The Drama League Prepares For 2015 Musical Celebration of Broadway

The CEO of First Financial Resources Ltd. in Greenwich, Connecticut, Kenneth Wirth is an avid supporter of the theatrical arts and serves on the Board of Directors of the Drama League, an organization that strives to promote the personal, professional, and creative development of artists. Kenneth Wirth and his fellow Drama League personnel are set to hold the organization’s annual Musical Celebration of Broadway benefit gala on February 2, 2015.

A tradition that began in 1994, the Drama League’s gala honors contributions to American theatre by directors and theatrical, musical, and literary artists. Additionally, it acts as a fundraising event for the League’s education programs. The annual event honors a different artist each year, chosen by their commitments to arts education, charitable efforts, and assorted work and projects. In past years, the gala honored artists that include actor Neil Patrick Harris and singer Liza Minelli. A wide assortment of Broadway and Hollywood stars attend the event every year.

The 2015 Musical Celebration of Broadway will honor actor James Earl Jones. A recipient of two Tony Awards, an Emmy Award, and an Academy Award, Jones is likely most known as the actor behind the voice of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Taking place at New York City’s Pierre Hotel, the black-tie evening will include dinner, cocktails, and a star-studded musical spectacle.

Those interested in attending the gala can purchase individual tickets or a full table that seats 10 people. For more information and ticket prices, visit the Drama League’s benefit gala page at http://dramaleague.org/events/gala.

About the Drama League Benefit Gala

Kenneth Wirth, Business Manager of The Midtown Men, also takes an active role in the arts as a Board Member of the Drama League. Kenneth Wirth is involved with the League’s annual gala event as well as more than a dozen other fundraisers each year.

Since 1994, the Drama League has hosted an annual black-tie event to celebrate American theater’s leading writers, composers, performers, and directors. Each event honors a member of the performing arts community who combines a rich lifetime body of work with extensive contribution to outreach and educational causes. Performers like Anthony Rapp, Tim Gunn, and Whoopi Goldberg have attended past events, coming together to enjoy selections from the honoree’s career.

In 2004, the Musical Celebration of Broadway Gala honored Neil Patrick Harris. An actor and singer who has become well-known for his work in television and film as well as on stage, Harris stands out as an advocate for arts education as well. The 2015 Gala will continue its tradition of celebrating excellence as it honors James Earl Jones, winner of an Academy Award and a Tony Award.

Kenneth Wirth – The Drama League

Kenneth Wirth, with 40 years’ experience in the financial industry, serves as the chief executive officer of First Financial Resources, Ltd. Apart from his professional obligations, Kenneth Wirth takes delight in the theater and playing a behind-the-scenes role in plays such as Peter and the Starcatchers. His achievements as a producer and promoter earned him a seat on the board of the Drama League.Mr Wirth is the Business Manager for The Midtown Men, four members of the original Tony Award winning cast of Jersey Boys. Christian Hoff Michael Longoria Daniel Reichard and J Robert Spencer are in their forth year of touring the continent with their sold out shows.

Based out of New York, the Drama League promotes the theater and encourages audience interaction with playwrights and other creative persons. Every year, it hosts over 100 classes, panels, forums, and other events. Moreover, the Drama League supports future generations of artists by providing them with residencies and fellowships.

One of its most notable endeavors, the Drama League Artist Residency Program, allows theater directors and their colleagues to create new plays and musicals under the guidance of a production mentor. Those in the genesis stage of their works’ development can opt for the Short-Term Developmental Residency for Early-Stage Projects. Winners receive between 5 and 20 hours in a rehearsal space and a stipend of up to $500. Mid-stage projects in a dramaturgy phase can apply for a workshop residency and receive up to 40 hours in a rehearsal space and a stipend of up to $1,000. Finally, the Creative Residency for Advanced Projects supports plays nearing completion with up to 100 hours in a rehearsal space and a stipend of up to $4,000. Log onto http://www.dramaleague.org to apply to this or other programs.

Meet the Four Stars of The Midtown Men

Kenneth Wirth, the CEO and founder of First Financial Resources, Ltd., also stays busy as the business manager of The Midtown Men. The popular group features the original four stars of the Tony-winning Broadway show Jersey Boys. Under the management of Kenneth Wirth, the quartet is currently on tour in the United States performing popular songs from the 1960s.

Christian Hoff is one of the stars of the successful Broadway show. Not only did he win a Tony for his role of Tommy DeVito in Jersey Boys, he is also a talented voice-over actor. His vocal work on Tell Me How You Love the Picture broke the record for the number of characters in an audiobook. Michael Longoria started out playing the role of Joey (Joe Pesci) in Jersey Boys, but he took over the role of Frankie Valli in 2007. He was also part of the original Tony award-winning cast of Hairspray. Cleveland’s Daniel Reichard played Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys. Before joining his cast mates to form The Midtown Men, he played Candide in the Leonard Bernstein opera. The fourth member of The Midtown Men, J. Robert Spencer, played Nick Massi in Jersey Boys. He has received numerous nominations for Tony awards over the years.

The Midtown Men Celebrate ’60s Music

The chief executive officer of First Financial Resources, Ltd., Kenneth Wirth displays expertise beyond his work in finance. Kenneth Wirth also represents The Midtown Men as the Tony Award-winning group’s business manager.

Comprised of four cast members from Broadway’s Jersey Boys, The Midtown Men tour the country singing hit songs from the 1960s. In a production that features the music of such super-‘60s bands as the Beatles and those from the Motown sound machine, The Midtown Men celebrate the music of a generation.

Tony Award winner Christian Hoff joins Michael Longoria, Daniel Richard, and Tony nominee J. Robert Spencer to represent the first time that a principal musical cast has emerged as a distinctive musical force beyond the status of tribute band.

Before they launched as The Midtown Men, the cast performed more than 1,000 times together in the musical Jersey Boys. These four artists energized audiences in performances on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve and on late-night television in addition to daytime appearances. They have toured the continent and now begin their forth year where one on the highlights are performing at over twenty of the great Symphonies across the country to include a coming engagement at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Teamwork Foundation – Making a Difference Through Basketball

A leading expert in the financial services industry, Kenneth Wirth oversees First Financial Resources, Ltd., as chief executive officer. Aside from work, Kenneth Wirth serves as a board member for Teamwork Foundation, Inc.

Teamwork Foundation aims to provide athletic training, college guidance, and tutoring to underserved kids in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. The organization’s sports and academic programs stand out in an area fraught with challenges such as high unemployment and high school dropout rates.

The New York Gauchos Basketball program is one of Teamwork Foundation’s most prominent initiatives. This program offers youths an elite basketball training experience that is rooted in collegiate advancement and academic excellence. The foundation believes that by making basketball training an incentive for kids to stay in school, youths will be more motivated to perform academically. As a testament to its effectiveness, the program has produced many future NBA players, including Chris Mullin, Taj Gibson, and Kemba Walker.

Advancing Research by Supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society By Kenneth Wirth

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) raises funding for research and programs that help individuals with blood cancers lead higher quality and longer lives. As the world’s leader in this field, the organization strives to find improved treatments and cures for leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and Hodgkin’s disease.

Since its establishment in 1949, LLS has been a major force behind blood cancer research. LLS supported research that led to the creation of chemotherapy drugs in the 1950s. In the following decade, researchers refined chemotherapy drugs for children with leukemia. In the 1970s, LLS research funded projects that designed the first successful bone marrow transplants. During the 1980s, LLS advisors discovered cancer causing “oncogenes.”

From the 1990s to the present, LLS research has led to greater understanding of genetic and molecular abnormalities that cause particular blood cancers. Researchers have formulated targeted drugs that spare normal cells and selectively kill cancer cells, thereby reducing the side effects of standard therapies. To counteract the negative effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapies, researchers have identified “growth factors” that have the potential to revitalize the patients’ blood systems following these treatments. Other immune-stimulating therapies include vaccines and antibodies.

Each new decade brings exciting advances in blood cancer research. To learn more about the work of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as well as giving opportunities, visit http://www.lls.org.

About the author: Kenneth Wirth served on the Board of Trustees and held the position of Chapter President of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Westchester. An extraordinarily successful CEO in the financial services industry for four decades, Mr. Wirth also has excelled in raising funds for nonprofit organizations, organizing AAU basketball teams, and serving as a Business Manager for a Broadway musical.