OPINION - Kiki times two makes a perfect match

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Late last winter when I saw the cast list for the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s three main stage musicals for this summer I knew I had to play matchmaker. At Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre we provide housing for the professional actors brought in from around the country. Some in “actors houses” we rent for the season and some are hosted by local patrons.

When I saw that the actor cast in the lead role of Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde: The Musical” was Kiki Burns, coming in from Elin University in North Carolina, I knew that Kiki Miller would be the perfect host match, even beyond the two sharing a first name. Kiki Miller’s talented son Oskar Owens is in New York where he’s studying theater arts. Oskar acted in children’s theater, with the drama club at Lake City High School and in local community theater before heading to the Big Apple following high school.

So Kiki was an empty nester theater mom. Perfect. Well, not only did Kiki offer her home to host Kiki Burns for five weeks but she also opened her home to John Devereaux and Devin Hall, two L.A.-based actors performing in “Legally Blonde.”

From all accounts and personal observation, it’s been a winning match. One of the reasons Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre has been around for 51 years is the incredible community support in a variety of ways. Our actors’ host families are one of the unseen acts of generosity in support of the performing arts.

So if you attend a performance of “Legally Blonde” in the end of its run this week, you’re sure to see at least one Kiki, but more likely two. One on the stage absolutely owning the role of Elle Woods and the other in the audience cheering for her “kids” on the stage.

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Reader Don Murrell of Coeur d’Alene shared some history of Little League Baseball. His family moved from Post Falls to California in the late 1950s and that’s where he first played Little League. When the Murrells moved back to Post Falls in 1961 there wasn’t a Little League program in the area, so Don played for Gridley Investment in the Coeur d’Alene Rec League.

The following year, 1962, Post Falls, Rathdrum, Spirit Lake, Dalton Gardens and Hayden started a Little League program. According to Don, Coeur d’Alene didn’t participate in Little League until years later.

Don finished his Little League career with Post Falls in 1963. In 1968, as a teen, he was invited to play American Legion baseball by Red Halpern, Coeur d’Alene’s legendary recreation director, because Post Falls didn’t have this program.

Like Mike Shepperd in last week’s column, Don recalls that one of his American Legion baseball teammates was Mike Webb. Their coach? A young Charlie Nipp.

And speaking of Mike Shepperd, he did make it to the Coeur d’Alene Little Leaguers’ first game in the world series on Friday, rain delay and all. He sat with the Coeur d’Alene fans and the family of team manager Sean Cherry.

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Mike and Kathleen Kennedy made a four-day, 1,148 mile long, 18 hours behind the wheel road trip this past week, seeing the state from top to bottom, east to west. The Kennedys, like thousands of parents, were dropping children off at college. Maggie Kennedy is starting her freshman year at Boise State and Nora is returning to Idaho State University in Pocatello for her junior year.

Mike and Kathleen are likely to be repeating this ritual several more times before all of their offspring leave the nest!

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Since 8/8/18 fell on a Saturday, there were weddings galore. Smokey skies not withstanding, remembering your anniversary date will be a snap for all of these happy newlyweds.

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Things to Do:

Nothing signals the swan song of summer like the North Idaho State Fair and Gem State Stampede, which opens today and runs through Sunday. We’re fortunate to have so many who are dedicated to celebrating the farmers, ranchers, crafters, gardeners, bakers and artisans who are our neighbors. A special nod to all of the 4-H kids and their families who’ve worked so hard on their projects and who make such a committment to participate.

Final week of Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s “Legally Blonde, the Musical” at the Kroc Center, Wednesday through Sunday. www.cdasummertheatre.com.

On Thursday Movie Night in the Park with “Coco” showing at dusk in McIntire Family Park, Hayden.

The Kootenai County Police and Memorial Foundation’s 13th annual golf tournament at Avondale. Check in 7:30 a.m., shotgun start at 9:30 a.m.

Saturday is the eighth annual Post Falls Police Department’s Cops & Kids open house and car show, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 1717 E. Polston Ave.

Sunday, Full Moon Bike Ride with pre-ride festivities at Slate Brewing Company, 1710 N. Fourth St. in Coeur d’Alene with ride starting at 9 p.m.

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Happy birthday today to Brett Seright, Leanne Campbell, Mary Gomer, Cathy Smith, David Walrath, Cecilia Peterson and Lilliana Raynor; and tomorrow to Art Flagan, Beth Dagastine, Debbie Berger, Eileen Mann, Bobby Bunch, Donnie Goodnature and Rod Robins. Friday Karen Sorbel (60!), Mike Dodge, Linda Fox, Lori Chissie, Sarah Rasmussen and Eric Burgeson celebrate. Taking another trip around the sun on Saturday are Jeff Selle, Ali Shute, Angie Penzkover, Rhonda Budvarson, Staci Anderson, Cindi Carlson, Mack Mannschreck and Lydia Myers. Putting on their party hats on Sunday are Sofia Armstrong, Andrew Evenson, Pam Grenny, Cam Crollard, Juilianne Rinard, Perry Peterson, Warren Bakes, Irene Watkins, Troy Blood, Lita Balbin and Phil Higgs. Silda Pollard turns 96 years young on Monday, sharing the day with Jan Berry, Peggy Sawicki, Ed Mitchell, Mike Wood and George Forgacs. On Tuesday Freya Jensen, Jack Reiswig, Marissa Leupold, Steve Slaney, Michelle Garcia, Dirk Scott, Samantha Dirks, Becky Fletcher, Darlene Johnson, Judy DeTar, Karen Huber, Laurie Sutton, Loretta Richards, Pearl Brown and Spencer Messina blow out the birthday candles. Best wishes on Aug. 29 to Jeannie Peugh, who shares the date with Ashley Smart, Stacey Holley, Randy Marmon, Cindy Foulk, Bob Myklebust, Lori Barker, Cody Jewell, Merle Bartlett and Arvada Schmacher.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. She’s Executive Director of Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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