"Miracle on Easy Street": Holiday tradition returns
By GUY D’ASTOLFO
Like a glittering Christmas tree, “Miracle on Easy Street” will again be on display this weekend as it makes its annual return.
The festive holiday musical revue by Easy Street Productions has been performed for the past 24 years. It will be back on the Powers Auditorium stage for four shows this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Easy Street co-founders Maureen Collins and Todd Hancock will once again host the show, with a giant and colorful cast of dancers plus a musical ensemble.
As always, Easy Street will rotate in some new high-energy numbers to keep the show fresh.
But a big part of the fun is the familiarity.
“The beauty of the show is that it essentially stays the same,” said Hancock. “After 24 years, I think most people return because of the show’s consistency, rather than the things we add or change. Whether we do “Silver Bells” instead of “My Favorite Things” really doesn’t matter. I think it’s the overall quality of the performers, dance routines and musicians that has made the show an annual tradition for so many people.”
That being said, Hancock noted that one of his favorite new numbers added this year is a tribute to Andy Williams by singing siblings Eric McClellan, James McClellan and Janeen Williams.
This year’s “Miracle” will feature the biggest cast ever, with more than 140 singers, dancers and Little Rascals youth performers.
Musical director Jeff Sanders will return with an expanded Easy Street Little Big Band.
Dancers from studios throughout the Mahoning Valley will perform routines in a variety of styles, including tap, jazz and hip hop by the show’s choreographer, Megan Cleland.
Returning regular cast members include Colleen Chance, Katy Collins, Candace Campana, Layla Harrison, Gina Martini and Rosie Jo Neddy.
Easy Street’s Christmas CD, “Believe in Miracles: The Best of Miracle on Easy Street,” featuring more than 20 seasonal favorites, will be available for purchase in the lobby at all shows. It also can be purchased online at easystreetshows.com.