Stories by Marc Vitali

Fall Theater Recommendations from Hedy Weiss

Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble members Francis Guinan, left, and K. Todd Freeman in the world premiere of “Downstate.” (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

Hedy Weiss reviews a provocative new play about sex offenders at Steppenwolf Theatre, plus a new musical based on the movie “Tootsie.”

New Book ‘Art in Chicago’ an Ambitious Historical Overview

William Walker, “Childhood Is without Prejudice,” 1977 (Photograph by James Prigoff and Robin J. Dunitz)

Chicago has been the creative home to many unusual artists over its history. A new book looks at the big picture, from the Great Chicago Fire to the art scene of today.

South Side Artists of the ‘60s and ‘70s Get Spotlight in 2 Exhibitions

How South Side artists charted new courses for Chicago art – and created a cultural legacy that echoes to this day.

Transforming the Merchandise Mart Into a Canvas for Digital Art

This weekend, the largest digital art projection in the world will be projected onto a Chicago landmark. Here’s a preview of Art on the Mart.

Singer Paul Marinaro ‘Blessed’ to be Performing in Chicago

One of Chicago’s hottest singers is on the comeback trail following a severe health scare. We catch up with Paul Marinaro at the Green Mill.

Fall Gardening Tips From Eliza Fournier of the Chicago Botanic Garden

Cooler weather can present challenges to local gardeners. How to make the most of the season.

Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art ‘Lions’ Exhibit Taps into Its Roots

A jewel of a museum in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village has emphasized contemporary art for more than 40 years. We visit the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art for a look at its past – and future.

On Eve of CSO Season Opener, a Conversation with Riccardo Muti

Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti joins Hedy Weiss in conversation.

Argonne National Laboratory Assists Hurricane Florence Response

The important role computer models play in predicting the impact of hurricanes. We speak with David Brannegan of Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois.

‘Strange Worlds’ First Solo Show for Late Chicago Artist Todros Geller

(Courtesy Spertus Institute)

Industry in Chicago and old world traditions in a rare show by a 20th century Chicago artist at Spertus Institute. We go for a look.

New Home and Vision for Chicago Architecture Foundation

After more than 25 years on Michigan Avenue, the cultural organization has moved into a spectacular new space on East Wacker Drive, expanding its mission and its footprint on the city.

‘Peacebook’ Festival 2018 Gets Assist from the Wu Tang Clan

From left: Chicago rappers The Boy Illinois and Phenom star in “Tearz,” adapted from Wu Tang Clan’s hit single off their 1993 debut album “36 Chambers,” premiering as part of Collaboraction’s “Peacebook” Austin line-up. (Credit: Joel Maisonet)

Tap, rap, and a whole lot more when Collaboraction’s performance festival visits the West Side.

‘America to Me’ a Story of High School in Black and White

An image from the series “America to Me.” (Photo: Kartemquin Films)

A conversation with “Hoop Dreams” director Steve James, who tackles an ambitious series about racial disparity in a Chicago-area high school.

Mysterious Box of Photographs Inspires a Globe-Trotting Art Show

(Courtesy of Alan Teller and Jerri Zbiral)

East meets West in an art show that began with a collection of photos found at an estate sale 27 years ago.

Skateboarders Grapple with Adulthood in New Documentary ‘Minding the Gap’

Filmmaker Bing Liu appears on “Chicago Tonight.”

A new film looks at skateboarding as an escape from violence and boredom for three friends in Rockford, Illinois. We speak with director Bing Liu.

Chicago Band Ohmme a ‘Force to be Reckoned With’

Macie Stewart, left, and Sima Cunningham of Ohmme. (Chicago Tonight)

Soaring harmonies and grinding guitars combine on a new record by a dynamic Chicago duo. We visit the basement headquarters of Ohmme.

Chicago Jazz Festival Expands to Neighborhoods for 40th Anniversary

Ramsey Lewis (Courtesy City of Chicago, DCASE)

The Chicago Jazz Fest is expanding its scope and reach. We discuss what’s new – and what to expect this weekend – with Mark Kelly, commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Stony Island Arts Bank Remembers Historic Johnson Publishing Company

An exhibition conveys the role of the publishers of Ebony and Jet magazines in spreading the word on black culture from their onetime offices at 820 S. Michigan Ave.

At the Art Institute, the Opulent Paintings of John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent. “Street in Venice,” 1882. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Avalon Foundation.

Chicago museums and collectors played a critical role in the life of an American artist with an international profile. We take a look at the spectacular paintings of John Singer Sargent.

Meet Ada Grey, the Veteran Chicago Theater Critic Who is Almost in High School

Fourteen-year-old theater critic Ada Grey. (Courtesy of Ada Grey)

She’s been on the scene for 10 years – and just turned 14 years old. Ada Grey tells us about her experiences as a Chicago theater critic.

Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art ‘Lions’ Exhibit Taps into Its Roots

Inside a new exhibition that looks at the art and legacy of the founding fathers of the museum.

3 Years After Tragedy, Mother Motivated to Strengthen ‘Annie’s Law’

Annie LeGere (Courtesy of Shelly LeGere)

A change in state law will ensure first responders are equipped with EpiPens. Meet the mother of the girl who inspired the legislation.

Rediscovering Influential Chicago Artist Charles White at the Art Institute

Charles White. “Trenton Six,” 1949. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX. (© The Charles White Archives Inc.)

On the 100th anniversary of his birth, Charles White is being recognized with the first major retrospective of his work since 1982. 

Bonnie Koloc, Howard Levy Share Deep and Enduring Musical History

Bonnie Koloc is featured in this WTTW “Made in Chicago” series from 1973. (WTTW)

A studio performance with harmonica hero Howard Levy and Chicago folk legend Bonnie Koloc.

Mysterious Box of Photographs Inspires a Globe-Trotting Art Show

(Courtesy of Alan Teller and Jerri Zbiral)

East meets West in an art show that began with a collection of photos found at an estate sale 27 years ago.