Interview: Kevin Spirtas Of 6x Emmy Winning Series ‘After Forever’

The Randy Report podcast delivers the week's top stories in a quick, convenient podcast - 'the 60 Minutes of gay news - only shorter'

Today I’m speaking to the oh-so-charming Kevin Spirtas – one of the co-creators, writers and stars of the acclaimed LGBTQ TV series, After Forever.

After Forever is the recipient of 6 Daytime Emmy Awards – the most Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.

The first two seasons of the series received rave reviews for telling the rarely seen story of vibrant, active, diverse “grown-up” gay men… a group who tend to disappear from television and film once they are no longer 20- or 30-something, not returning until they are elderly and non-sexual.

Last year, I spoke with Kevin and co-creator/writer Michael Slade about their successful collaboration and the response the series has received.

The producers of the series recently released a documentary-style special episode titled, Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.

This unique installment of the series centers around the character of Riley (Finn Douglas) who, while attending school remotely due to COVID-19, is tasked with creating a project about the most unforgettable person he’s ever met.

The creators of the acclaimed Amazon Video series 'After Forever' have released a special episode, 'Riley's Unforgettable School Project'

The special was shot remotely throughout the Fall of 2020 while the country continued the battle against COVID-19.

The creative team says they knew they couldn’t film Season 3 as intended due to COVID, but they wanted do something creative to keep the After Forever family and fans engaged. The producers plan to resume production on Season 3 once it’s safe to do so in late 2021.

Also, the GLAAD Media Awards recently announced the news that After Forever will be honored with a Special Recognition Award this year.

Join me as I chat with Kevin Spirtas about the new special Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, life imitating art, and more.

You can find After Forever on Amazon Prime video. For more info, check out the official website for the acclaimed series here.

Virtual Watch Party/Live Q&A Of 5-Time Emmy Winning ‘After Forever’

Join Outfest for a worldwide virtual live tweet watch party of Season 2 of the acclaimed digital series After Forever on Saturday, June 27, 2020 – 4:30 PM PST followed by a live Q&A at 6 PM PST with the cast and creators.

Outfest’s United in Pride is an inclusive platform that celebrates, elevates, and amplifies the voices of LGBTQ+ filmmakers, storytellers, and creators, in partnership with Billboard & The Hollywood Reporter’s Pride Summit and Film Independent’s Project Involve.

Watch at unitedinpridefest.com, or you can view the simulcast on social media @Outfest on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Season Two of the 5-time Emmy Award-winning drama series, After Forever, picks up 6 months after the end of Season One. Brian has a new relationship and a new job, but Jason is still very present in his life. The 8-episode season continues his and his friends’ journey of love, loss, and moving on.

Seasons one and two of After Forever are streaming now on Amazon Video.

Check out the trailer for Season Two below.

Daytime Emmy Noms Show Big Love For LGBTQ Series ‘After Forever’ & ‘Eastsiders’

Mitchell Anderson & Kevin Spirtas in ‘After Forever;’ the cast of ‘Eastsiders’ (images via Instagram)

The nominees for the 47th Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards were announced on Thursday with some big love to LGBTQ-themed work and artists.

The Netflix dark comedy Eastsiders scored 8 nominations including Outstanding Digital Drama Series, RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Willam Belli and Leith M. Burke each got a nod for Outstanding Supporting Actor Digital Series; Lin Shaye for Outstanding Guest Performer Digital Series; Outstanding Writing Team Digital Series; Outstanding Casting; Outstanding Costume Design; and Outstanding Makeup.

While RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Willam isn’t the first drag queen to receive an Emmy nod, I believe this is the first time a drag performer has received a nomination in an acting category.

The acclaimed Amazon Video digital series After Forever was honored with 6 nominations including Outstanding Digital Drama Series; Cady Huffman for Outstanding Lead Actress Digital Series; Lenny Wolpe for Outstanding Supporting Actor Digital Series; Mary Beth Peil for Outstanding Guest Performer Digital Series; Outstanding Writing Team Digital Series and Outstanding Art/Set Direction/Scenic Design.

This was the second season of the acclaimed Amazon series. Two years ago, After Forever received 8 nominations and won 5 including Best Digital Drama Series. Additionally, series creator Kevin Spirtas scored for Best Actor Digital Series and Best Writing Team.

 

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Mary Beth Peil on joining the cast of AFTER FOREVER in Season 2: “I think the series is quite impressive, not just the story that they are telling but every one of us can relate to losing people,” she added. “It establishes a tone that is very unique and hard to describe. It allows everything to unfold naturally.” Read all about it in @digitaljournal & catch up on the series available on Amazon. #lgbtcommunity #lgbtpride #awardwinning #lgbt #laindiefilmfest #iawtvawards #outonfilmatlanta #outonfilm #accoladecompetition #loveandloss #gay #gaypride #watchnow #bingewatching #bingewatch #gsff2019 #daytimeemmys #indieseriesawards #emmys #emmywinner #afterforevertheseries #amazonprime #bingenetworks #kevinspirtas #mitchellanderson #filmnyc #nyc #marybethpeil

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Afternoon talkfest The Ellen DeGeneres Show added to its long list of Emmy honors with 5 nominations including Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show, Outstanding Writing for a Special Class Series, Outstanding Directing for Talk/Entertainment/Morning Program, Outstanding Sound Mixing, Outstanding Art/Set/Scenic Design.

And the innovative lip-sync documentary Stonewall Outloud, which utilized rare recordings of people who experienced the Stonewall uprising in 1969, received a nod for Outstanding Direction – Special Class.

The honors will be presented in a two-hour special on Friday, June 26 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Since 1974, the Daytime Emmy® Awards have recognized outstanding achievement in daytime television programming. The awards are presented to individuals and programs broadcast between 2:00 am and 6:00 pm, as well as certain categories of digital and syndicated programming of similar content.

This year’s nominations were culled from more than 2,700 submissions and judged by a pool of 1,000 peer professionals from across the television industry.

Awards will be presented in leading categories during the telecast, with recipients and other special guests appearing from home in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can find the full list of nominees at TheEmmys.tv.

In case you missed it, you can check out my exclusive interview with the Emmy Award-winning co-creators of After Forever, Michael Slade & Kevin Spirtas, below.

Podcast: Chatting With Emmy Award Winning Creators Of ‘After Forever’

The cast of ‘After Forever’ (via Instagram)

Join me as I chat with the Emmy Award-winning creators of the Amazon Prime Video digital series, After Forever.

After Forever stars Kevin Spirtas (Dr. Craig Wesley on Days of Our Lives) and Mitchell Anderson (Doogie Howser, Party of Five) as a mid-life gay couple living in New York City who appear to have it all — until Jason’s untimely death forces Brian to think about his own future and ultimately his own mortality, without the love of his life.

As Brian puts his life back together, Jason periodically appears to help him focus on his new life and moving on, most notably with his new boyfriend.

Spritas co-created and co-wrote the series with acclaimed playwright Michael Slade.

After Forever also stars familiar faces from TV, film and Broadway stages like Colleen Zenk (As the World Turns), Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Anita Gillette (Chapter Two), Mary Beth Peil (Dawson’s Creek), and Tony Award winner Cady Huffman (The Producers).

The lauded series features a diverse group of characters who find their way through life’s constant changes, including relationships, love, and loss, in an often overlooked group – the mature gay man.

L-R Mitchell Anderson and Kevin Spirtas in ‘After Forever’

 

Season One of After Forever was nominated for 8 Emmy Awards and won five including Outstanding Digital Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Digital Drama Series, and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Season Two has already been nominated for 10 Indie Series Awards including Best Drama Series, Best Ensemble Drama Series and a slew of acting, writing and directing nods as well.

Hit play as I chat (and laugh) with two very talented men.

For more info about the show, click over to afterforevertheseries.com.

Sunday Slowdown: Kevin Spirtas “I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love”

I’ve always loved the Pete Allen/Carole Bayer Sager song, “I’d Rather Leave While I’m in Love.”

Rita Coolidge had something of a comeback with the tune in 1979 when she hit #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

My pal Kevin Spirtas shared this today and I had to hit repeat a few times.

I’ve written about Kevin on The Randy Report several times in the past.

While daytime fans know him from his years on Days of Our Lives as Dr. Craig Wesley, his most recent triumph was winning ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series’ for his performance in After Forever. He also won for ‘Outstanding Writing for a Digital Daytime Series’ and the top prize, ‘Outstanding Digital Drama Series.’

The Broadway veteran (A Chorus Line, The Boy From Oz, Meet Me In St. Louis) also sings and dances,  oh, just a bit LOL

Many folks may not know that Kevin was Hugh Jackman’s standby for the Broadway run of the Peter Allen bio-musical, The Boy From Oz.

You most probably don’t know that because Hugh never missed a performance, so Kevin never got the chance to step into his Peter Allen shoes. But trust and believe, he was ready.

This is just a taste of what audience MIGHT have gotten back then. Enjoy.

Amazon Series ‘After Forever’ Honored With 5 Daytime Emmy Awards

Kevin Spirtas and Mitchell Anderson in ‘After Forever’

UPDATE – Oh yes, After Forever won for Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series at tonight’s 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, bringing the total number of Emmy Awards to five!

Congratulations to the guy who had the idea from the beginning, newly-minted Outstanding Lead Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series, Kevin Spirtas!

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At the 2019 Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards last night at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, acclaimed LGBTQ-themed Amazon series After Forever picked up 4 Emmy Awards.

After Forever is the story of Brian and Jason, a 50-ish New York City gay couple, who have it all until they don’t. The 8-episode first season follows them and their friends through a journey of love, loss and moving on.

The series (with 8 nominations) won last night at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium for:

• Outstanding Lead Actor in a Digital Daytime Drama Series – Kevin Spirtas (Mitchell Anderson also nominated)

• Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Digital Daytime Drama Series – Erin Cherry (Cady Huffman also nominated)

• Outstanding Writing for a Digital Drama Series – Kevin Spirtas, Michael Slade

• Outstanding Directing for a Digital Drama Series – Jennifer Pepperman

Broadway veteran Anita Gillette was also nominated for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Daytime Drama Series

And its not over yet…

During the Sunday night broadcast of the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards, After Forever is nominated for Outstanding Digital Daytime Drama Series.

Last spring, I interviewed writer and lead actor Kevin Spirtas on the journey and evolution of After Forever. You can check out our chat below.

Find more info about the acclaimed digital series at the official website here.

Amazon’s “AFTER FOREVER” Nominated For 8 Daytime Emmy Awards

Kevin Spirtas & Mitchell Anderson in ‘After Forever’

Amazon Video’s AFTER FOREVER, the gay-themed series created by actor/producer/writer Kevin Spirtas and his creative partner, Michael Slade, has received a whopping eight 2019 Daytime Emmy Award nominations.

AFTER FOREVER is the story of Brian, played by Kevin Spirtas (Days of Our Lives) and Jason, played by Mitchell Anderson (Doogie Howser, Party of 5), a “50-ish” New York City gay couple, who have it all – until they don’t.

The 8-episode first season follows them and their friends through a journey of love, loss and moving on.

The series also features Tony Award winner Cady Huffman (Will Rogers Follies, The Producers), Tony Award nominee Anita Gillette (Chapter Two), and tons of TV & Broadway veterans like Jamison Stern, Jim Newman, Colleen Zenk and Michael Urie (Ugly Betty).

Jamison Stern & David Dean Bottrell

Speaking to The Advocate last year, Slade shared that the depiction of 35+ year-old gay men in series television has been missing in his estimation.

“We as gay men, after we’re no longer 35, we tend to disappear from popular culture until we’re Christopher Plummer — asexual down the hall with a cat,” Slade told The Advocate.

And co-creator Spirtas underscored the universality of the series’ love story.

“I think you can look at this story about love between two people and realize it’s two people anywhere,” said Spirtas. “It’s two men, it’s two women, it’s a male and a female, it’s older, it’s younger, it’s same age.”

The series’ 2019 Daytime Emmy nominations include:

• Nomination for Outstanding Digital Drama Series

• Nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Digital Drama Series: Michael Slade and Kevin Spirtas

• Two nominations for Outstanding Actor in a Digital Drama Series: Kevin Spirtas, Mitchell Anderson

• Two nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Digital Drama Series: Erin Cherry, Cady Huffman

• Nomination for Outstanding Guest Performer in a Digital Drama Series: Anita Gillette

• Nomination for Outstanding Director of a Digital Drama Series: Jennifer Pepperman

AFTER FOREVER was also honored with a writing nomination for Michael Slade & Kevin Spirtas last month at the 2019 Writers Guild Awards in the Original Short Form New Media category.

You can watch the first episode of the series here for free and check out my interview with co-creator and lead actor Kevin Spirtas below.

In related Daytime Emmy Awards news, veteran daytime drama actor Greg Rikaart picked up a 2019 Best Supporting Actor nomination as well for his work as “Leo Stark” on Days of Our Lives.

Already a Daytime Emmy Award winner for his longtime role as “Kevin Fisher” on The Young and the Restless, should the 42-year-old actor win, he would become the first to win Best Supporting Actor for a gay role, and the first openly gay actor to win for a gay role in any category.

The 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be held May 5 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Podcast: Kevin Spirtas Talks On His New Amazon Series, “After Forever”

Out actor/producer/writer Kevin Spirtas has spearheaded a new digital series set to premiere on Amazon Video April 24th titled, After Forever.

With a tag line that reads, “A story about love, loss and new beginnings,” the series chronicles the journey of a gay couple, their group of friends, and how they deal with the losses in their lives.

Kevin chats with me about After Forever in this episode of The Randy Report.

Fans know Kevin not only from his long-running role as “Dr. Craig Wesley” on Days of Our Lives, and films like the Friday the 13th series, but he’s also an Indie Series Award winner and garnered an Emmy nomination for his work on the digital series Winterthorne; plus there’s his many appearances on Broadway in hits like A Chorus Line, Hairspray, Meet Me In St. Louis and The Boy from Oz where he stood by for superstar Hugh Jackman.

He’s also had a second parallel career as a producer of projects like staged readings at the New York Shakespeare Festival (starring Meryl Streep no less!), and was on the producing teams that brought the Finian’s Rainbow revival as well as Priscilla Queen of the Desert to Broadway.

The series features also features terrific actors like Mitchell Anderson (Doogie Howser, Party of Five), Tony Award winner Cady Huffman (Will Rogers Follies, The Producers), Tony Award nominee Anita Gillette (Chapter Two), and tons of TV & Broadway veterans like Jamison Stern, Jim Newman, Colleen Zenk and Michael Urie (Ugly Betty).

For more info about the show, head to the official website AfterForeverTheSeries.com

After Forever stars Mitchell Anderson (L) and Kevin Spirtas (R)

Trailer: “After Forever”

Award-winning actor Kevin Spirtas teases “AFTER FOREVER – a series coming April 2018” and I’m totally intrigued.

The series stars Spirtas, Mitchell Anderson and featuring a cast that includes Cady Huffman, Jim Newman, Anita Gillette, Colleen Zenk and the oh-so-talented Jamison Stern.

The project was written by Spirtas and Michael Slade.

And that’s about the only info I have besides the trailer below.

I’m betting this is going to be fab.

Watch the trailer below and stay tuned.

HUSTLING – Season Three preview

Great web-series. If you haven’t been following, catch up on all three seasons here.

First look into the third season of the award winning series HUSTLING.

2013 Webby Award Honoree – Drama
Indie Series Award winning
BEST ACTOR – Sebastian La Cause
BEST ENSEMBLE

Starring
Sebastian La Cause, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gerald McCullouch, Jessica Press, Andrew Glaszek, Kevin Spirtas, Sharon Washington, Facundo Rodriguez, Monica Lawson, Robert Montano, Mara Davi, Marc Sinoway, Jamie Clayton, James Martinez, Jim Newman, Julies Carter