, Salem, MA


April 25, 2013

Wicked funny gal

Comedy tour comes to North Shore Music Theatre

BEVERLY — Kelly MacFarland could always find the humor in almost any situation.

“I was always making people laugh,” she said. “A trip to get a cup of coffee — I could make that into something hilarious. It’s just looking at things from a different perspective, and making it obvious.”

Early last Friday would be an exception, however, when MacFarland was locked down in her Watertown apartment and listened as the Tsarnaev brothers — alleged bombers of last Monday’s Boston Marathon — exchanged gunfire with police.

“I was petrified, it was so close by,” she said. “I could hear the officers, which made it even worse. I spent a good 45 minutes crouched down in a safe place in my apartment.”

As one of four comics in the Wicked Comedy Tour this Saturday at North Shore Music Theatre, in a show to benefit North Shore Elder Services, MacFarland will try to bring a smile back to everyone’s lips.

She has appreciated comedy’s double-edged ability to harm or heal from an early age.

“I remember my mother saying, ‘That mouth is a gift, but it’s also going to get you in trouble,’” she said. “When you think a 4-year-old might have that as their earliest conversation — how fast-talking is this little jokester?”

The potential for comedy to alienate, as well as entertain, may stem from its origins in a comic’s own insecurities.

“Everybody has got this baggage,” MacFarland said. “Mine was, I’m 5 feet tall. I have the curves of a 5-foot-8 woman, squashed down into this sexy garden gnome of a body. To deflect that, I started using humor.”

MacFarland has mastered her gift over time, and far more people have been amused than offended by her shows. Indeed, if anyone was ever bothered when MacFarland got onstage, it was the comic herself, who battled stage fright in her early years as a performer.

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