Society Confidential: Michigan brothers bringing 'Pray the Gay Away' to Royal Oak

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News
From left,  twins Zach and Michael Zakar will star in "Pray the Gay Away" at the Baldwin Theatre.

This is kind of fun. The 26-year-old Zakar brothers, Michael and Zach, are gay Arab-Americans from Michigan. Their mom, they claim, is a potty-mouth, devout Catholic who hates gays. The twins chronicled a true-life coming out comedy that follows them as they face awkward sexual encounters, coming out to each other, and their biggest foe, their mother. “Pray the Gay Away” was inspired the night their mom sneaked into their bedroom and force fed them "holy grapes," determined to "de-gay" them. The play tours North America this year, kicking off at the Baldwin Theatre in Royal Oak from March 5-8. “Detroit is our hometown,” says Michael. “We never thought an independent book (that was turned down by 50 literary agents) would be touring North America. The fact that this is our first stop on the 2020 tour is just so surreal.” Tickets to “Pray the Gay Away” are $35 and $45 reserved seating, visit

The Rev. Jessie Jackson and The Word Network owner  Kevin Adell.

Jesse Jackson stops by The Word Network

We heard that the  Rev. Jessie Jackson was hanging out at The Word Network in Southfield, earlier this week and couldn’t help but wonder if the good preacher is one of the latest acquisitions by station owner Kevin Adell, who is known to seek out somewhat controversial personalities as hosts for his radio station, 910 AM and TV station WADL-Channel 38. Most recently, Adell hired veteran Detroit reporter Kevin Dietz, who was fired from WDIV-TV in July because of remarks that violated the station’s zero-tolerance policy on racially insensitive comments. Dietz joins WADL-TV hosting “News Now with Kevin Dietz” at 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. As far as Rev. Jackson becoming a part of the on-air team, that would be a hard no. “He just came by to have breakfast with me,” says Adell. “I’ve known him for 30 years.”

Celebrated Chef Max Hardy presents Black History Month dinners.

Max Hardy dinner series celebrates African-American food

He’s cooked for royalty, professional athletes, and international entertainers. Chef Max Hardy, who was recently named by the New York Times as one of 16 black chefs changing food in America, is presenting a two-part dinner party series celebrating African-American food, art and culture as a nod to Black History Month. On Feb. 11 (with chef Cedric Andrews) and Feb. 25 (with chef Taz), Max will host two six-course dinners on each night, including braised short ribs and roasted stuffed snapper for $70 per person at frame, a cozy creative hub in Hazel Park. For more information, visit:

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