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Millvale comedian to headline Shaler North Hills Library event | TribLIVE.com
North Hills

Millvale comedian to headline Shaler North Hills Library event

The Associated Press
| Wednesday, August 14, 2013 9:23 p.m
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Linda Duty
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Tyrone McKelvia
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Sharon Daly

Linda Duty will return to the stage that launched her career as a professional stand-up comedian at Shaler North Hills Library’s Laugh Out Loud comedy event this month.

Five years ago, Duty of Millvale was diagnosed with uterine cancer that had almost reached the stage 4 level.

She survived six months of harsh treatment and after she was cancer-free, she experienced “six months of fearlessness.”

“I had a gut feeling it wasn’t going to last forever, so I started doing things I always wanted to do but had been afraid — Stand-up comedy was one of them,” Duty said.

Duty performed at a talent show at First United Church of Christ in Millvale, at the Etna Borough talent show and even at a benefit for Gilda’s Club Western Pennsylvania, which provides support for people with cancer and those who care about them.

The day after Duty took the stage at the Laugh Out Loud event last year, she got a call from an agent.

“That’s the venue that took me out of talent shows and churches and put me on real stages,” Duty said of the library’s show. “If not for that night, I don’t think I would have gone professional.”

Duty will take the stage with two other comedians, Tyrone “Ty Mac” McKelvia and Sharon Daly, in an encore performance of the popular comedy fundraiser the library hosted last year.

In 2012, Laugh Out Loud featured more than 10 comics and drew an audience of 500 people at Shaler Area Middle School.

“People still talk about that program and ask, ‘When are you doing another comedy night?’” library director Sharon McRae said.

“This is kind of Laugh Out Loud mini.”

This year’s smaller venue of the library community room will accommodate about 150 people and feature just three comedians for an adults-only show. The show is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23.

“We wanted to have a smaller venue giving the comics a little longer length of time to feature their work,” McRae said.

Daly, of Pittsburgh’s Greenfield neighborhood, got into stand-up comedy as a result of a bet she made with a friend to take a class on the discipline through the Community College of Allegheny County’s Allegheny Campus.

The first time she stood up in front of her class, she cried out of fear, but she stuck with it, and by the time the class had its graduation ceremony with a performance at the Rex Theater on Pittsburgh’s South Side, she was receiving laughs.

Daly said she focuses on everyday family humor and loves to brighten others people’s days by making them laugh.

“I love doing benefits because you’re dealing with people who want to be entertained, and it goes to a good cause,” Daly said. “People just want to have fun, laugh and have a good time. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Veteran performer McKelvia, of Swissvale, has 26 years of experience performing under the name Ty Mac.

He got bit by the stand-up comedy bug during an open-mic night at a Pittsburgh club and since has opened for comedians such as Tony Roberts, Eddie Griffin, Cedric the Entertainer and even Sinbad, if McKelvia “goes way back there.”

He has headlined shows around Pittsburgh; Wheeling, W.Va.; and Boston and now mentors new comedic talent and helps book comedians through his entertainment company.

McKelvia will step on the library’s stage with his brand of “twisted inner-city humor” and share the stories of the “comedy (that) is all around us,” he said.

“I’m looking for that God blesses all of us to have a good turnout and people are well entertained with laughter because that’s a language we all recognize, laughter,” McKelvia said.

McKelvia said he also is looking forward to supporting the library.

A portion of the proceeds will go toward funding the library’s programming, and, McKelvia said, he also will donate 50 percent of any sales of his CDs or DVD to the library.

“It’s a beautiful cause I’m blessed to be a part of,” he said.

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

Categories: North Hills
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