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BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs

Podcaster Patrick Oliver Jones talks to Kevin Spirtas about WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT.

BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs

An interesting venture took place at The Green Room 42 on Friday when podcaster Patrick Oliver Jones hosted an hour-long interview with actor and producer KEVIN SPIRTAS, who recently took home a handful of Emmy Awards for his web series AFTER FOREVER. Truthfully, from advertising on the Green Room 42 website, the program being offered was a little vague and difficult to understand because the era of cabaret creation centered around digital media is rather new, and unless one lives in a manner that lends itself to understanding that media, there are explanations in order.

For example, was this a Patrick Oliver Jones show or a KEVIN SPIRTAS show? Was the audience going to see a Patrick Oliver Jones podcast be recorded in real-time, or were they to witness an interview with a famous actor, in lieu of a cabaret program? Was the presentation to be the first in a series at The Green Room 42 or was this a random one-off meant to provide interested parties with a chance to see either creative gentleman live? These are all questions that this writer (and his guest) had walking in the door of the club two days ago, and though the answers have been (mostly) uncovered, as the dawn of digital cabaret grows brighter and brighter, it will become necessary for creators to develop crystal-clear verbiage when presenting content of this nature.

BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs First of all, and most importantly, what Misters Spirtas and Jones presented on Friday night was good. The hour that the host of the podcast WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT (Jones) spent interviewing the Days of Our Lives actor and After Forever creator (Spirtas) was entertaining and informative. It was not the first in a new series of shows at The Green Room 42 (as this reporter initially assumed) but it should be.

Mr. Jones is a good interviewer, which comes as no surprise since his show business podcast has had six seasons so far, and although this was his first time doing a live interview, rather than a digital one, he has a good handle on his interview process. The hour the gentlemen spent together was broken down into segments during which Jones led a discussion about Mr. Spirtas' long career as an actor on the stage and in front of the camera, interspersed with musical numbers performed by Kevin (and Musical Director extraordinaire Eugene Gwozdz).

It's a simple format, tried and true, and employed by many interviewers in the past, and with the performance being live-streamed, there is every chance that it will be translated into a purely audio form for presentation to podcast listeners in the future. With more and more podcasting taking place before live audiences, a program like this harkens back to the days of radio, when talent would do their work before a studio audience, and with more and more cabaret and club audiences choosing to stay socially distanced, making this into a regular outing at The Green Room 42 would provide those isolated patrons with entertainment, Mr. Jones with podcast content, and live audiences who actually want it, a chance to see artists like KEVIN SPIRTAS live and in person, not to mention giving the nightclub an additional source of revenue, by expanding their clientele via internationally available screenings. There is no reason why Patrick Oliver and the management of the club should not be discussing the continuation of the program.

BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs Since Friday night was the first-ever live interview for Patrick Oliver Jones, there is a learning curve that must be traveled. As Truvy says of Annelle in Steel Magnolias: "I think your form and content will improve with time," this writer believes POJ to be on the right track. His interview with Mr. Spirtas was clearly researched, the chat they shared had structure and purpose, and there was a certain rapport between the two gentlemen. There were some moments when the conversation lacked some drive, some urgency because Mr. Jones was too polite. He was, at all times, respectful (which is essential, at all times) but when conducting an interview for a series titled WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT, it is also essential to go deep, which Jones seemed reluctant to do. The two men didn't ever seem to get around to talking about the extremely personal subject at hand, the topic laid down in the show title: the struggle of show business. They shared some lovely anecdotal moments about how Kevin got into the business, why he needed to be an actor, how his parents reacted to his dreams of being a performer, what the life of a daytime drama actor is like, and how it felt to be the Broadway stand-by for a famous movie star without, once, going on in his place.

There was levity but also brevity, there were smiles but there was no teeth. It was a simple chat between two actors, a chat that didn't scratch the surface of the painful and arduous experience of being an actor... until they got to After Forever. Suddenly, when the topics of Days of Our Lives, the Boy From Oz, and charming but benign audition stories fell off the stage, there was room in the spotlight for that which is most personal to KEVIN SPIRTAS: his life as a gay man and how it informed his artistry, his most personal creation, and his greatest artistic triumph to date. At that point in the program, the conversation, the two men, and the room came to life.

Where polite chat had, previously, sat, passionate social intercourse blossomed before the eyes of an invested audience, as KEVIN SPIRTAS shared with the room the one-time need to be discrete about his personal life, the changing of times and attitudes, the experience of coming out, and how living in the light drove him to create After Forever, and all that came with that creation, including the loss of his writing partner, Michael Slade, to whom he dedicated one of his musical numbers. The energy in the air was, discernibly, different, and it was then that the show became everything that the title promised it would be, so much so that when Jones asked Spirtas if he felt like he had, finally, made it, Kevin replied, authentically, honestly, "I'm still in it."

BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs It's true that KEVIN SPIRTAS is still in it because he recently returned to Days of Our Lives, and his character, Dr. Craig Wesley, is being reported to be involved in a gay relationship. One may assume that this is a case of art being influenced by KEVIN SPIRTAS' life, and that could not have happened without the societal changes that have allowed Spirtas to live in the light.

After Forever will begin filming a third season, after scoring six Emmy Awards for the first, and as the most Emmy-Awarded LGBTQIA+ themed program in history comes to a close, life and art join hands once more as cancer claims, like Spirtas' onscreen husband, co-creator Michael Slade. Furthermore, after the five numbers he performed on Friday night, it is abundantly clear that KEVIN SPIRTAS deserves a Broadway musical, one for which he is nobody's stand-by, but the lead role. All the while that Mr. Spirtas has been acting on camera, the world has been deprived of one of the most beautiful, powerful, nuanced singing voices in the business.

His performances of songs from The Fantasticks, City of Angels, and Boy From Oz were astonishing, and a Les Miserables-infused spoof of his time on Days of Our Lives was ingenious. Broadway needs a KEVIN SPIRTAS-helmed show, post-haste, or Manhattan, at least, needs a series of nightclub shows. Kevin has a club act, dating back a few years, that was documented on CD and DVD, but it's time for a new one and, hopefully, being back on the cabaret stage at The Green Room 42 might inspire the ever-evolving artist that is KEVIN SPIRTAS into considering a new one-man show.

And hopefully, The Green Room 42 leaders and Patrick Oliver Jones will sit down soon to discuss the possibility of making the Why I'll Never Make It show into a regular series because there is a place in cabaret for chat programs like this. Everyone just needs to have a clear vision of what they are presenting, and a clear ad campaign to inform audiences what they are getting.

Find great shows to see at The Green Room 42 website HERE.

Visit the KEVIN SPIRTAS website HERE.

Patrick Oliver Jones and WHY I'LL NEVER MAKE IT can be found HERE and HERE.

BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs

BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs

BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs

BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs

BWW Review: A NIGHT WITH KEVIN SPIRTAS at The Green Room 42 Puts The Leading Man At The Musical Mic, Where He Belongs

Photos by Stephen Mosher


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From This Author - Stephen Mosher