Matt & Ben – Play – ArtsWest

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)

Type: Play

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: 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.

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Other Video +/- Pictures: See pictures in video and under video by Jennifer Crooks.

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: #theatre #showsiveseen ♬ Sunshine State of Mind – Kurt Stevens
Matt Nabilah Ahmed
Ben Jacquelyn Miedema
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
* Member Of Actor’s Equity Association, The Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers

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