Matt & Ben

Defending the Hollywood duo you love to hate

N.B.: Opening night has been postponed from Feb. 1 to Feb. 8.

Two Hours Traffic’s press release announcing the Seattle premiere of Matt & Ben accuses Messrs. Damon and Affleck of being “lucky bastards” (and “douchebag faces”). Really? Have they seen Hollywoodland or Gone Baby Gone, Affleck’s directorial debut, which actually improved upon its Eastwood-helmed spiritual predecessor Mystic River? Guess not. Have they paused to take a look at Damon’s post-Good Will Hunting resume? Obviously not, because if they had, they’d realize that his performances in all the Bourne and Ocean’s films, The Departed, Syriana, The Good Shepherd, and The Talented Mr. Ripley have earned him a spot as arguably the most talented male thespian of his generation, an actor’s actor who moves easily from blockbusters to headier projects (and infuses those blockbusters with a headiness that would otherwise be absent). These guys, to borrow their own line from Hunting, are wicked smart (or, in Beantown vernacular, “wicked smaaaaahhhhht”), and neither of their current relationships make for tabloid fodder (Ben’s learned his lesson, evidently). Hence, this play, penned by Brenda Whithers and The Office’s Mindy Kaling, is sadly dated. But if you can block out the last decade of Matt and Ben’s careers, by all means go. Freehold Theatre, 915 E. Pine St., 800-838-3006, $10-$30 sliding scale. Opens Feb. 8. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sun. through Feb. 17. MIKE SEELY

Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Feb. 8. Continues through Feb. 17, 2008

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