YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Easy Street Productions has its busiest week of the year ahead, preparing for its biggest show. While it does, there’s a story changing the script and touching people’s hearts.
One of Miracle on Easy Street’s main performers needs a miracle himself.
Maureen Collins handled the direction of setting the stage Monday while Todd Hancock battles a health issue.
“I’m telling you, I went to start moving the scenery this morning and within 20 minutes, I was dead tired,” he said.
Hancock has had a feeling something was off physically since the Guys and Dolls show in February.
Multiple tests didn’t show much until a heart catheterization revealed up to 90% blockage in some arteries.
Hancock knew he couldn’t perform with his usual energy and decided to step back from the show.
“People, I hope, will notice that I’m not there but they’re certainly not going to be shortchanged as far as the show goes,” he said.
Hancock and Collins have no backups.
“It’s heartbreaking. We really are a team,” Collins said.
The show has been slightly rearranged — a few songs added and Collins will sing the Grinch song in Hancock’s place.
This would have been the 31st year the two have performed the show together.
“To see somebody you’ve been loving for so many years hurting and afraid of what’s coming, that’s not fun,” Collins said.
Hancock told the cast about his health. He’s scheduling a triple bypass surgery after the show ends.
He hopes there might be a chance he could sneak onstage and do a small performance, but he isn’t counting on it.
“It doesn’t require me to be out there to make this work,” Hancock said. “It’s going to work and maybe be better than ever.”
He admitted it will be difficult to watch and not be on stage. He’s performed sick but never missed a show due to illness.
“If you want to send me a get well card, forget it. Don’t buy flowers, buy a ticket to the show. That’s how you can tell me that you support Easy Street,” Hancock said.
Collins’ mother passed away on the show’s closing day years ago and the show went on through tears.
They believe the cast will unite over this incident.
Tickets are still available. You can buy them by calling 330-744-0264 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You can also buy them online.