Video: Hedy Weiss Reviews 5 Plays on Chicago Stages

Karissa Murrell Myers, left, and Aurora Real de Asua in “Top Girls” at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. (Photo by Michael Courier)

The winter theater season is upon us, with a blizzard of good shows to see. Chicago theater critic Hedy Weiss gives her take on “Roe,” “Top Girls,” “The Mousetrap,” “Juliet” and “Verboten.”

Former State Sen. Sandoval Pleads Guilty to Bribery, Tax Fraud

In this file photo, state Sen. Martin Sandoval speaks with WTTW News.

Instead of spending Tuesday in Springfield for the start of Illinois’ 2020 legislative session, former state Sen. Martin Sandoval spent it in federal court in Chicago, where he admitted to taking a quarter of a million dollars in bribes.

Trump’s Legal Team Concludes Oral Arguments in Impeachment Trial

Jay Sekulow, personal attorney to President Donald Trump, speaks during the impeachment trial against Trump in the Senate on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

The president’s legal team has wrapped up its impeachment defense. What’s next? And what to make of the trial so far? We ask law professor and former Supreme Court clerk Carolyn Shapiro and journalist Chris Bury.

Gamblers Still Waiting for Sports Betting in Illinois

(Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker / Flickr)

It’s the biggest sports betting event of the year, but if you want to bet on the Super Bowl legally in Illinois this weekend, you’re out of luck. 

Crain’s Headlines: Blue Cross Parent Company Cuts 400 Workers

(WTTW News)

Health Care Service Corporation is shedding about 400 workers as it positions itself for growth in a rapidly changing industry.

60 Babies, 1 ‘Sunsuit’: A Tradition of Family Unity and Love

Mary Grace Pingoy and her son Zachary, the most recent member of the Martirez family to wear this hand-crocheted onesie, called a “sunsuit” in the Philippines. (Jay Shefsky / WTTW News)

A baby outfit made by a nun in the Philippines in 1945 has now been shared by three generations and 60 newborns. We meet the latest member of the family to wear it.

How to Avoid the High-Calorie Punch from Super Bowl Foods This Sunday

(Switz1873 / Flickr)

Super Bowl Sunday is a massive day for sports fans – and high-calorie foods. Get tips for trimming the fat off some game-day favorites without punting on flavor.

Jussie Smollett Case Still Top of Mind One Year After Incident

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, center, arrives at Leighton Criminal Court Building for a hearing to discuss whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during his disorderly conduct case on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo / Matt Marton)

Wednesday marks one year since Jussie Smollett reported to police he’d been the victim of a bigoted attack near his Streeterville home. The case continues to make regular headlines, particularly as Cook County’s state’s attorney seeks re-election. We review the case.

Revisiting the Power and Pain of ‘Top Girls’ in Bristling Remy Bumppo Production

Linda Gillum in “Top Girls.” (Photo by Michael Courier)

The all-female cast of Caryl Churchill’s play made a statement from the very start, and now, the eight bravura actresses in the current cast turn in a collection of blistering performances that suggest the intentional irony of using the word “girls” (rather than “women”) in the title.

Recycling Do-Over? Lightfoot Asks Streets & San to Study Other Cities’ Best Practices

(WTTW News)

Is it time to hit the reset button on Chicago’s beleaguered Blue Cart recycling program? The city is preparing to conduct a study of the nation’s waste management best practices as it looks for ways to improve.

US Beefs Up Screening of Travelers for New Virus from China

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks at a news conference about the federal government’s response to a virus outbreak originating in China, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

U.S. health officials are expanding their checks of international travelers for signs of a worrisome new virus from China, even as they say the risk to Americans so far is very low.

Chicago White Sox GM Wants Team That Can Win ‘On an Annual Basis’

Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (WTTW News)

It’s been a busy winter for Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, but after a flurry of moves, it may be time for him to rest a bit. “I think for the most part, the heavy lifting for the offseason is done,” Hahn said.

Ex-Illinois Lawmaker Charged With Red-Light Camera Bribery

This June 2, 2019 file photo shows Illinois State Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Chicago, at the Illinois State Capitol, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register via AP, File)

Federal prosecutors filed bribery and tax charges on Monday against former Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval, alleging he accepted payments in exchange for supporting costly red-light camera programs across the state.

Election Security Check: Chicago’s New Voting Machines

(WTTW News)

Illinois voters can begin casting ballots for the March 17 primary as soon as next week. Will new voting machines in Chicago and suburban Cook County provide better security?

The Fight Against the Coronavirus – And What You Need to Know

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, left, and Karla Satchell appear on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (WTTW News)

There’s now one confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Illinois. Health officials say the risk to the general public in the U.S. is low. But what’s being done to fight the virus?

Trump’s Lawyers Resume Defense After Bolton Bombshell

Ken Starr, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks during the impeachment trial of Trump on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

The president’s lawyers on Monday resumed their impeachment defense that began on Saturday – but there was an elephant in the room.

Crain’s Headlines: Amazon Considers Pullman for New Distribution Center

(WTTW News)

The e-commerce giant keeps adding more warehouses across the country to store and distribute products, and it looks like Pullman is one of its next targets.

Creator of the 1619 Project Discusses the Legacy of Slavery

 Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones appears on “Chicago Tonight.” (WTTW News)

This year, the U.S. marks the 400th year since the Pilgrims arrived. But the year before that, a much darker period began with the sailing of the White Lion. We speak with New York Times Magazine journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones about The 1619 Project.

Report: Chicago Police Prioritize Arrests of Sex Sellers Over Buyers, Traffickers

(Thomas Hawk / Flickr)

The Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation found that while overall prostitution-related arrests in Chicago fell by half between 2013 and 2017, the arrest of sellers of sex made up an increasingly large percentage of that total.

Now for Some News to Brighten Your Day: Sun to Set at 5 P.M. Tuesday

(Wendy Berry / Flickr)

Winter is about to turn a major psychological corner: For the first time in nearly three months, 9-to-5-ers will see the sun when they leave work. 

Warm Winter Doesn’t Halt Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition

Snow sculptor George Burnette works on his sculpture “Don't Look Under the Bed” on Friday during the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition in Rockford, Illinois. (Evan Garcia / WTTW)

Every year, artists meet about 80 miles northwest of Chicago to sculpt works of art from an unusual material. We take a look at their frozen creations at the 34th annual competition in Rockford.

Swept Away by a Hurricane of Love and Betrayal in ‘Once on This Island’

Kyle Ramar Freeman (left) as Asaka and Courtnee Carter as Ti Moune in the North American Tour of “Once On This Island.” (Photo by Joan Marcus / 2019)

The show is full of exuberant dancing and performances by strong actor-singers, but the crucial intimacy of its storytelling too often gets lost in the carnival atmosphere that has been generated to give this 90-minute gem a Broadway gloss.

CDC Investigating 110 Suspected Cases of Coronavirus

(valelopardo / Pixabay)

Among the dozens of American patients under investigation for the novel coronavirus, five have tested positive for the illness while 32 others have tested negative, according to health officials.

Kobe Bryant Left Deep Legacy in LA Sports, Basketball World

In this June 7, 2009, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) points to a player behind him after making a basket in the closing seconds against the Orlando Magic in Game 2 of the NBA basketball finals, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo / Mark J. Terrill, File)

Kobe Bryant inspired a generation of basketball players worldwide with sublime skills and an unquenchable competitive fire.

Plastic Found in Raw Ground Beef Prompts Amity Packing Company Recall

(Pexels / Pixabay)

The Chicago-based company is recalling approximately 2,020 pounds of raw ground beef products after consumer complaints of clear, thin pliable plastic found in the products.

Woman Kills Retired Trooper, Self at Chicago-Area Cigar Bar

This undated photo provided by the Illinois State Police shows retired Illinois State Police Trooper Gregory Rieves. (Illinois State Police via AP)

A woman fatally shot a retired Illinois State Police trooper and wounded another retired state trooper and an off-duty trooper Friday night before turning the gun on herself at a cigar lounge in the Chicago suburbs, police said.

Defense Resumes in Key Impeachment Week; Dems Seek Witnesses

House Democratic impeachment manager, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., arrives at the Senate as work resumes in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial enters a pivotal week as his defense team resumes its case and senators face a critical vote on whether to hear witnesses or proceed directly to a vote.

U of C Alum Helps Unlock Clues to Giant Squid’s Mysterious Ways

A model of a giant squid in Glover’s Harbour, Newfoundland. (Robert Hiscock / Flickr)

Biologist Carrie Albertin helped sequence the genome of the octopus while earning her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. Now she’s made surprising discoveries about the elusive giant squid.

The Week in Review: A New Era in Springfield


Springfield readies for the 2020 legislative session. The mysterious coronavirus rears its head in Chicago. House Democrats wrap up their impeachment case against President Trump. And Tribune reporters take on their owners.

‘Punk’d’ to Be Revived with Chance the Rapper Doing Pranks

In this Sept. 4, 2016, file photo, Chance the Rapper performs at The Budweiser Made In America Festival in Philadelphia. (Photo by Michael Zorn / Invision / AP, File)

MTV Studios and Quibi said Friday they are teaming up to revive the show with Grammy-winner Chance the Rapper pranking unsuspecting A-listers.

Too Soon to Tell if New Virus as Dangerous as SARS Cousin

In this Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, file photo, a staff member moves bio-waste containers past the entrance of the Wuhan Medical Treatment Center in Wuhan, China, where some people infected with a new virus are being treated. (AP Photo / Dake Kang, File)

The new virus from China has the world on edge because it’s a close cousin to viruses that killed hundreds in separate outbreaks. While it’s too early to tell if this latest threat will prove as deadly, health authorities are drawing on lessons from that grim past.

US Imposes Visa Rules for Pregnant Women on ‘Birth Tourism’

In this Sept. 2017 file photo, a flag is waved outside the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

The Trump administration is imposing new visa rules aimed at restricting “birth tourism,” in which women travel to the United States to give birth so their children can have U.S. citizenship.