Jeff Kready’s Singing, Acting & Reading

Scarlett Strallen, Jeff Kready and Catherine Walker in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at the Walter Kerr Theatre, New York, 2015. Photo: Joan Marcus

Topeka native and currently starring in A Fine Bromance, Jeff Kready will sing for us during Music for a Sunday Afternoon, Feb 16, 3:30-5pm. This is a ticketed event and all tickets have been distributed, however, you can watch and listen to the performance on YouTube that will be live streamed during the event. In mid-January we learned of the large number of people planning to attend this event and determined the best way to avoid hundreds of people showing up who wouldn’t fit in the auditorium, was to offer free tickets. These tickets were promoted on social media and the library’s webpage. We are sorry for the inconvenience to those who didn’t get the word and missed an opportunity to get a ticket. It is nice to see so much interest in a hometown performer.

We learned about his thoughts on acting, singing, reading and the library

Tell us about your favorite Broadway moment.
I’ll never forget walking onto a Broadway stage for the first time in front of an audience. My knees felt weak, and even though all I had to do in that opening scene of Les Miserables was walk across the stage, it was terrifying. And exhilarating. And magical.

What song do you sing most at home?
Whatever my daughters are requesting for bedtime lullaby. Believe it or not, right now that’s Home on the Range. I sang Louise the Kansas state song on a whim a few weeks ago, and she’s asked for it daily ever since.

What book character is your favorite to read to your daughters?
My favorite book growing up was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, and I always cheer internally when the girls ask for it. Every page is a different character, so there are about 40 different voices required for optimal interpretation of the text. It’s an excellent acting exercise.

What books are on your nightstand?
I’m finishing 1984 right now. I picked it up because I’d never read it and thought it was one that I should. Though it began as a read out of obligation, it’s turning into a new favorite. Parts of it feel eerily apropos right now, especially the recurring declaration that “ignorance is strength.” Take that how you will.

Up next, and I can’t wait to get to it, is The Topeka School by Topeka High graduate Ben Lerner!

What books do you recommend?
New York by Edward Rutherford if you like historical fiction. I see the streets of the city so differently after having read that. A Prayer for Owen Meany is a book I could read a hundred times and never tire of. And Replay by Ken Grimwood is a beach read you’ll blow through,
I promise.

Do you have any memories of the library you’d like to share?
More than the library itself, I remember being excited to go to the bookmobile as a kid. I grew up in the southwest part of town, so having the bookmobile come to us was my experience with the library. As a kid I remember being in awe of this bus full of books, and as an adult I am proud of Topeka and Shawnee County for making sure a resource like that is available to the community.

Anything else you’d like to share?
I tell stories for a living. Through characters, through music, through movement and dance. Enjoying and telling stories are fundamental parts of being human, and books are the first way most of us experience that. Keeping our libraries relevant and strong is vital, so I’m proud to partner with my hometown library in a performance that I hope will inspire the next generation of storytellers.

You can see Kready’s extensive resumé on his website.

As the library’s communications editor Ginger helps spread the word about all the amazing library resources, services and staff. She loves reading fiction and is working to keep her TBR list under 120. Ginger is also a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters and a volunteer at Helping Hands Humane Society.