film portrayals of Stonewall Jackson in "Gods and Generals" (2003) and George Pickett in "Gettysburg" (1993), as well as and as Texan lawman Charles Winstead in "Public Enemies". His most recent notable role is Commander Nathaniel Taylor in the 2011 television series Terra Nova. Lang is also starring in the upcoming horror film The Monkey's Paw, set for release in October 2013.

Tickets for “Beyond Glory” are $35 each with a $5 discount for groups of 10 or more and are on sale by phone or web from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office. The Box Office phone and in-person ticket window is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. the night of the show. At-the-door seats are the same price as advance tickets. Contact the Box Office at (850) 729-6000 or online at Tickets sold online the weekend immediately prior to the show will be held at the box office window for pick up.

Critics across the nation have praised Lang’s commanding performance in “Beyond Glory” as he has taken the show across the nation. “Mr. Lang’s one-man play is no simple-minded piece of flag waving. It is an unsparingly direct portrait of men at war, pushed into narrow corners and faced with hard choices. It is also one of the richest, most complex pieces of acting I’ve seen in my theatergoing life,” noted Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal.

The popular Broadway review website noted, "Recipients of the Medal of Honor, each of these men went above and beyond the call of duty to a place where bravery and humility meet. … Lang’s stunning tour de force performance … taking us to a realm beyond."

Charles Isherwood of The New York Times wrote, “…Containing the oral histories of veterans of several wars, Beyond Glory allows the voices of servicemen to be heard without the filter of the conventions of drama or the prerogatives of deadline-driven journalism. Its sobriety, simplicity and lack of histrionics are the show’s signal strengths.”

“The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is honored to present this unique show to our community, which is home to so many Active Duty and retired military members who have honorably served our nation and to also dedicate the show to the memory of Okaloosa County’s two Medal of Honor recipients,” noted Jeanette Shires, director of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center.

The stories portrayed by Lang in “Beyond Glory” will include: • John William Finn, a sailor in the US Navy, honored for his actions during the attack on Pearl Harbor in World War II; • Vernon Joseph Baker, a US Army officer, who received the Medal of Honor 50 years late for his actions in World War II on April 5th, 1945, near Viareggio, Italy, when he killed 26 enemy soldiers and destroyed six machine gun nests, two observer posts and four dugouts; • Daniel Inouye, the senior United States Senator from Hawaii, who earned the Medal of Honor for his valor in World War II; • Lewis Millett Sr., a US Army officer, who led the last major bayonet charge by an American unit during the Korean War; • Hector Albert Cafferata, Jr., a US Marine who received the Medal of Honor for service at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War; • Clarence Eugene Sasser, a former US Army combat medic who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Dinh Tuong Province, Republic of Vietnam; • Nicky Daniel Bacon, a US Army first sergeant awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in combat in Tam Ky, Vietnam in 1968; and • James Bond Stockdale, one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the US Navy who led air attacks from the carrier USS Ticonderoga during the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin Incident and led the prisoners’ of war resistance to their captors when he was held as a POW in Vietnam.

Other accolades received for Lang’s performance in “Beyond Glory” by the national press include Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press who wrote, ”What makes a reluctant warrior - a man able to kill for his country and come out a hero? It’s a question that gets answered with remarkable poignancy in Beyond Glory…. Lang lets these military men speak for themselves in this spare yet emotional 80-minute evening of theatre.”

The Mattie Kelly Arts Center is a $25 million state-of-the-art fine and performing arts complex located at 100 College Boulevard, on the eastern edge of the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College. There are eight nationally touring Broadway and Artist shows appearing at the center during the 2013-14 season, as well as a special Las Vegas event to benefit the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. All national shows appear for one night only in the 1,650 seat mainstage theater at the complex. For a complete events schedule There is a $2 per ticket Box Office processing fee. ##