facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

A ‘Miracle’ in the making? Easy Street hits comeback trail



Published: Thu, September 30, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Easy Street Productions has been part of the local theater landscape for decades. It even gave Youngstown a Christmas tradition with its annual “Miracle on Easy Street” show.

But the troupe known for its extravagant musicals never fully realized the place it holds in the city’s heart until recently.

Easy Street, as most know, was hit hard with a double whammy last year. A bad economy and some poorly attended shows sunk it deeply into debt. Then co-founder Todd Hancock had a minor stroke in December that laid him up for months.

For a while, it looked like Easy Street had come to a dead end.

But then word got out about the company’s plight ... and the outpouring of support and appreciation that came from the community inspired Hancock and his partner, Maureen Collins, to get Easy Street back on its feet.

The company has mounted an effort to do just that, with fundraisers, workshops and a new CD. And oh yes — “Miracle on Easy Street” will definitely return for the 22nd-straight year in December.

In short, the comeback is under way.

But things didn’t always look so optimistic.

“Believe me, for months as I was recovering [from the stroke] and wondering where the money was going to come from to pay the bills — let alone not knowing if I’d even be able to sing again — it was easy to think about just giving up,” said Hancock.

“But something unexpected happened after your column came out at the end of April. People wouldn’t let us give up. Dancers, actors, musicians, parents, Little Rascals ... even all the way up to Mayor Williams offered words of encouragement. So, long story short, even though it was the first spring in the past 22 years without an Easy Street musical, we decided to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and try to figure out a way over the summer to dig ourselves out.”

(Hancock is referring to a column I wrote in this space that alerted the public to the company’s dire situation.)

First, two “friends of the arts” stepped up and gave Easy Street some breathing room. Their financial gift allowed the troupe to keep its doors open for a few more months.

“Most of our creditors had enough faith to bank on an Easy Street comeback by not turning us over to collection and are to this day still patiently watching us chip away at what we owe,” said Hancock.

Easy Street launched a fund-raising campaign, selling “I [heart] EZ ST” T-shirts at festivals. It also doubled the amount of workshops it presents — and was subsequently amazed by the turnout.

An Easy Street Cut-A-Thon will take place at Raphael’s School of Beauty, 615 Boardman-Canfield Road, from 1 to 7 p.m. Oct. 11, with $5 haircuts, giveaways and other hoopla.

A new Christmas CD (“The Best of Miracle on Easy Street”) also is being recorded. The 20-song disc will be available by Thanksgiving at Easy Street’s studio at 865 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown, and at “Miracle” shows Dec. 17, 18 and 19 at Powers Auditorium.

For more information on any of the above, or to purchase tickets for any of the four performances of “Miracle on Easy Street” (which go on sale Friday), call 330-743-8555 or go to easystreetshows.com.


Comments

1DOLE2(594 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Off Off Off Off Broadway! Below average over rated small town high school musicals.......

Suggest removal:

2reneejrogers(1 comment)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for such a great and positive article regarding Easy Street Productions and their efforts to move forward as a company.

Suggest removal:

3DOLE2(594 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Thank you so much for promoting this poor excuse for entertainment.this area thinks just becouse they own a stage and a few lights they are talented.Move forward as a company? They are only successfull in stealing your money under the guise of a real show......step right up you morons....

Suggest removal:

4Jenerick13(5 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Thank you for the positive article on Easy Street. We are so glad to see they are their way back up! Our daughter was fortunate enough to be in "Miracle" last year and it was a wonderful opportunity. Anyone who knows anything about the arts, knows it was a first class performance and Maureen & Todd are two of the most talented and kind people in this area. We will continue to support Easy St, keep those workshops coming! Too DOLE2... you are a JERK... jeolous maybe? Audition and not make the cut? Fortunately as you've proven, there is no talent needed to comment on vindy! To Maureen & Todd.. we love you & support you!!

Suggest removal:


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes | Pittsburgh International Airport