August 1, 2014 at 1:00 am

Society Confidential: Detroit in the Hamptons

Jocelyn Allen, left, Susan Taylor, National CARES Mentoring Mov ement founder and editor-in-chief emeritus of Essence Magazine, Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design, and Vivian Pick ard, president of the GM Foundation, at 'Cadillac Conversations.' (Kenny Rodriguez / Cadillac)

Detroit in the Hamptons

Several Metro Detroiters converged on the Hamptons on the weekend for a variety of celebrations and causes. The main event was Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s “Art for Life” benefit. With Cadillac as a major sponsor, several GM honchos were on hand, including diversity director Jocelyn Allen, who celebrated her birthday at the Southhampton home of New York sommelier Judia Black (party planner Curb Gardner had the lamb chops flown in from Detroit’s Eastern Market because “they’re the best in the country”). Ed Welburn, GM chief of global design, hosted an intimate birthday dinner party for his friend, Jessie Elliott, at the Hamptons home of producer Ken Lipper, and Susan L. Taylor of Essence Magazine hosted a brunch at her home dubbed “Cadillac Conversations” — a discussion hosted by Allen with a panel that included Welburn, Taylor and GM Foundation President Vivian Pickard. The GM Foundation presented $25,000 checks over the weekend: one to Rush Philanthropic, and the other to Susan Taylor’s CARES Mentoring Movement.

Broadway salutes Elaine Stritch

That irascible, one-of-a-kind Broadway baby, the late Elaine Stritch, will be celebrated Thursday in the city where the Detroit native had her biggest triumph, New York, with “Remembering Elaine Stritch,” at the Metropolitan Room at 34 W. 22nd Street. Stritch died July 17, at age 89, in her Birmingham home. A slew of Broadway stars are slated to pay homage to Stritch by singing many of her best-known numbers from Broadway, including “The Ladies Who Lunch” and “Why Do the Wrong People Travel?” Among the performers: Annaleigh Ashford (“Kinky Boots,” “You Can’t Take It With You”), Pia Zadora, Natalie Douglas, N’Kenge (she played Mary Wells in “Motown: The Musical”), Marquise Neal (“Kinky Boots”) and Christopher Borger (“The Lion King”).

Jimmy Buffett's Italian pursuit

After his Saturday Comerica Park concert, singer/song-writer Jimmy Buffett had plans to jet to Europe to cruise around Sicily. So while he was staying here — at Birmingham’s Townsend Hotel — Buffett got into the Italian mood early by heading over to Bella Piatti. It happens that Bella Piatti owner Nino Cutraro hails from Sicily, so after Buffett consumed a large plate of linguine con vongole, chatted with diners and posed for photos, he chatted with Cutraro for hours about all the cool places he should visit.


Jazz/funk keyboard player Brian Culbertson donated 30 tickets to his Aug. 6 Chene Park concert to Detroit Police and Detroit Fire department personnel. Culbertson explained why: His wife, Michelle, saw the Detroit episode of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” and learned from it about the city’s problems with arson. “We both were touched by this story, and since her father is a police officer in the Chicago area, it really hit home,” Culbertson said. “We wanted to do something for these brave men and women who risk their lives every day.”

Singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett gets tips on where to go when visiting ... (Bella Piatti)