Review: Matt and Ben (Radioactive Ladybird Productions)

A hilarious look at Hollywood’s favorite best friend duo, Matt and Ben took the stage in Toronto

Photo of Laura Salvas and Seema LakhaniOnly someone like Mindy Kaling can write something as outrageous and wonderful as Matt and Ben and Radioactive Ladybird’s production of this trying tale on how Matt Damon and Ben Affleck actually wrote Good Will Hunting is exactly the kind of wacked-out comedy I was hoping for.

Seema Lakhani plays “Matt”, clearly the more serious and uptight of the two, with just a dash of anxiety thrown in for good measure. Opposite her is Laura Salvas who plays “Ben”, a laissez-faire, dead-beat type who also happens to have a soft side.

Even though Lakhani and Salvas play the famous duo as caricatures, they never become one-sided which could have easily happened in a play with this kind of sarcastic, cheeky tone. They still feel like the real Matt and Ben and are able to fully embody these two doofy adult man-children down to the very last crotch grab.

These talented women are just blasting through this show. I felt like I was being taken on a ride in a high octane rocket ship to the stars powered by Lakhani and Salvas’ hutzpah alone.

They are simply non-stop. Not even resting for a moment to catch their breath. I was in constant anticipation to what will be happening next, because apparently anything can happen from J.D. Salinger dropping by for a Snack Pack, to a script randomly falling from the sky.

One of the best moments of the show is when the two friends take turns reciting lines from Good Will Hunting while acting like total maniacs eventually mounting to a classic chair-throw crescendo. It was awesome.

The play itself is undeniably funny with a ton of humor written right in. One thing I really liked about this rendition in particular is that they honoured the genius that is this script and just let it be what it is…and that is damn hilarious. I remember reading the play a long time ago and remembering how clever and wacky it was on paper and now that I’ve seen it on stage, my feelings have been confirmed three-fold.

When the controlled chaos that is Matt and Ben was over, I felt like I received more than my fair share of energy from these generous performers (they deserve a spa day after that, seriously). The show is packed to the brim with laughs and fun and moreover, passion.

Radioactive Ladybird’s production is Matt and Ben done right. Though this wild and kooky play has concluded its run, it was certainly worth seeing what the guys who wrote Good Will Hunting are really like. Be sure to keep checking in to see what else the ladies from Radioactive Ladybird are up to as you won’t be disappointed.


Photo of Laura Salvas and Seema Lakhani provided by the company.