Affleck, Damon camaraderie hits Chicago stage--with twist

TheaterEntertainmentMusical TheaterMindy KalingMatt DamonSteppenwolf Theatre

"Matt and Ben," the satirical off-Broadway hit wherein two actresses re-create the pre-stardom friendship between Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, is headed for a summer run in Chicago. The two women who created the piece, writer-performers Mindy Kaling and Brenda Withers, are expected to come to Chicago with the show, which will end its off-Broadway run May 29.

Kaling and Withers are performing the show in Los Angeles--much of the action revolves around their re-imagining of how Affleck and Damon came to write "Good Will Hunting."

No firm dates have been announced yet for the project, but "Matt and Ben" (in female guise) are expected to land at the Theatre Building Chicago in August.

In other news:

The Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St., has announced the second year of its Latino Theater Festival, which will run from July 15 to July 25. Along with the previously announced production of Luis Alfaro's "Electricidad," the festival will feature performances by Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, a collection of monologues with a migration theme; Luis Alfaro's one-man show "No Holds Barrio;" Aguijon Theatre Company's Spanish language production of "Blood Wedding" by Federico Garcia Lorca, and "Yuri Sam," performed by the Imaginary Theatre Factory of Spain.

Steppenwolf Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St., has announced that actor, writer and movement artist Bill Irwin is the latest addition to its ongoing Traffic season of performances. Irwin will perform solo at Steppenwolf for one night June 7.

American Theatre Company's 2004-5 season includes Arthur Miller's "A View from the Bridge," "Kid-Simple" by Jordan Harrison, and "Living Out" by Lisa Loomer, produced in a co-production with the Teatro Vista Theater Company.

Chris Jones is a Chicago Tribune staff writer.Originally published May 5, 2004.

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