Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers' 2002 FringeNYC Award-winning play returned to New York after playing at this year's HBO-sponsored U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. The show began July 28 and opened Aug. 7 for a run previously scheduled through Sept. 6.
Matt & Ben is a satire on the pre-paparazzi, pre-fame friendship between Oscar-winning screenwriters and actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. The plot revolves around the premise that the screenplay for "Good Will Hunting" drops mysteriously from the heavens into the hands of the Boston-based buds. Mentions of Ben's young brother actor Casey Affleck and appearances by a young Hollywood starlet, as well as a aged novelist, fill the spoof.
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 because they "have the same color hair" and Withers portrays Damon as they "are both shy around new people" according to the show's website, www.mattandben.com..
David Warren (Barbra's Wedding, The Dazzle) directs the new run of 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).
* At the Aug. 1 performance, Kaling, enacting a staged punch, accidentally connected with Withers. Following a brief intermission, the actress mustered through the remainder of the show before being taken to the emergency room. The Saturday matinee performance was canceled but the duo were back on stage for the evening performance, according to a production spokesperson.
For tickets to Matt & Ben at P.S. 122, 150 First Ave (at East Ninth Street), call (212) 477-5288. The new tickets for the show will be made available through (212) 352-3101 or toll-free at (866) 811-4111.