Monday, June 18, 2018
Stage

Female spoof 'Matt & Ben' riffs Damon, Affleck friendship

Before she was crowned one of the coolest and most creative queens of young Hollywood, Mindy Kaling and her best friend Brenda Withers were aspiring, and probably envious, actors just out of Dartmouth when they penned the wicked satire Matt & Ben, which imagines the story behind Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's rise from Boston nobodies to Hollywood golden boys thanks to Good Will Hunting.

As in the off-Broadway production of 2003, which starred Withers and Kaling (who went on to fame in The Office and her own critically loved show The Mindy Project), Matt and Ben are played by women. This time Tampa actors Molly Leigh Healy and Lydia Marie Ferry take over the roles at Creative Loafing's CL Space in Ybor City today through Saturday.

In real life, the men wrote that hit film themselves, but in this version of the story the script drops mysteriously from the heavens and they come to realize that they're really being tested by a higher power.

The bromantic comedy also takes the Beantown pair down a notch. Matt is a striver with blinding ambition and Ben is a not-too-bright palooka.

"Acidic, funny and affectionate," the New York Post declared, "Matt & Ben spoofs Hollywood's best friendship."

There will be three performances, at 8 p.m. today through Saturday. Admission is $15 and $10 for students, seniors and the military at 1911 N 13th St., Tampa. The producers promise free beer or wine with valid ID.

Some strong language in the 1 hour 15 minute show with no intermission. Seating is general admission

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Times staff writer

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