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Home for the Holidays 

A Topeka Native Son Creates a Broadway-Style Holiday Show for his Hometown

Get ready for a holiday show for the whole family featuring one of Topeka’s own!  Straight from Broadway to TPAC, CoreFirst Bank and Trust presents, The Kready Holiday Spectacular! This isn’t just any old holiday show. This is a show created specifically for Topeka by a Topeka native. Jeff Kready and his wife Nikki Renée Daniels live in New York City where they perform in Broadway shows and sing with symphonies across the country. But Jeff was raised in the Golden City, and though he’s been away for 16 years, he has decided to bring a little bit of the Big Apple back home. 

“I have always wanted to create something for Topeka,” Jeff said. “I’ve been back a few times to perform over the years with the Topeka Festival Singers or with the Topeka Symphony, but the more concerts that Nikki and I do, the more I just thought, ‘We've done enough concerts. We know how to do them well. Let’s do one for Topeka.’ I feel like this is my opportunity to give something back.”

 Jeff attended Washburn Rural and remembers his high school years fondly. “Topeka  was such a great place to grow up in the arts because it was so supportive.” Between community theaters, church choirs, and high school music and theater, Jeff found ample opportunities to perform. He enjoyed performing so much he decided to major in music education at Washburn University. “I really wanted to be a high school music teacher, but the year I graduated, there wasn’t a single high school choir position open in the entire state of Kansas, so I taught at Randolph and Whitson Elementary schools for a year.” 

 His girlfriend at the time, who was an aspiring actress, was finishing college and invited him to audition for summer stock with her. “I got cast at a tiny theater in the middle of nowhere in Sullivan, Illinois,” he shared. “I was working 14-15 hour days, with one day off every two weeks. I even had to clean the toilets. It was brutal. But I absolutely loved it!” he laughed. He loved it so much that he quit his teaching job and then went to his very first New York City audition and got cast in Les Misérables. As fate would have it, he met his wife, Nikki, while performing in that first show. The two, now with 17 Broadway shows between them, share two daughters who will also be performing in the holiday spectacular. 

While in town promoting the concert Jeff made trips to all six of the public high schools in town to invite all of the music students to join the Shawnee Choral Society for the performance. “I remember when I was in high school and I had opportunities to perform on bigger stages or with people who had been places and done things,” Jeff said. “It just meant the world to me.” 

As executive producer, Jeff said his goal is to bring holiday cheer to the whole family. “I wanna make this an event. I wanna make this something that is special, not just for my family, but for lots of families,” Jeff shared. “We're gonna have musicians from the Topeka Symphony Orchestra, a big choir, the core of which will be the Shawnee Choral Society. We’ll have Countryside United Methodist Puppets, the Laudate Ringers Handbell Choir, there’s something for the entire family!” Even Santa Claus will be on hand to take pictures after the concert! Plus, VIP ticket holders get access to a cast party and a free copy of Nikki’s solo CD, Home. “We just wanna make it a party.” he said. “It's going to be unforgettable!” 

Get your tickets to see this one-of-a-kind holiday extravaganza at One performance only -  Friday, December 23rd, 6:30 PM in the Georgia Neese Grey auditorium at TPAC. Join the Kready family and start a new holiday tradition with your family! 


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