Night and Day: Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Matt & Ben runs Aug 18-28 at TCU Studio Theatre, 2800 S University Dr, FW. Tickets are $10-20. Call 817-923-3012
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Making of the Film

After the success of Good Will Hunting, screenwriters/stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were widely rumored to not actually have written the script. One magazine memorably characterized the prevailing jealousy toward them in Hollywood as “Kill the fuckers!” Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers took a somewhat different approach to the idea when they wrote Matt & Ben, a comedy that imagines the two actors in their pre-fame days, living in a tiny L.A. apartment and working on an extremely faithful screen adaptation of Catcher in the Rye until one day when the script for their 1997 tearjerker falls from the sky — literally. The play debuted at a comedy festival in 2002 and had a 10-month off-Broadway run the following year. It sends up celebrity culture and the two movie stars, depicted here as not the brightest of bulbs. Still, the satire is fairly affectionate, which probably explains why high-powered entertainment lawyers didn’t shut down the show. You may be surprised at how the slouchy, laid-back Ben becomes the play’s moral center.

The bigger surprise here, though, is the fact that the actors are portrayed by two female performers. The playwrights originally played the title roles themselves, and in that spirit, Frances Mercanti-Anthony and Katya Campbell take on the roles of Matt and Ben (as well as a couple of other celebrities who drop by) in Amphibian Productions’ staging of the play that opens this weekend. How you like ’dem apples?



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