Leading Ladies: Off-Broadway Comedy Gets New Matt & Ben, March 25

News   Leading Ladies: Off-Broadway Comedy Gets New Matt & Ben, March 25
 
Jennifer R. Morris and Quincy Tyler Bernstine have beat out almost a thousand actresses vying for the plum title roles in Off-Broadway's Matt & Ben. The new duo starts March 25, replacing author-originators Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers.

Kaling and Withers penned and performed their 2002 Fringe hit at Off-Broadway's P.S. 122. The show began July 28, 2003, and opened Aug. 7. The ladies play their final performance March 20 before heading to Hollywood to portray their alter egos for a limited six-week engagement, April 1-May 16 at the Acme Comedy Theatre.

Matt & Ben is a satire on the pre-paparazzi, pre-fame friendship between Oscar-winning screenwriters and actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. When the screenplay for "Good Will Hunting" mysteriously drops into their laps, the duo believe they are being tested by a higher power.

Bernstine — who assumes the role of Ben — has appeared in The Ladies, Paris Commune, The Rats are Getting Bigger, The Trail of Her Inner Thigh, The Train Play and Crewneck.

"This show is about friendship and collaboration," stated actresses Bernstine and Morris. "Damon and Affleck went to school together, remained best friends and collaborators. Mindy and Brenda went to school together, remained best friends and created this play together. The two of us also went to school together, are best friends and now we get to do some male-bonding on stage."

Morris — taking on Matt — earned stage credits in [sic], Communist Dracula Pageant, The Right Way to Sue, Christmas Carol, Lysistrata, Harmony, Pericles, Twelfth Night and Fingered. David Warren (Barbra's Wedding, The Dazzle) directs Matt & Ben, which is produced by Victoria Lang, Pier Paolo Piccoli, Stephen Pevner and Jason Hsaio. The design team includes James Youmans (sets), Jeff Crotier (lights) and Fitz Patton (sound).

The sold-out Fringe run got the nod for Best Overall Production at the 2002 New York International Fringe Festival. The show starred the two authors as the duo — Kaling plays Affleck and Withers portrays Damon. Both also take on other well-known personae in the show.

For tickets to Matt & Ben at P.S. 122, 150 First Ave (at East Ninth Street), call (212) 352-3101 or toll-free at (866) 811-4111. For more information, visit www.MattandBen.com.

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