Years before Bennifer and Bourne, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were sitting in their Boston apartment...when the script for Good Will Hunting fell out of the sky. According to Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers’ play Matt & Ben, at least.
A satire of Affleck and Damon’s friendship before they were Oscar winners (and tabloid fodder), Matt & Ben, which was published almost 20 years ago, has made it to Portland. The production stars Brooke Totman (Documentary Now!) as Matt and Genevieve Sage (Portlandia) as Ben, and is now playing at the newly renovated 21ten Theatre (formerly the Shoebox). There are three performances remaining (7:30 pm July 29-30 and 2 pm July 31).
Matt & Ben, which previously starred real-life friends Kaling and Withers in an off-Broadway production, is best known for lampooning the common perception of Damon as the more intellectual half of the duo and Affleck as the attractive dunce. In the play, both come off looking like morons, especially when they attempt to adapt The Catcher in the Rye for the screen by retyping J.D. Salinger’s novel line by line.
With Damon and Affleck currently in the zeitgeist, Matt & Ben couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Affleck recently married Jennifer Lopez, while Damon has finished filming a significant role in a Christopher Nolan-directed film about J. Robert Oppenheimer. (Damon previously made a memorably villainous cameo in Nolan’s 2014 sci-fi film Interstellar.)
Even more perfect, Damon and Affleck are once again acting together in a film based on a screenplay they wrote, about Nike’s struggle to sign Michael Jordan in the ’80s (Damon plays former Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro and Affleck plays Phil Knight).
Tickets for Matt & Ben are $20 and can be purchased here.