Society Confidential: Spielberg take takes an interest in Michigan actor

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News
From left, actor Antonio Cipriano and filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

Spielberg take takes an interest in Michigan actor

Imagine being a young actor who just snagged a great new role in a Broadway musical, and they tell you someone is here to see your performance -- and it turns out to be famed filmmaker Steven Spielberg. That’s what happened to 19-year-old Antonio Cipriano from Grosse Pointe. The talented young thespian plays the role of Phoenix in "Jagged Little Pill," a rock musical inspired by the music by Alanis Morissette. The show opened on Broadway in New York at the Broadhurst Theatre in early November of last year. It seems that Antonio auditioned for Spielberg in June 2018 for a role in his soon-to-be-released “West Side Story,” followed by a screen test in July 2018. He didn’t get that role, but apparently left a good impression on Spielberg. Spielberg came backstage and took photos with Antonio and it seems they have the same taste in scarves (coincidentally they wore matching garments). The public had a chance to experience Antonio’s exceptional talent when the "Jagged Little Pill" cast performed on Good Morning America last month. And we’ll patiently wait to see what Mr. Spielberg might have on his mind for our budding Michigan star.

En Vogue members, from left,   Rhona Bennett, Terry Ellis and Cindy Braggs.

Jeff Clemons teams up with En Vogue for tour

Detroit concert production pro Jeff Clemons will hit the road next week on a multi-city tour with the popular girl group En Vogue as the production and tour manager. The tour begins on the West Coast and works its way this way but is unfortunately skipping Detroit, other than a private event performance here in February. This tour marks the 30-year anniversary of the group that brought such hits as "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)", "Giving Him Something He Can Feel", and "Free Your Mind." Clemons recently finished working with MC Hammer and his House Party Tour. He has also worked with Anita Baker, K Michelle, and Morris Day and the Time.

Runway show pairs celebs, pediatric cancer patients

In recognition of pediatric cancer awareness, Wish Upon a Teen and Motor City Movement present “The Runway of Hopes and Dreams” on Friday at the new Henry Ford Pistons Performance Center. The event will showcase celebrities walking down a runway with courageous patients from Children's Hospital of Michigan. Celebs include Andre Drummond, Langston Galloway, Trick Trick, LuAnne Thomas Ewald and Rick Mahorn.  Tickets range from $100 to $225, with all proceeds from the event supporting programs of both charities.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of