Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Matt & Ben play at ArtsWest by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers directed by Zenaida Rose Smith. Nabilah Ahmed and Jacquelyn Miedema portray Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in a play reminiscent of Wayne’s World or SNL.
Synopsis from the Theatre: From the mind of multi-award winning writer and actress Mindy Kaling, Matt & Ben depicts its Hollywood golden boys – before J-Lo, before Gwyneth, before Project Greenlight, before Oscar… before anyone actually gave a damn. When the screenplay for Good Will Hunting drops mysteriously from the heavens, the boys realize they’re being tested by a Higher Power. Originally performed by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers in the title roles, Matt & Ben is a hilarious satire on the real and imagined difficulties of pursuing a dream.
Attended Performance Date: 9/7/23 (Opening Night)
World Premiere: No
Several or Few Scenes: Few
Several or Few Settings/Locations: Just a living room
Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: You should be familiar with the Hollywood pop culture surrounding Ben Affleck and Matt Damon like Good Will Hunting.
Defined Plot/Storyline: No, it was mostly dialogue
Equity Actors: 0
Total Number of Actors: 2
Perceived Pace of the Show: Slow
Length (Including Any Intermission): 1.5 hours
Intermission Included: No
Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show: Yes
Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now: No
Recommendation: See it if
- You’re a fan of Matt Damon or Ben Affleck
- You’re okay with 2-person plays
- You’re okay with plays that are mostly dialogue in a single room
- You like slapstick or silly humor
Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned in Elevator Thoughts
- Impersonations: Jacquelyn Miedema impersonated Ben Affleck’s douchey meathead frat jock bro vibe well. Her Gwenyth Paltrow expressions were pretty good too.
Other Musing(s) and Observation(s)
- Moral of the Story: What message was this play trying to convey? Was it purely just for entertainment value? Was it a commentary on cis white male privilege similar to ArtsWest’s previous Zak production?
- Switched Roles: I’m curious how different this play would be received if the actors switched roles.
Theatre Company: ArtsWest
Venue Physical Address: 4711 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116
Price: Cheap to Medium
Ticket Affordability Options: You can self-identify as needing the inclusion rate when purchasing a ticket online.
Dates: September 7 to October 1, 2023
Seating: Assigned Seating
Parking: There are paid lots and free street parking. I usually park on 44th or 45th Ave behind the theatre.
Buy a Ticket or Learn More:
Cast and Production Team: See after pictures and video below
@showsiveseen "Matt & Ben" #play at #ArtsWest by #MindyKaling and Brenda Withers directed by Zenaida Rose Smith. Nabilah Ahmed & Jacquelyn Miedema portray #MattDamon and #BenAffleck in a show reminiscent of Wayne's World or SNL. Photos: Jennifer Crooks. Review: showsiveseen.com/6637 #theatre #showsiveseen ♬ Sunshine State of Mind – Kurt Stevens
|Director||Zenaida Rose Smith|
|Playwrights||Mindy Kaling & Brenda Withers|
|Scenic Designer||Adair Margaret|
|Lighting Designer||Chih-hung Shao|
|Costume Designer||Maggie Carrido Adams|
|Props Master||Cory Southwell|
|Sound Designer||Erik Siegling|
|Stage Manager||Kimberly Le*|
|Production Technical Director||Andrew Long|