Matt and Ben

On Saturday night, I saw “Matt & Ben”, the off-broadway play, about Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in their pizza, beer, and rehearsal days. The screenplay for Good Will Hunting falls from the ceiling, testing testing the friendship of the aspiring actors, who’d been buddies since Cambridge Rindge and Latin. The play is written and performed by two women, Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers, who carry off the drag pretty well, showing the loyalty and rivalry between the buddies, til a fight scene at the end which overstretches their abilities.
My favorite parts of the play were the cameos of eccentric sage JD Salinger, who discourages the guys from adapting Catcher in the Rye, their previous project, while nibbling on a pudding cup, and Gwyneth Paltrow, who encourages them to use the supernaturally acquired script, while making secret love to a cupcake.
The show’s set in a grungy Somerville apartment in 1995. The details of the set were mostly spot-on, with period phone and boombox, a plaid couch they must have gotten from the house of some grad student friends of mine, and Papa Ginos pizza. The only flaws in detail were a mismatched Mac monitor and PC chassis, an out-the-window outdoor skyline that was the Village, or maybe Brooklyn, and an issue of Wired that you could tell was later from the thickness of ad pages (it was the 12/96 issue with the brilliant Neal Stephenson Hacker Tourism article).
Went with my host Judith, who is the worlds best date for cultural fun. (Don’t get me wrong guys, I’m hetero). Off to more New York tourism.

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