Stories by Marc Vitali

Chicago’s Spring Theater Season In Full Bloom

Frankie Leo Bennett as Tobias Ragg in “Sweeney Todd” at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre. (Credit: Cody Jolly Photography)

Theater critic Hedy Weiss reviews “Pretty Woman,” “Sweeney Todd,” plus dramas at the Goodman Theatre and more.

‘Native American Woven Arts’ Explores Methods, Meaning Behind Artistry

Weaving function and design at a local museum dedicated to Native American art and culture.

Faces, Places from a Chicago Photographer Now 90 Years Old

Barbara Crane, “Little Darlings,” 2012 (Courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery)

She’s been photographing Chicago for nearly 70 years. Meet artist Barbara Crane.

Bryan Adams: ‘Pretty Woman’ Collaboration ‘A Magical Thing’

Bryan Adams performs in 2007 (Marco Maas / Flickr)

Songwriter Bryan Adams and other members of the creative team behind “Pretty Woman: The Musical” talk about the intersection of pop music, movies and musicals.

Globe-Trotting Local Curator to Lead Next Chicago Architecture Biennial

Yesomi Umolu

Chicago as the global center for the future of architecture. Meet Yesomi Umolu, the new artistic leader of the next Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Keith Haring’s Chicago Mural Speaks to Youth, Artists

Nearly 30 years ago, artist Keith Haring enlisted the help of 500 Chicago students to paint a 488-foot long mural. Chicago Tonight caught up with a trio of those teens who grew up to be artists themselves. 

Music of ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ Inspires Chicago Jazz Singer

A local jazz singer joins us for her take on the musical compositions of Fred Rogers, the late host of the eponymous children’s show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” 

David Mamet Revisits ‘Chicago’ in New Book

David Mamet

The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, director and screenwriter joins us to talk about his new book – and the city that inspired it.

Inside the Studio of an Italian Sculptor Who Made His Name in Chicago

Virginio Ferrari (Chicago Tonight)

Born in Italy, Virginio Ferrari came to Chicago in the 1960s, and he blossomed into an internationally sought-after sculptor. We visit the 80-year-old in his Bridgeport studio.

Rare Mummy Portraits Offer Peek into the Past at Block Museum

Portraits of mummies greet visitors at a new exhibition where art, science and history intersect. 

‘Native American Woven Arts’ Explores Methods, Meaning Behind Artistry

Weaving function and design in a new exhibition at a local museum dedicated to Native American art and culture.

Stephen Warde Anderson: One-of-a-Kind Painter Has One-Man Show

Stephen Warde Anderson (American, b. 1953). “The Jinni,” 1995. (Courtesy of private collection)

Weird and wonderful artwork created far outside the mainstream. We meet up with a most unusual painter from Rockford.

Project Onward an Artistic Sanctuary and Magnet for Talent

(Courtesy Project Onward)

Looking for a handcrafted scale model of Wrigley Field? How about glittery portraits of politicians, TV personalities—or both? All can be found at a Bridgeport workspace that provides adult artists with supplies, guidance and opportunity.

Hedy Weiss Reviews ‘Blind Date,’ ‘Ragtime,’ ‘Skeleton Crew,’ More

Jim Ortlieb (George Shultz), Rob Riley (Ronald Reagan), William Dick (Mikhail Gorbachev), and Steve Pickering (Eduard Shevardnadze) in “Blind Date” by Rogelio Martinez. (Liz Lauren / Goodman Theatre)

“Ragtime,” Ronald Reagan and a rarely seen Stephen Sondheim show are currently featured on Chicago-area stages. Theater critic Hedy Weiss joins us with recommendations – and two exclusive reviews.

Cautionary Tales of City Life by Chicago Painter Bill Walker

We take a look at the powerful—and sometimes graphic—works of art featured in the exhibit “Bill Walker: Urban Griot” at the Hyde Park Art Center.

John Mahoney, ‘Frasier’ Dad and Steppenwolf Actor, Dies at 77

John Mahoney appears on “Chicago Tonight” in August 2017.

Actor John Mahoney died Sunday at the age of 77. He was best known for his role as Martin Crane in the hit series “Frasier,” but Mahoney was also a long-time ensemble member at Steppenwolf Theatre.

‘The Humans’ Revisits Chicago with Actors Richard Thomas, Pamela Reed

Actors Richard Thomas and Pamela Reed talk about the comedy of “The Humans,” a touring play with deep Chicago roots.

Magic Realism in Paintings by Chicago’s ‘Queen of Bohemian Artists’

Gertrude Abercrombie is a one-of-a-kind Chicago artist. Though she has been gone for 40 years, she is now getting a rare show at the Elmhurst Art Museum. 

Block Museum Explores William Blake’s Influence on the Age of Aquarius

A who’s who of great artists and writers of the 20th century was influenced by one who died in semi-obscurity nearly 200 years ago. We take another look at “William Blake and the Age of Aquarius.”

Chicago Restaurant Week Highlights 370 Spots to Dine

The 11th annual event kicks off Friday and features a record 370 restaurants this year, including 100 new additions. We get a preview of what’s on the menu.

Rare Mummy Portraits Offer Peek into the Past at Block Museum

Portraits of mummies greet visitors at a new exhibition where art, science and history intersect. 

At DePaul Art Museum, A Pair of Shows Offer Power to the People

Vivid colors bring to life messages of hope, and resistance. A pair of new art shows on the campus of DePaul University look at the power of the people through the power of printmaking.

‘Too Hot to Handel’: Jazz-Gospel ‘Messiah’ Reaches into State Prisons

Classical music gets a soulful twist in a show that reaches from Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre to a notorious prison in Louisiana.

Inside the Studio of an Italian Sculptor Who Made His Name in Chicago

Virginio Ferrari (Chicago Tonight)

Born in Italy, Virginio Ferrari came to Chicago in the 1960s, and he blossomed into an internationally sought-after sculptor. We visit the 80-year-old in his Bridgeport studio.

New Play Looks at Life of Trailblazing African-American Actor

Actor Dion Johnstone portrays Ira Aldridge in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s production of “Red Velvet.” (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Exploring the connection between a controversial painting at the Art Institute and the new play “Red Velvet” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

randomness