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'Transformers' director takes five in Birmingham

Situated on our favorite perch for snooping by the front door of Bella Piatti in Birmingham on Tuesday, we hoped and waited for a celeb, any celeb, to make the popular walk from the tony Townsend Hotel directly across the street to the best nearby Italian cuisine. Well, before we could barely make a dent in our Carpaccio di Polipo, the commotion began. Two, then two more, then three gentlemen, all casually dressed, appeared at the door and were directed to a large table behind the restaurant’s semi-private chain mail curtain. We heard someone in the last group announce to someone in the first group, “He’ll be here soon.”

Within moments, a tall, thin, blond man wearing a good-looking brown leather jacket over a plaid shirt sauntered through the door. Our dinner companion said, “I’m pretty sure that’s filmmaker Michael Bay.” His assumption was confirmed when Nino Cutraro, who owns Bella Piatti with his wife, Elizabeth, greeted the man with a warm embrace, saying, “Welcome back, Michael.”

Bay and crew were in town making preparations for Paramount’s upcoming action sequel, “Transformers 5.” “Michael Bay and I met when he first came to Detroit to shoot ‘Transformers 4’ about three years ago,” Nino explained. “We’ve been friends ever since.” We asked Nino if we might see him in a cameo in the latest of Transformers. “I don’t know about that,” he snapped. “I had a nice speaking part in ‘Transformers 4.’ Every bit of it ended up on the cutting room floor. I don’t know if my ego can take that again.” “Transformers 5” will begin shooting in Detroit in a couple months.

A birthday, an AR-15, and teams of federal agents

TMZ got close, but it seems they missed the real story. The celebrity gossip show reported last week that R&B singer Ray J rolled into a Detroit club Thursday night with a security guard who was openly brandishing an AR-15 rifle. Well, it seems that this was just Ray J stunting in search of attention, knowing he wouldn’t get in trouble because of Michigan’s open carry law. But what they didn’t talk about is where Ray J was coming from, and what happened after he left.

Well, seems that Ray J came to Detroit to surprise the wife of the owner of his record label, BMB Records, with a serenade for her birthday during a private celebration at Detroit’s premier riverfront entertainment complex, the Roostertail. But, apparently, the real surprise came when the birthday girl’s husband (they call him Peanut) showed up at the party, ignoring the fact that there was allegedly a warrant for his arrest and that the feds were reportedly in active pursuit. All seemed to go well with Ray J singing and even Peanut making his surprise appearance until all the guests were leaving the premises and teams of federal agents swarmed down on the record executive on Jefferson Avenue where you exit the Roostertail. Oddly, there was a film crew shooting this entire incident. We can’t help but wonder if any of this was staged for a new movie, TV show or somebody’s hot new music video. Or is Mr. BMB really locked up somewhere in a federal cage?

Kimmie Horne all jazzed up for festival

Jazz/pop diva Kimmie Horne is currently appearing at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Pointe through Saturday night, but forget about trying to get a seat. It seems, says the club’s manager, Willie Jones, that Ms. Horne has made history at the Dirty Dog as the first artist to ever sell out every show, every night.

“And then they tell me there’s a long waiting list,” gushes a very excited and humbled Horne. She and her band have sold-out audiences at the Dirty Dog every spring for the last eight years. Kimmie urges those who miss the performances to join her this summer when she debuts the Kimmie Horne Jazz Festival in Lathrup Village. “We’re really looking forward to this,” she says. This is not just glorious music and outstanding performances, it is also a charity to benefit the young jazz musicians/singers in our community.” The Kimmie Horne Jazz Festival is scheduled from 4-10 p.m. Aug. 13.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of The Social Metro. Visit TheSocialMetro.com.

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