Matt & Ben, a satire on the pre-paparazzi, pre-fame friendship between Academy Award winners Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, got the nod for Overall Production at the 2002 New York International Fringe Festival. The sold-out show starred the two women authors as the duo; Kaling plays Affleck because they "have the same color hair" and Withers portrays Damon as they "are both shy around new people" states the show's website. (www.mattandben.com)
After its stint at U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Matt & Ben will embark on a national tour to select cities before returning to New York City for an Off-Broadway run. A theatre will be announced later this year.
Matt & Ben is directed by Joe Schiappa and produced by PLus Entertainment with Declaire / BACI Management. Michael Hotopp provides set design and David Agress handles lighting design.
Also featured at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival will be J. Edgar!, a musical by Harry Shearer and Tom Leopold, about the infamous FBI director will take place at the ninth annual festivities. The musical, which appeared at Los Angeles Theatreworks featuring John Goodman as the longtime assistant to Hoover and Kelsey Grammer as the FBI man who lead a double-life. Shearer, Dan Castellaneta ("The Simpsons") and Christopher Guest ("Best in Show," "Waiting for Guffman") were also part of the original cast. The Aspen cast will include creators Shearer and Leopold with Grammer ("Frasier"), Goodman ("Roseanne"), Michael McKean ("Spinal Tap"), Nancy Cartwright ("The Simpsons"), Tress McNeille ("Animaniacs") and Judith Owens. The earlier production, featuring music by Peter Matz, is available at the L.A.-based company's website at www.latw.org.
The festival will also feature selected scenes of plays by up-and-coming playwrights including Lakeera by Christopher Shinn (What Didn't Happen), In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings by Stephen Adly Guirgis (Our Lady of 121st Street), Evolution by Jonathan Marc Sherman (Sophistry), We Did What We Could With What We Had by Megan Mostyn-Brown, Buicks by Julian Shepard, and Be Aggressive by Annie Weisman.
For more information on the festival, visit www.hbo.com/comedy/uscaf.