Shelby's Social Diary

Make 'em laugh: Houston TV star debuts as stand-up comic and raises big bucks for charity

Houston TV star debuts as stand-up comic and raises big bucks

Jenee Stefanakis, from left, Stephanie Perkins and Alicia Smith at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Chairs Jenee Stefanakis, from left, Stephanie Perkins and Alicia Smith at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Deborah Duncan at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Deborah Duncan performs at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts on her special night. Photo by Kim Coffman
Diane Schuur at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Diane Schuur performs at the concert with Deborah Duncan at Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Kim Coffman
Lester and Sue Smith at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Emcees Lester and Sue Smith at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Lucinda and Javier Loya at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Lucinda and Javier Loya at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Samantha Kennedy, left, and Warner Roberts at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Samantha Kennedy, left, and Warner Roberts at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Tyson and Tena Faust at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Tyson Faust and Tena Lundquist Faust at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Alp Gener and Tama Lundquist at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Alp Gener and Tama Lundquist at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Mary Ann and David McKeithan at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Mary Ann and David McKeithan at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Linda Lorelle and Lou Gregory at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Linda Lorelle and Lou Gregory at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Juan and Monica Alonso at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Juan and Monica Alonso at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Bill and Joanne Crassas at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Bill and Joanne Crassas at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Harry and Diane Gendel, from left, and Betty and Jess Tutor at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Harry and Diane Gendel, from left, and Betty and Jess Tutor at Deborah Duncan Unplugged. Photo by Kim Coffman
Wezy and Bobby Dees at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Wezy and Bobby Dees at "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged." Photo by Kim Coffman
Jenee Stefanakis, from left, Stephanie Perkins and Alicia Smith at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Deborah Duncan at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Diane Schuur at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Lester and Sue Smith at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Lucinda and Javier Loya at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Samantha Kennedy, left, and Warner Roberts at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Tyson and Tena Faust at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Alp Gener and Tama Lundquist at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Mary Ann and David McKeithan at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Linda Lorelle and Lou Gregory at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Juan and Monica Alonso at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Bill and Joanne Crassas at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Harry and Diane Gendel, from left, and Betty and Jess Tutor at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013
Wezy and Bobby Dees at Deborah Duncan Unplugged November 2013

The audience laughed. They cried. And they delivered standing ovations as the stars of "Deborah Duncan & Diane Schuur Unplugged" did their thing on stage at Zilkha Hall in the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

The benefit for the Mission of Yahweh raised more than $120,000 for homeless women and children while raising Duncan's profile from KHOU Channel 11 talk show host to songbird (but we knew that already) and now to comedienne. This was her first run at stand-up comedy and by all accounts, she was a pro. Duncan entertained with songs including "At Last" and "Put a Little Love in Your Heart." When Grammy Award-winner Schuur left her piano to sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" a cappella, she drew approving gasps and then tears from the full house.

Serving as emcees for the show were Sue and Lester Smith, the award-winning ballroom dancers who did a turn on stage to their theme song, "I Will Survive." They were introduced by Warner Roberts, a longtime supporter of the Mission of Yahweh.

The evening that began with cocktails and concluded with a post-concert cocktail reception for big donors was chaired by Stephanie Perkins, Alicia Smith and Jenee Stefanakis.

This stepping out of the comfort zone into comedy for Duncan was orchestrated by Paul-David Van Atta, who served as creator, producer and director.

Among those standing up for the stars were Lucinda and Javier Loya, Monica and Juan Alonso, Luba and Alan Bigman, Tena Lundquist Faust and Tyson Faust, Ericka Bagwell and Alex Klein, Anne Carl, Kim Moody, Joanne and Bill Crassas, Mary Ann and David McKeithan and Pam Lockard with Ron Sterlekar.

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