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Springwater Players deliver laughs with "Sundown Alley"

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Peggy Hartwig is Norma Desperate in the Springwater Player's production of Sunset Alley. The play opens March 11.

Film aficionados have seen the story of Norma Desmond in “Sunset

Boulevard.”

Now, the Springwater Players are offering Estacada audiences the opportunity to see the story of Norma Desperate in “Sundown Alley.”

This reimagining of the film, written by Tim Kelly, takes place in a small western town called Lizard Gulch, where retired actress Norma (Peggy Hartwig) has spent 40 years planning her return to the stage with a 15-act retelling of “Cinderella.”

Norma owns the Desperate Rooms Hotel and allows out-of-work actors to stay there at no charge, but as a requirement they are required to applaud whenever she enters a room.

Norma’s world becomes further complicated when the seedy Sly Vester (Greg Jeppeson) tricks her into thinking he’s a playwright who can put the finishing touches on her lengthy “Cinderella” play.

Director and grange master Tami Guttridge said she picked the play because of its comedic nature.

“When I’m reading through plays for us to do, I always ask, ‘Where’s the first joke?” she said. “We’ve never done anything serious before.”

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Sly Vester (Greg Jeppeson) and Delilah Dilly (Jessie Jo Guttridge) confront Billy the Goat (Vernon Sounders).

The group has enjoyed working on the play.

“Our belief is that it’s about having fun,” Tami Guttridge said. “If you’re not having fun, it’s time to move on.”

They’ve been working on the play since January, focusing on everything from character development to costume design.

“We find our own costumes and props,” Tami Guttridge said. “We all scavenge our houses for props.”

The group accepts actors of all ages and skill level.

“We take everybody we can find,” Tami Guttridge said. “We create parts and have extras if need be.”

The grange has hosted a play since 1994. They typically present comedies; past plays include “I Don’t Have a Clue” and “Frankenstein’s Guest.”

Every year, they also host a benefit performance for the Estacada Area Food Bank. They typically raise around $300 a year.

Jessie Jo Guttridge, who plays Sly Vester’s partner in crime Delilah Desdemonda Dilly, says “Sundown Alley” will amuse audiences.

“It’s a blast,” she said. “You’ll enjoy it.”

Tami Guttridge agrees.

“It is based on ‘Sunset Boulevard,’ but it’s a lot less tragic.”