Anna Kate MacDonald gazes at the world of celebrity reality through the lens of a fictional play—Matt and Ben

These days, celebrity news comes at us at lightning speed and from all directions. Without really meaning to, we know the paternity of Anna Nicole’s child, the drama of Lindsay in rehab, and the story of Britney’s babies being taken away. And all we did was flick through the channels, go online, or glance at a newspaper. Now that websites like and give us 24-hour updates on our favourite celebrities, stars are rising and falling at a roller coaster pace.

But are these stories real?

Do we really care?

Luckily two mega-celebrities are coming to town to help us decide.

Matt and Ben, coming to Rabbittown Theatre, is a play about the Good Will Hunting-writing, Oscar-winning, blockbuster-making, celebrating-dating, best buddy duo of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

Written by Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers, the play has already hit stages throughout the US and Canada and has received enthusiastic reviews for its scathing and hilarious look at the two artists, whose rags to riches true life story became as much of a conversation topic as their hit movie.

Matt and Ben, the play, retells this origin story with a new twist: instead of having written it themselves, the script for Good Will Hunting falls literally into their laps from the ceiling above.

Brought to Rabbittown by a new local company, No Name Brand Theatre, first-time director Jordan Flynn has taken the helm of this two-man play. Local actors Matt White and Michael Venn will star as the eponymous leads—with Matt playing the role of Matt, appropriately enough.

Flynn says he discovered a copy of the play in the theatre section of a Montreal Chapters a while back when he was on the lookout for a project to do once he returned to St. John’s. It stood out to him because of the play’s offbeat humour, but also the play’s more introspective and somber moments seemed to allow the play more substance; to give the actors something “meatier and more complex” to work with.

According to Flynn, Matt and Ben begins with a lot of tension, “like a marriage coming to a bitter end.” The discovery of the Good Will Hunting script becomes a catalyst for getting grievances off their chests.”

The result? Something that promises to be both funny and poignant, as the two men struggle with the decision to pass off the script as their own. Cue a few jokes here and there about Matt’s thespian dreams and Ben’s tabloid sensations and what more does a person need?

Why not dress as your favourite celebrity and help make Rabbittown Theatre the next Hollywood hotspot?

Matt and Ben opens at the Rabbittown Theatre this Thursday, October 25th and runs until Sunday, October 28th. Showtime is 8pm. On Sunday, October the 28th there will also be an additional pay-what-you-can matinee at 2pm.

One comment

What are your non-nauseating Christmas music suggestions?

What are your non-nauseating Christmas music suggestions?

Pirate Santa is not pleased.

13 December 2010

  1. Maria. · December 13, 2010

    I saw this play this morning with my theater arts class.
    And it was funny. Very funny.
    I kind of died a little.

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