CHUCK BENNETT

SC: Wahlberg’s friends attend movie premiere in style

Chuck Bennett

Mark Wahlberg’s friends attend movie premiere in Toronto in style

Seems that being friends and business partners with actor Mark Wahlberg certainly has its perks. Just ask Nino Cutraro of Bloomfield Hills, who is Mark’s partner in Wahlburgers in Greektown. Earlier this week, Cutraro and his wife, Liz, (they own Bella Piatti in Birmingham), as the guests of Wahlberg, jetted off to Toronto to attend the world premiere of his latest film, “Deepwater Horizon,” at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“It was very cool,” Nino says. “We rode in the SUV with Mark. Got dropped off in front, walked the red carpet and sat on the mezzanine, along with the other celebrities.”

Some of the celebs in attendance, rubbing elbows with the Cutraros, were actress Gina Rodriguez, retired hockey great Tie Domi, and heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis.

Sophia Loren offers unforgettable moments

Patrick Rugiero (his family owns Antonio’s and Roman Village) is ecstatically checking a major item off of his bucket list. On Wednesday night, not only did he see legendary actress Sophia Loren in person on stage, he had a chance to meet her and spend some quality time. Sophia, as beautiful, charming and gracious as ever, appeared at the Detroit Opera House in “An Evening With Sophia Loren.”

“I’ve always loved her,” admits Patrick, who attended the show with his mother (Enrica “Mama Rita” Rugiero), and brother Anthony. “Like most red-blooded American boys, for me, she always has and always will represent the epitome of womanhood.”

The evening started with Joe Vicari of Andiamo Restaurant Group (they brought the show to town), presenting a check to the Opera House for $10 grand. Then the evening’s host/commentator, Hollywood reporter Bill Harris, walked Loren out to the stage. It was one of those unforgettable moments in life. Unfortunately, there was a horrible glitch in the sound, paired with Loren’s heavy Italian accent, making it very difficult to grasp the magnitude of the occasion.

“Yes, the sound was an issue for a moment, but for me, just seeing her was all I needed,” Rugiero continues. “And when I was given the opportunity to spend time with her in conversation after the meet-and-greet, well let’s just say dreams can come true.”

Glass half full for Jason Brown

PR Guy Jason Brown (he owns PublicCity PR) was over the moon last month when a client asked him to go to New York City to help support an event. As fate would have it, however, a few weeks later, his client canceled the NYC event.

So instead of canceling the trip, he turned it into another business opportunity. He met with Jessica Cohen, aka “The Product Agent” (she finds product placements on TV shows and movies). “Most recently, Jessica helped us get a product from one of our clients — UglyChristmasSweater.com — on ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ” Brown says. “We talked a little business and had a great time at a ‘The Tonight Show’ taping. We really lucked out, too. Fallon’s guests that night included Carol Burnett and WayneNewton. That’s how you turn a lemon situation into lemonade.”

Chuck Bennett is the creator of TheSocialMetro.com and is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador.