Told through song, dance, and stories, Good Enough follows Matthew's real life quest for success, and exposes the anxiety and pitfalls that come from living the “right” life. As a professional actor, singer, and dancer for 20 years, LaBanca set his sights on a Broadway career and made his debut in Young Frankenstein in 2007, but notes: “When I took a step back from the ambition that was fueling the need for “success” in my life, I was left with a hollow feeling. Was I really doing all this simply because I loved it, or was there something more at play?”
LaBanca was fascinated by the notion that good behavior, however virtuous, is not necessarily without price. “Keeping it all together for the sake of image takes a toll on your authenticity. Good Enough makes references to Oprah, Martha, Joel Osteen – all people who tout living an ideal life. In a social media age where so many of us share and compare only the 'perfect' parts of ourselves, it's easy to forget the complete picture our humanity. Overcompensating with good behavior can lead to a suppression of who you truly are, and that is never good.”
LaBanca also plays the piano as part of his storytelling. The evening is full of parodies on musical theatre standards. “I wanted to find clever, comedic, and heartfelt ways to express the deeper meaning of this issue. Who are you, really, if you are adopting others' opinions just to fit in and avoid judgment? I'm constantly surprised by how many different types of people see themselves in my story, and hope to remind audiences that making choices rooted in your own truth, not someone else's, can lead to a more fulfilling and authentic life.”
Matthew LaBanca (Author and Performer) made his Broadway debut with Young Frankenstein. He covered the title role, and during previews in NYC, stepped into the part for multiple shows, performing the role to acclaim. Matthew also appeared in the 2009 Broadway company of White Christmas, as well as Children and Art, the Sondheim birthday gala at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre. Additional NYC credits include Rebecca (industry presentation @ Lincoln Center), Blood Brothers (APAC), Allegro (APAC), and King Kong (Summerstage). Matthew's National Touring credits include leading roles in productions of Crazy for You, Anything Goes, Joseph...Dreamcoat, and The King and I. As a classical singer, Matthew has performed with the New York Choral Artists, the choral group that sings with the New York Philharmonic. For several seasons, he was also on the roster for the extras chorus at the Metropolitan Opera House. Matthew's television credits include 30 Rock, MTV's Made, and Live from Lincoln Center. For more, visit www.MatthewLaBanca.com
Kira Simring (Director) is Artistic Director of the cell, A Twenty First Century Salon and incubator for new theatrical works. She as been a professional director for over 15 years, working closely with writers to develop and manifest their work. Most recently, she directed the New York Times Critic's Pick Hard Times, An American Musical by Larry Kirwan. Outside of the cell, Kira's direction has been seen in venues throughout NYC, including The New Theatre Row Theatres, City Center's VOX at NYU's Skirball Theatre, The Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space and 80 St. Marks Theatre. Regional venues include CenterStage in Baltimore, New Village Arts in San Diego, and The Connecticut Grand Opera.
Anthony Frisina (Lighting Design) is extraordinarily proud and happy to be working with Matthew on his beautiful project. Primarily a poet, Anthony has been working on www.artnotdebt.com in hopes of continuing to keep the focus on Art as the priority in our lives.
Mackenzie Meeks (Stage Manager) is a recent graduate of Marymount Manhattan College where she received a BA in Theatre Arts: Production & Stage Management. She is a staff member at the cell and the producing coordinator of the D-Lounge series at New York Theatre Barn. Recent stage management credits include: For Tonight (NYMF Reading), 2014 Musical Theatre Lab (Prospect Theater), and Hard Times (the cell). Thanks to Matthew & Kira for getting me involved with this project!