Beyond Glory Starring Stephen Lang
Sunday, November 11, 2018 – 2:00 PM
Stephen Lang, award-winning playwright, stage and screen star, brings the stories of eight different men to the stage in a one-man show that will reach into your very soul and keep you thoroughly spellbound in Beyond Glory, adapted from Larry Smith’s stirring book.
Commended for film portrayals of Babe Ruth to Stonewall Jackson to Avatar’s Col. Quaritch, Lang began his career on Broadway and maintained a managing role at the Actor’s Theatre. It is through Lang’s stage adaptation of Beyond Glory that he has reached his most memorable, his most brilliant work. Beyond Glory enjoyed a celebrated run on Broadway and in Chicago’s Goodman Theater; Lang is now taking it coast to coast.
Beyond Glory presents the stories of eight veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, rendering first-hand accounts of valor which resulted in the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor. As a tribute to fallen soldiers, Lang performed the show on military bases and gave a command performance on the floor of Congress with Medal of Honor recipient Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii in attendance.
The play, Beyond Glory, opened in 2004 on the edge of Arlington Cemetery, at a small theater inside the Women in Military Service Memorial. Some nights only three people showed up. He played on. Then he got a strong review, and lots of people started attending. One was a program director at the National Endowment for the Arts, Jon Peede. Mr. Peede told Chairman Gioia he'd just seen a pretty amazing play about Medal of Honor recipients that would make a nice fit with Operation Homecoming. Result: Stephen Lang was able to put the Medal of Honor's reality in front of soldier audiences all over the world--in Europe, at Pearl Harbor, the DMZ in Korea and of course in the Middle East, memorably aboard the aircraft carrier USS Vinson in the Persian Gulf. He performed on the Vinson three times in a day, losing 10 pounds. Two shows were done on the flight deck, each time before 500 to 600 sailors. In the evening he did it in a smaller room for about 100 officers. Some wept.
The oral histories of these 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 a new personality. This illusory magic suggests the magnitude of this performer, the brilliance of his talent that will light up the stage with one of the most memorable presentations one will ever have the honor of presenting.
"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."
— Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal
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