Society Confidential: Alice Cooper and friends out and about in Metro Detroit

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News
From left, Bella Piatti owner, Nino Cutraro with legendary rocker Alice Cooper, music producer Bob Ezrin, and Mark Farner from Grand Funk Railroad.

Alice Cooper making the rounds in Metro Detroit

In a quest for awesome Italian food in Michigan, rock legend Alice Cooper popped into Bella Piatti in Birmingham Tuesday night. Known as the pioneer of “Shock Rock” (his career has spanned 50 years), Cooper is in town laying down some tracks to new music. His dining companions were Grand Funk Railroad frontman and guitarist Mark Farner and Bob Ezrin, who is among the most successful producers of the 1970s, helming hit albums for acts including Alice Cooper, Kiss and Pink Floyd. Nino Cutraro, who owns Bella Piatti with his wife, Elizabeth, sat with the rockers for a moment as they enjoyed linguine and clams. Before leaving, they graciously stopped to take photos and sign autographs for many of the other diners. Cooper was spotted at San Marello in the Shinola Hotel the next day.

Retired Red Wings player, Darren McCarty does stand-up comedy.

Comedy series kicking off at the Strand

The Flagstar Strand Theatre in Pontiac is presenting “Stand UP at the Theatre” sponsored by St. Joseph Mercy Oakland. It is a three-show comedy series featuring headlining comedians mixed with local performers. The first show kicks off March 23 with America’s Got Talent winner Paul Zerdin. But here’s the kicker, opening the show will be none other than Detroit Red Wings icon Darren McCarty, who was brought in by 7 Stone Management Agency to partner with Flagstar Strand Theater on the Comedy Show series. "It's a great way for me to say thank you and stir up some nostalgia that we have all lived though," says McCarty. Kevin Zeoli, will also open as part of the Slapstick Comedy Tour. Other upcoming shows include comedians Ryan Hamilton (April 20) and Tom Cotter (May 4).  Tickets range from $25 - $45 for the Zerdin show. For more information, visit

Recording artist Apropos performs at Empty Bowls fundraiser.

Empty Bowls fundraiser fills up diners

More than 1,100 people filled Eastern Market Shed 5 for Empty Bowls Detroit on March 8, raising $155,000 for the food program at Cass Community Social Services. Notable “Celebrity Soup Servers” included Huel Perkins, Monica Gayle, Roop Raj, Sherry Margolis, Taryn Asher – all from Fox 2 News – former Detroit Lions Scott Conover, Oakland Basketball Head Coach Greg Kampe, Apparatus Room manager Bob Lambert, and some 50 other local newspaper, magazine, radio and television show hosts. Guests adored the Winter Vegetable Soup from The Apparatus Room, Butternut Squash (with pepperoni!) from Grey Ghost, and Pasta e Fagioli from Shewolf Pastificio & Bar. America’s Got Talent quarterfinalist Olivia Millerschin and Detroit band A Man Named Hooper opened the evening’s entertainment before international recording artist Apropos dazzled guests as he closed out the night.