DOASKDOTELL DRAMA, MUSICAL OR PLAY REVIEWs of Matt & Ben, XPhiles Unrequited , Renaissance, Either Or, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant


Author:  Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers

Title:  Matt and Ben

Where seen: The Accokeekcreek Theaterco (at the DC Arts Center at 2438 18th St Washington DC 20009 in Adams Morgan)

Director: Bob Bartlett

Performance time:


Recording available:

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The Accokeekcreek Theaterco (at the DC Arts Center at 2438 18th St Washington DC 20009 in Adams Morgan) has put on a double header play: Matt & Ben (75 min) is a parody of the “Good Will Hunting” concept. The playwrights are Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers; the director is Bob Bartlett. African-American actress Dionne Audain plays Matt Damon, and Tina Renay Fulp plas Ben Affleck. No, they aren’t portrayed as lesbians; rather they are like freshman college roommates who fight a lot. The spoof comes as the script for “Good Will Hunting” falls out of the apartment ceiling. They quarrel about the way you get onto the A-list, make big money by “adaptations” of other peoples’ work, almost as if it were a kind of plagiarism. In actual fact, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are emphatic in guarding their authorship of the screenplay (it had started as a very long novel, which is still worth publishing). Both actresses play a couple other characters, as when Dionne impersonates J. D. Salinger (maybe its his ghost), who is unwilling to release the rights to “The Catcher in the Rye,” which as to be their original adaptation. In a couple of spots Ben mentions his younger brother Casey (in Gerry). The play ends with an audio rendition of Matt and Ben accepting their academy awards.

The other half of this presentation was Xphiles Unrequited, by Bob Bartlett, who also directs (30 min), Robert Heinly plays Fox Mulder, and Adam Brandao plays Dana Scully (The 1990s series “The X Files”), as two homeless men parading in front of the White House, looking to be picked up by aliens as they take potshots at Bush and Cheney.

Renaissance, by Howard Walper, Steven Gottlieb and Andrew Lloyd Baughman is a reverse adaptation from a screenplay that finished in the finalists in Season 2 of Project Greenlight, as shown in Washington DC by the Landless Theater Co. at DCAC (D.C. Arts Center in Adams-Morgan). John-Paul Pizzica directed, and the cast included Allan Kukalow, Penny Peterson, John Sadowsky, Dan Cullen, Tina Renay Fulp. The film should not be confused with the French animated film of the same name, link below. The story is told in retrospect, of a World War II veteran Shalom with amnesia and an elderly woman, Emma, who survived the concentration camps. She wants to forget those years just as he tries to rediscover who he is. The end is shocking. More details on blogger, here. 

Either Or, by Thomas Keneally, directed by Daniel De Raey, Theater J at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center, Aaron & Cecile Goldman Theater / Morris Cafritz Center for the Arts, 16th and Q Sts. NW, Washington DC, 20036. This play is a biography of Kurt Gernstein, who lived a double life in the Nazi Party from 1933-1945 and reluctantly became involved with Zyklon B (HCN) in the concentration camps, but tried to get the word out.

Blog review here.

A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant, by Kyle Jarrow, dir. Andrew Lloyd Baughman, at the District of Columbia Arts Center Landless Theater Company, Dec 2007. Indeed, as the disclaimer says, the production has no affiliation with the Church of Scientology, but it does provide a lot of merriment about the writings and ideas of Ron Hubbard and the movement he started, with plenty of song and dance, with middle school kids.

Blog review here.

Related reviews: The film Good Will Hunting, screenplay by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck; Xfiles minseries by Chris Carter and David Duchovny; film Renaissance


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