The Ridenours knew Elizabeth belonged in the musical “Annie.” So they dragged their indecisive teenager with them to auditions at Lake City Playhouse and snagged leading roles for most of the family.
Elizabeth, a dynamic 17-year-old with bouncy blonde hair and pouty lips, will play the floozy Lily.
“She has a big personality, a big voice and she’s a good dancer,” says Steve, Elizabeth’s dad. “The part was made for her.”
Elizabeth’s sister, Katy, who’s 10, was picked for Annie. Steve won the role of Daddy Warbucks. Oldest sister Stephanie, a leggy, 20-year-old model, will sing in the chorus and play small parts. Steve’s wife, Vickey , will help with costumes, hair and makeup.
“None of us are pushed into it,” Stephanie says. “It’s just something we all like to do.”
Elizabeth led her clan onto the stage as a third-grader. The family sang at home and at church. Steve was a rock ‘n roller with his own band in high school. He also sang in the shower.
“I’ve always told the girls they’re Ridenours, so they sing,” he says, smiling at the young women sprawled on the stage before him.
Steve’s daughters had no trouble cajoling him into auditioning for a role in “Cinderella” two years ago. His soap opera-star good looks and warm baritone won him the part of king. He shared the stage with Elizabeth and Katy.
“It was nice for me having him there for my first play,” says Katy. “He’s a good dad.”
“Annie” has been a Ridenour favorite for 10 years. At auditions last month, Katy wowed her family by belting out a song like a pro. Steve thought she was more timid.
“I wanted the part, so I didn’t hold back,” she says.
Neither did Steve. He wanted the role opposite his youngest daughter and he got it. He may have to shave off his bountiful hair for the part, which makes his daughters groan, but it’s worth it to him.
“I just like singing with the girls,” he says, returning the complete approval in their eyes. “I’m really proud of my children.”
All booked up
Coeur d’Alene’s Robert Singletary is making history pay. He’s compiled a year’s worth of articles he wrote on Kootenai County’s history into a 52-page book, “Kootenai Chronicles.”
No boring history lesson is this. Robert has liberally sprinkled through the book great historical photos from the Museum of North Idaho.
He’ll sign and sell copies of his book for $10, 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the museum and donate most of his earnings to the museum. What a way to benefit from history.
When Sandpoint’s Bill and Jean Litsinger needed a draftsman, folks pointed them to Merle Ames, a retired builder. The referral not only brought the Litsingers a fine draftsman, it introduced them to two inspiring people.
Merle and his wife, Doris, married 55 years ago, raised two children of their own, then helped dozens of wayward boys and a teenage girl through high school as foster parents in Sandpoint. Merle taught the kids carpentry and inspired many to go into building and architecture.
“I have made two of the finest friends I’ve ever known and truly believe that even though they may be classified as completely deaf, they hear more than most,” write the Litsingers.
If you appreciate your neighbors, tell them. Then tell us what makes them so interesting or great. If there’s someone out there worthy of Neighbor of the Year, we’ll speed a “Close to Home” T-shirt his or her way.
Toot your neighbor’s horn to Cynthia Taggart, “Close to Home,” 608 Northwest Blvd., Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814; fax to 765-7149; or call 765-7128.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: ‘ANNIE’ Lake City Playhouse’s production of “Annie” opened Thursday. It’ll run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Aug. 20. Call 667-1323 for tickets.